Are you tired of the same old chicken dinner every week? Spice things up with this delicious baked chicken thighs recipe! Get ready for a juicy and tender chicken dish bursting with flavor.
Table of Contents
Crispy oven-baked chicken thighs are an easy dinner to prepare! Toss the pieces in a bold, savory spice mixture to boost the taste of the dark meat. Like my baked chicken legs recipe, the concentrated dried herbs and seasonings stick onto the surface, delivering flavorful bites with little effort.
To make a big tray of chicken, grab a baking sheet! Cooking at elevated temperatures in an enclosed oven ensures crunchy skin and juicy pieces. It only takes about 40 minutes of hands-off time for a simple yet impressive dish. For a hearty meal, serve with your favorite side dishes like mashed potatoes and green beans.
- Chicken Thighs: Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs will give the most flavorful and juicy pieces. Boneless and skinless thighs can be used, reducing cooking time since the meat will cook faster without the bones.
- Olive Oil: Helps the seasonings better infuse the flavor compounds into the fat and onto the meat. The oil creates a crispy skin and keeps the chicken moist.
- Seasoning Mix: A combination of paprika, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper delivers a robust seasoning to the surface of the chicken. It’s easy to customize!
- Garnish: Serve with chopped parsley or herbs like chives, cilantro, basil, oregano, rosemary, or thyme. Plus, lemon wedges add a nice citrus flavor to the chicken.
Prepare the chicken
Chicken thighs typically have a lot of excess skin and fat. Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to trim any overhang along the edges. You still want to leave enough to cover the top.
Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible. This will give a crispier skin so it can dry and brown in the oven immediately instead of steam.
Season the pieces
When preparing this chicken recipe, season and coat the meat in one bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, Italian seasoning, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add the thighs, coating them evenly with the seasoning paste.
From here, you can bake immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Marinating the chicken will make it even more moist and flavorful!
Bake the chicken thighs
Place the seasoned chicken thighs on a greased wire rack on top of a foil-lined rimmed sheet pan. This elevates the meat for even cooking so that the hot air in the oven can circulate around evenly. This also helps the fat render onto the pan and not make the pieces greasy.
Bake at 425ºF (218ºC) for about 35 to 40 minutes. The chicken is done when the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of around 175ºF (79ºC) on a meat thermometer. For even crunchier skin, broil for a few extra minutes, but keep a close eye to prevent burning!
This baked chicken thighs recipe is easy to customize! Here are some delicious ways to switch up the seasoning:
- Marinade: Let the chicken soak in my citrusy chicken marinade recipe for a lemon and herb flavor.
- Spicy: Add some heat with chipotle pepper, chili powder, or cayenne. Start with ¼ teaspoon, then increase to the desired heat level. Or try my cajun seasoning blend.
- Honey Mustard: Combine equal parts of honey and your favorite type of mustard and brush on the meat before baking.
- Teriyaki: Marinate the chicken in teriyaki sauce, or brush on top before serving.
- Chimichurri: Soak in a chimichurri sauce mixture of fresh herbs, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. I often do this with chicken breasts for extra flavor. Drizzle more on top after baking.
- Homemade barbecue sauce
- Buffalo sauce
- Tzatziki sauce
- Mashed potatoes or potato salad
- Sauteed green beans or a Caesar salad
Frequently asked questions
No need to wash the poultry before cooking. It could contaminate the sink area if not properly cleaned. Remove from the package, and place on a nonporous cutting board to trim and dry. When cooked, the heat will destroy any harmful bacteria.
Do not cover the chicken thighs! This will prevent the chicken skin from becoming crisp; steaming it instead. It can be loosely tented with foil if the skin gets too dark or charred and the meat is not cooked.
Baking at 425ºF (218ºC) will take about 35 to 40 minutes for bone-in chicken thighs. Check at 25 minutes for boneless thighs, adding more time as needed. The temperature should reach between 170 to 175ºF (77 to 79ºC).
Do chicken thighs get more tender the longer you cook them?
Chicken thighs are made of dark meat with more connective tissue and fat than lean chicken breasts. They benefit from longer cook times to dissolve the collagen into gelatin and render the fat for a tender and juicy bite. Typically white meat is cooked until 165 degrees. Dark meat has a better texture between 175 to 195ºF (79 to 91ºF). The extra fat helps keep the meat from drying out.
Pin this recipe to save for laterPin This
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
- Preheat the Oven – Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Heat to 425ºF (218ºC). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top, and grease with olive oil or cooking spray to prevent sticking.
- Prepare the Pieces – Trim off any excess skin and fat from the edges of the chicken. Thoroughly dry each piece with a paper towel to remove moisture from the surface.
- Season the Pieces – In a large bowl, combine olive oil, salt, Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Add the chicken to the seasoning mix. Turn to coat evenly.
- Bake the Chicken – Evenly space the pieces on the baking sheet. Bake until the skin is golden brown and crispy, about 35 to 40 minutes. The internal temperature should reach about 175ºF (79ºC).
- To Serve – Rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and lemons and transfer to a serving platter.
- Crispier Skin: At the end of baking, broil until the skin is crispy. Check every minute to ensure that the skin does not burn!
- Storing: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Reheating: Cover and reheat in the microwave on high setting in 15 to 30-second increments until hot.
- No Wire Rack: You can bake directly on the baking sheet, but check a few minutes earlier for doneness, as the pan will be hotter.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
Tried this recipe?
Tag me on Instagram. I'd love to see how it turns out!