To make crispy chicken thighs, season them generously and bake them in a 400°F oven for 45 minutes.
They'll emerge from the oven browned and gorgeous, with wonderfully crispy skin and succulent meat. A true delicacy!
Chicken thighs - tender, Juicy, and flavorful, are my second favorite chicken part. My favorite is chicken wings, which have the perfect ratio of skin to meat.
Properly cooked chicken thighs delight with crispy, well-seasoned skin and juicy, succulent meat. They are so good that these days, when I buy chicken, I almost always choose bone-in, skin-on thighs.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these crispy chicken thighs. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Chicken thighs: I use bone-in and skin-on thighs in this recipe. I get them either at my local supermarket or at Whole Foods.
- Seasonings: Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
The best way to vary this recipe is to use different spices. I sometimes add ½ teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of chili powder in addition to the other spices.
Dried herbs are more challenging, as they tend to burn in a hot oven, so I don't recommend using them in this recipe.
Crispy Chicken Thighs Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
Your first step is to arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle the thighs with seasonings. There's no need to add oil.
Place the thighs in the oven.
Bake them until the meat is juicily cooked through and the skin is browned and crispy. This should take about 45 minutes in a 400°F oven.
- If your pan accommodates this in terms of space, I recommend flattening the chicken thighs before placing them on the pan. I also like to take the skin that's usually folded underneath each piece and spread it out on the pan. This ensures even cooking and wonderfully crispy skin. If you flatten the thighs, they will cook faster, so check after 40 minutes.
- I used to spray the chicken pieces with olive oil before baking them, as you can see me doing in the video below. But I have found over the years that the skin crisps up better if I don't. I do stretch the skin so that it covers the chicken entirely. Otherwise, the exposed meat could dry up.
If you feel like it, you can go through the trouble of browning the skin in a skillet on the stovetop before baking. I do it in this recipe for Moroccan chicken.
But it's quite tedious, and in this recipe, I find it unnecessary, so I never bother. The oven does a great job of browning the skin.
Please don't! The skin is the best part. In addition to being delicious, it also protects the meat from drying out in the hot oven.
Yes. The baking time will be shorter, so check after 30-35 minutes (their internal temperature should reach 165°F).
They won't be as juicy as bone-in thighs, but they'll be delicious! I do recommend generously spraying them with oil to compensate for the lack of skin.
This is such a versatile main dish. It goes with anything! I often serve it with one of the following side dishes:
- Broccoli salad - it makes for an easy meal because I can make the salad in advance.
- Cauliflower steak - I bake both in the same oven and bake the cauliflower for a little longer if needed.
- Roasted pumpkin - again, I bake both dishes in the same oven and bake the pumpkin for slightly longer.
- Roasted frozen cauliflower - another easy side dish that requires a 400°F oven.
- Roasted asparagus - can be baked in the same 400°F oven. It's ready faster than the chicken, so I place the chicken in the oven first.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. They are delicious cold or gently reheated in a 300°F oven. I prefer not to reheat them, as that sometimes dries them out.
Sometimes, I shred cold leftovers and mix them into a salad the next day for lunch. They make a great addition to this arugula salad.
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Crispy Chicken Thighs
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with high-heat-resistant parchment paper.
- Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in the prepared pan. It's best if they do not touch each other. Flatten them and gently stretch the skin to cover the meat entirely.
- Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the seasonings.
- Place the chicken in the oven.
- Bake the chicken until the skin is browned and crispy, and an instant-read thermometer not touching the bones reads 165°F, about 45 minutes.
- Transfer the thighs to a serving plate. Loosely cover them with foil and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- If your baking sheet accommodates this in terms of space, I highly recommend flattening the chicken thighs before placing them on the pan. I also like to take the skin that's usually folded underneath each piece and spread it out on the pan. This ensures even cooking and wonderfully crispy skin. If you do flatten the thighs, they will cook faster - so check after 40 minutes.
- I used to spray the chicken thighs with olive oil before baking them, as you can see me doing in the video. But I have found over the years that the skin crisps up better if I don't spray it with oil. I do stretch the skin so that it covers the meat entirely. Otherwise, the exposed meat could dry up.
- You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. They are delicious cold or gently reheated in a 300°F oven. I prefer not to reheat them, as that sometimes dries them out. Sometimes, I shred cold leftovers and mix them into a salad the next day for lunch.