Baked Chicken Thighs

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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.

chicken thigh on a wire rack

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.

chicken thighs on a wire rack

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?

If you’d like to keep this recipe on the healthy side, try it with broccoli slaw and sweet potato fries.

Looking for comforting sides? Try a spicy corn casserole and oven roasted cheesy potatoes.

**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.**

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs

Baked Chicken Thighs

4.75 from 4 votes
How to make the best baked chicken thighs. Simple seasonings give excellent flavor and the cold oven technique makes for crispy skin.
Servings 10
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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. Also, the baking rack helps the air to circulate around the chicken to promote even doneness.

Nutrition

Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 322mg | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1.2mg
Author Julie Clark
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 346
Keyword how to bake chicken, keto recipes, oven baked chicken, whole30 recipes

 

golden brown chicken thighs on a wire rack

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Laurie Sabens
3 years ago

I’m going to make this for dinner tonight but am concerned about the sodium level – Is 3450 mg correct? or is another number added in there accidentally? Surely 1/2 tsp of salt would not alter the sodium to this level??

Mary Mersch
3 years ago

Looks like a good & very easy recipe that won’t take long to make. I like recipes that don’t take too long to make, but mainly that are on the healthy side & are good for you!

Hopefully I can print this from my phone, bc I just tried & it’s not working so far bc I’m not seeing the box w/the arrow pointing upwards??!!

David King
3 years ago

5 stars
Oh my goodness! These are delicious!!!! They turned out plump & juicy…and the seasoning is the BEST!!!!! A million thanks!!!!

Tania
2 years ago

5 stars
This recipe came out amazingly perfect.
Thank you.

Zach
2 years ago

Does the 35 minutes start after it gets to 400?

Marilyn
4 days ago

Do the thighs go skin up or down when you first put chicken in oven?