Tender and juicy on the inside, crispy and flavorful on the outside, these Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs are so perfectly seasoned and so simple to make! They are incredibly easy to make with very little prep, making this chicken thigh recipe perfect for busy nights.
Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
My son has a real “thing” about chicken. He loves chicken on the bone, but it has to be “soft chicken” (ie, not stringy and dry or crumbly), and chicken drumsticks are his favorite. But once in a while I’ve got to change it up, so when I came up with this quick and easy recipe for chicken thighs a few months ago, and he gobbled down three pieces, I knew I had a winner.
All I had to do was make these crispy baked chicken thighs once and my whole family was begging me to make them again and again. That’s how good they are! We love baked chicken breasts for fast and easy dinners but baked chicken thighs are an often neglected yet totally delicious yet option.
These crispy baked chicken thighs take about 35 minutes in the oven, and less than ten minutes of prep. That gives you just enough time to whip up a couple of side dishes, like my Stove Top Garlic & Herb Potatoes which happen to be super delicious with these chicken thighs, and a salad or other kind of veggie on the side.
Why you’ll love these oven baked chicken thighs
- Chicken thighs are more flavorful and juicy than breast meat or even drumsticks.
- The skin gets crispy and adds texture and flavor, and also helps to keep the meat extra moist.
- Chicken thighs are more economical than other cuts of chicken, making this a budget friendly meal option.
- My trick for seasoning both the skin AND the meat makes these chicken thighs extra tasty.
Why are baked chicken thighs so juicy and flavorful?
Bone-in chicken thighs, with the bone on one side and the skin on the other, have built in protection from the intense heat of the oven. Chicken thighs stay juicy and tender because they are covered with that layer of skin that keeps them protected. The bone also keeps the meat more juicy and releases a deeper, more concentrated flavor directly into the meat.
How to Bake Chicken Thighs
Here are are my tips for getting these baked chicken thighs super crispy and full of flavor:
- Rub them with a little bit of olive oil first. This helps keep the chicken moist as it cooks, and also helps the skin develop that crispy crunch.
- Season each chicken thigh well. I use my go-to basic rub of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. Which leads me to my favorite tip…
- Rub the seasoning all over the chicken AND UNDER the skin. As you are massaging that delicious seasoning blend into the chicken, just slide your fingers under the skin and rub a little of the olive oil and seasoning under the skin. This will flavor not only the skin but the meat underneath.
- Let it rest. I feel like a broken record because I say this so much, but it’s so true. When you remove the baked chicken thighs from the oven, let them rest at least 5-10 minutes before serving. This lets the juices redistribute and also let’s them cool slightly. The chicken should be at an internal temperature of 165 degrees when it comes out of the oven.
Can I make this recipe with boneless chicken thighs?
For this recipe, I prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken. It’s just so tender and juicy and the skin adds texture and a ton of flavor.
If you want to make this recipe with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, here’s what to do: For 8 thighs, you’ll need about half of the rub and half of the olive oil. Follow the instructions for how to bake chicken thighs, but cut the time by about 10 minutes. Looking for a delicious marinade for chicken thighs? Try my popular Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe It will work on the grill or in the oven. If you want to know how long to bake boneless chicken thighs, be sure to try my Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs!
At what temperature do you bake chicken thighs in the oven?
Set your oven temperature to 400 degrees F. This is hot enough to roast the chicken and give you a crispy skin without burning the skin as it cooks. Chicken Thighs should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees using an instant-read thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the meat near the bone.
How do you get that crispy skin?
I have a few tricks that I use to get the skin nice and crispy.
- Pat the chicken dry. Removing moisture allows the chicken to crisp up so it’s not fatty and mushy.
- Olive oil massage. Rubbing olive oil on top of and beneath the skin is almost like frying it, without actually frying it! It will help the skin crisp at the high temperature.
- When all else fails, broil. If you’re chicken thighs just aren’t as crispy as you’d like them to be, flip on the broiler for a few minutes. I usually don’t need this step, but it’s a failsafe if you do.
Want some more delicious baked chicken recipes? Try these:
- Mexican Chicken Casserole
- Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs
- Crispy Cheesy Baked Chicken Tenders Recipe
- Walnut Crusted Baked Chicken Nuggets
- Smothered Chicken and Mushrooms
- Baked Ranch Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Watch how to make crispy baked chicken thighs:
Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- 8 Chicken Thighs skin-on, bone-in
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh minced parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet pan with foil. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder with a fork. Set aside.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then arrange, skin side up on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub into both sides. Season the back side with about a third of the spice mixture, then flip so the chicken thighs are skin side up and season with remaining spice mixture. Rub into the skin and slide your fingers under the skin to rub the spice mixture into the meat as well.
- Slide the pan into the oven and roast until completely cooked through; 30-35 minutes. Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.
- Let rest for 5 minutes; garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.