An easy recipe for crispy baked chicken thighs. Crispy skin, juicy meat and flavorful spices combine to create chicken perfection!
“Mom,” declared The Picky Eater after having a few bites, “These are so crispy and juicy! They’re just as good as fried chicken!”
Need I say more? 😀
Thighs are the best part of the chicken!
Baked chicken thighs – tender, Juicy and very flavorful, are my favorite chicken recipe. Or maybe my second favorite, right after chicken wings.
They delight with a super crispy, seasoned skin, and with juicy, succulent meat. It’s chicken perfection! In fact, they are so good, that these days, when I buy chicken, I almost always choose bone-in, skin-on thighs.
I don’t buy rotisserie chicken anymore. We just end up fighting over the thighs, and then I get stuck with the dry chicken breast that no one wants. Well, I usually end up using it in this stuffed poblano peppers recipe so it’s not all bad. 🙂
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty chicken recipe (the exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Olive oil spray: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you’d rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
Chicken thighs: I use bone-in and skin-on thighs in this recipe.
Seasonings: Kosher salt, garlic powder, paprika, and dried thyme. If using fine salt, use less of it. And do make sure your spices are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
How to make crispy baked chicken thighs
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Arrange the thighs in a single layer on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack.
Generously spray the chicken pieces with olive oil and sprinkle them with the seasonings.
Bake until the meat is juicily cooked through and the skin is browned and crispy, 45-50 minutes at 400°F.
If you feel like it, you can go through the trouble of browning the skin in a skillet before baking. But it’s tedious, and I find it’s unnecessary. I honestly never bother.
How to serve them
This is such a versatile main dish. It goes with anything! I often serve it with one of the following side dishes:
- Vegetable stew – a hearty and flavorful dish that goes really well with chicken.
- Cauliflower steak – baking both in the same oven and baking the cauliflower for a little longer if needed.
- Baked pumpkin – again, baking both dishes in the same oven and baking the pumpkin for slightly longer.
What about leftovers?
Crispy baked chicken thighs keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Although the skin won’t be as crispy.
Leftovers are delicious cold, or gently reheated in a low oven. Sometimes I shred cold leftovers and mix them into a salad the next day for my lunch.
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Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- Olive oil spray
- 8 medium chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and fit it with a wire rack. Spray the wire rack with olive oil.
- Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer on the wire rack. Untuck the skin from underneath each thigh and spread it on the rack, to make crispy skin. It’s best if the thighs do not touch each other, so if you need to, use two baking sheets.
- Generously spray the tops of the chicken thighs with olive oil. Sprinkle with the seasonings. Lightly spray again, then bake until skin is dark and crisp and an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees F, 45-50 minutes.
- Allow the crispy baked chicken thighs to rest 5 minutes on the rack before serving.