These crispy baked chicken thighs are moist and juicy in the middle with the most delicious crisp skin. Oven baked in the oven, this is the most delicious way to enjoy chicken.
If you are after a chicken recipe with barely any hands-on time, these chicken thighs in the oven are your answer.
Similar to our baked chicken legs or chicken breasts, the short marinating time infuses the chicken thighs with lots of flavors while baking them in the oven crisps up the skin beautifully and results in juicy and flavorful chicken.
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The best crispy baked chicken thighs
My baked chicken thigh recipe is a game-changer and a staple in many people’s kitchens. It’s simple to make and yields perfect results every time.
- There is minimal prep work. All you have to do is to toss the chicken thighs in the marinade, let them sit in the fridge for half an hour, and then bake them up.
- It’s juicy and full of flavor. Thanks to the honey used in the marinade, the chicken thighs turn out tender and juicy. The herbs, garlic, and lemon zest impart rich flavors making the chicken taste so much better than your average chicken thighs.
- It’s versatile. Like oven fried chicken thighs, oven-baked chicken thighs are great for lunch and dinner. They are perfect as an everyday meal and for special occasions or holidays. These chicken thighs also go well with various side dishes, including roasted vegetables, rice, and pasta.
This recipe calls for a few everyday ingredients. You may not even need to make a trip to the supermarket. Just get to the cooking!
- Chicken thighs. I prefer using skin-on chicken thighs. The skin keeps all the juices sealed in the thighs and creates a crispy coating.
- Herbs. I use dried oregano and dill for this recipe.
- Paprika. Adds sweet and mildly spicy flavor to the marinade.
- Honey. When used in a marinade, honey not only helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with sweet flavors but also caramelizes beautifully when baking the chicken.
- Garlic. Minced garlic for the marinade. You can also use garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic.
- Lemon zest. To add a touch of freshness to the marinade and cut through the sweetness of the honey.
- Olive oil. To pull together all marinade flavors.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
How to make crispy baked chicken thighs
Here’s how you bake the juiciest chicken thighs in two simple steps.
Step 1- Marinate the chicken thighs
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Make the marinade by mixing together the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, honey, dried oregano and dill, and paprika.
Put the chicken thighs in the baking pan or baking sheet. Coat them with the marinating mixture. Cover with food wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Step 2- Bake
While the chicken thighs marinate, preheat the oven to 220C/425F degrees. Remove the chicken from the fridge and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165F.
Serve warm, sprinkled with fresh dill and slices of lemon.
Crispy chicken thighs cooking time
How long you should bake chicken thighs depends on a few factors – the size of the chicken thighs, the temperature of the oven, and if they are bone-in or boneless.
Generally, bone-in chicken thighs take 30 to 45 minutes to cook through. Boneless chicken thighs cook faster. Depending on their size and oven temperature, cooking may take 15 to 20 minutes.
Always check their doneness by using a meat thermometer. Chicken should always have an internal temperature of 165F.
- Use bone-in chicken thighs for the juiciest results. While boneless chicken thighs cook faster, the bone imparts a rich chicken flavor.
- Pat dry the chicken before seasoning them. Doing this helps achieve crispier results.
- Use a thermometer to tell if the chicken thighs are done or not. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. If it reads 165F degrees, remove the chicken from the oven.
- Allow the chicken thighs to rest for 5 to 10 minutes once you remove them from the oven. The juices will redistribute inside the chicken thighs and make them juicer.
- Don’t cover the chicken thighs while they rest, as the trapped steam will soften their crispy skin.
What to serve with crispy baked chicken
This versatile and delicious chicken pairs well with just about anything.
- Potatoes everything- Keep things simple with baked white or sweet potatoes or something cheeky, like French fries. Potato salads work, too, like a Japanese or German kind.
- Sauteed vegetables– Carrots, broccolini, brussels sprouts, and eggplant are healthy and wholesome side kicks.
- Grains– Some rice makes a delicious base for the chicken or something lower carb, like cauliflower rice.
- Salads– Keep things light and green with a green goddess or orzo salad.
While we adore this recipe as it is, the beauty of working with simple protein is just how easy they are to customize. Here are some ideas:
- Spice it up. Add some red pepper flakes to the marinade if you like spicy chicken.
- Use Italian seasoning. Being a blend of aromatic herbs, Italian seasoning is one of the easiest ways to make chicken more flavorful with minimal effort.
- Marinate it. Instead of simple seasonings, why not use a drumstick or chicken marinade before baking them in the oven?
- Sprinkle some cheese. Add an extra crispy layer by adding a teaspoon or two of grated parmesan cheese.
To store. Leftover baked chicken should be refrigerated and eaten within 3 to 4 days. Store them in an airtight container or wrapped in foil.
To reheat. Reheat chicken thighs in an oven preheated to 400F degrees for 15 minutes or until they are heated through.
To freeze. Freezing bone-in chicken thighs is not the best idea. Instead, shred the baked chicken thighs before freezing them. Frozen baked chicken thighs will last up to 4 months in the freezer.
Frequently asked questions
Chicken thighs are best baked at 400 to 425F degrees. However, if the chicken thighs are smaller, you can bake them at 350F to prevent them from drying out.
Baked chicken thighs are certainly healthier than fried ones. They are a good source of protein, healthy monounsaturated fats, and a range of vitamins and minerals. Paired with healthy side dishes, baked chicken thighs can make part of a balanced diet.
You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs to make crispy baked ones. However, remember that the skin typically becomes crispy during baking, so you won’t have the same level of crispy texture.
To prevent chicken thighs from drying out while baking, avoid overcooking them. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, and remove the chicken thighs from the oven when they reach 165°F (74°C).
Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- Preheat the oven to 220C/428F. Lightly grease a baking dish.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
- Combine the olive oil, garlic cloves, paprika, oregano, dill, honey, and lemon zest in a small bowl.
- Place the chicken thighs in a baking pan and coat well with the marinade. Leave in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill, covered.
- Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes until cooked through.
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