How to make the best baked chicken thighs. Simple seasonings give excellent flavor and the cold oven technique makes for crispy skin.
Last summer we taught you all about grilling chicken thighs, so we figured during these cooler days you might want to know how to cook chicken thighs inside.
This recipe fits Whole30, Paleo and Keto eating plans.
Baked Chicken Thighs
It’s only been the past few months that I’ve started baking with chicken thighs. I bought some skinless chicken thighs for this firecracker chicken recipe…but I never realized how good skin-on chicken thighs were. So flavorful and juicy…and virtually no prep work!
Is chicken thigh white or dark meat?
Chicken thighs have darker meat. They are a little higher in fat than white meat, but are so, so flavorful.
Is chicken thigh good for you?
Chicken thighs are a good source of protein. There is a higher percentage of fat in dark meat over white meat. If you are following the Keto diet, chicken thighs are the way to go.
How to Bake Chicken Thighs
- If you have time, remove the chicken thighs from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking so that they will cook more evenly.
Do not preheat oven. By placing the chicken thighs in a cool oven, the fat renders as the oven heats up but the skin will crisp when the oven reaches the designated temperature.
Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier clean-up. Place oven-safe rack over foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. The baking rack helps the air to circulate around the chicken to promote even doneness.
Place chicken thighs on baking rack and rub each with olive oil on both sides.
In a small bowl, stir together seasonings. Rub onto both sides of chicken thighs.
Place in oven and set for 400 degrees.
- Turn the chicken thighs over part way during baking to promote even browning.
How long to bake chicken thighs?
Chicken thighs will take about 35 minutes to bake. This will depend on the pan and your oven (and how big the chicken thighs are), but plan for an hour and watch the internal temperature closely so that the chicken doesn’t overcook.
What temperature should chicken be baked to?
Thighs should no longer pink at the bone and the juices should run clear. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
What to serve with baked chicken thighs?
**For perfectly cooked chicken, you’ll need a wire rack to cook it on. This is the one we have.**
**We LOVE our Thermoworks ThermaPen to quickly test meat temperatures. This probe thermometer is AMAZING. Get it here.**
Baked Chicken Thighs
- 10 bone-in chicken thighs (family pack)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- Do not preheat oven.
- Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier clean-up. Place oven-safe rack over foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place chicken thighs on baking rack and rub each with olive oil on both sides.
- In a small bowl, stir together seasonings. Rub onto both sides of chicken thighs.
- Place in oven and set for 400 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes, turning halfway for even color.
- Thighs should no longer pink at the bone and the juices should run clear. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.