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For a long time, I was a little intimidated by oven baked bone-in chicken thighs. I’ve been making juicy baked chicken breast for years and years, but chicken thighs were a newer thing. I didn’t like meat with bones growing up, so it took some time to come around. Let’s just say I’m glad I did, because this crispy baked chicken thighs recipe has become one of my favorite ways to make chicken!
The good news is, baking chicken thighs is easier than you might think. This recipe is pretty much foolproof, so you can do it whether you’ve never oven baked chicken thighs or done it a hundred times.
Chicken is one of my favorite dinner protein options, so I’ve got no shortage of options here on Wholesome Yum! If you love chicken thighs, be sure to try my air fryer chicken thighs, baked balsamic chicken thighs, garlic chicken thighs, or cilantro lime chicken next time.
Why You’ll Love This Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe
- Seasoned with garlic and herbs
- Juicy and tender meat with crispy skin
- Just 5 ingredients + some pantry staples
- Quick prep time
- Versatile – serve this crispy baked chicken thighs recipe with just about anything
Ingredients You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for oven baked bone-in chicken thighs, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
I prefer to use organic chicken, but the most important thing is that your chicken thighs are bone in, with skin. This is imperative for extra crispy baked chicken thighs!
This recipe won’t work with boneless skinless chicken thighs, since we’ll be placing butter underneath the skin. If you want to use boneless skinless thighs, try my recipes for balsamic chicken thighs, creamy garlic chicken thighs, or Mediterranean chicken instead, all of which use the boneless version.
Compound Butter Underneath The Skin:
Butter underneath the chicken skin ensures super juicy chicken thighs and adds loads of flavor, while the skin protects the butter and fresh herbs from the high heat of the oven.
- Butter – I prefer grass-fed butter for nutrition and flavor, but you can use any unsalted butter.
- Garlic – Use whole garlic cloves, because we are going to crush them.
- Fresh Herbs – I used fresh parsley and dill. You can experiment with other fresh herbs — see variations in my compound butter recipe post.
- Sea Salt
Seasoning Over The Skin:
Seasonings over the skin ensure that the skin has lots of flavor, and we use oil instead of butter here since it has a higher smoke point and will be exposed to direct heat.
- Avocado Oil – You can also use any other vegetable oil or olive oil.
- Spices – Smoked paprika and garlic powder. You can also add other dried seasonings here, such as dried oregano, dried rosemary, onion powder, chili powder, and/or cayenne pepper.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
How To Bake Chicken Thighs In The Oven
This section shows how to make baked chicken thighs in the oven, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Make compound butter. In a small bowl, mash butter. Mix in crushed garlic, fresh parsley, fresh dill, and sea salt.
TIP: You can use other versions of compound butter here. I’m using the simplest version with garlic, salt, and fresh herbs.
- Season chicken. Place compound butter underneath the chicken skin and press the skin down to spread it around.
TIP: Run your hands under the chicken skin to separate it from the chicken underneath, so that you can easily spread the compound butter.
- Season chicken. Place chicken on a lined baking sheet (you can also use a rack fitted on the baking sheet for even more air flow, or a baking dish that’s large enough to fit the chicken pieces without touching each other). Pat the chicken skin with paper towels and then drizzle oil onto chicken on both sides. Sprinkle with sea salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper.
- Roast chicken thighs. Place the chicken skin side down on a baking sheet and roast, then flip and continue roasting until done.
TIP: Use a meat thermometer to check that the chicken thighs are done. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees F.
- Rest. Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to settle in the meat, so that your chicken thighs are super juicy. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
What Temperature To Bake Chicken Thighs?
I recommend baking chicken thighs at 450 degrees F, because the high temperature will make the skin super crispy and the inside juicy. You can also bake them at 400 or 425 degrees F, but it will take longer.
I actually don’t recommend oven baked chicken thighs at lower temperatures like 350, or even 375. Not only does it take longer, but in my testing the meat was less tender and the skin less crispy.
How Long To Bake Chicken Thighs?
Oven baked chicken thighs at 450 degrees F will take 22-28 minutes, but it’s best to use a meat thermometer to cook it perfectly.
Can You Bake Frozen Chicken Thighs?
No, baking frozen chicken thighs is not recommended, as they do not cook evenly. Some parts will be dry by the time everything cooks through. Thaw your chicken thighs before baking.
- Store: Keep leftover crispy bone in chicken thighs in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Meal prep: Make compound butter a day or two in advance. You can also go ahead and place it underneath the skin and season the top if you like, then bake when ready to eat. Alternatively, you can cook the chicken thighs completely ahead and just reheat.
- Reheat: Reheat chicken in a 350 degree F oven, until hot. If the skin still isn’t crispy enough, you can turn up the heat for a few minutes at the end.
- Freeze: Freeze chicken in an airtight container for 2-3 months.
What To Make With Crispy Chicken Thighs
Serve up these crispy oven baked chicken thighs with an easy side dish:
- Potatoes – Roasted or mashed are popular options, but I prefer healthier mashed cauliflower or roasted rutabaga instead.
- Rice – Regular white or brown rice, or cauliflower rice.
- Vegetables – Try roasted asparagus, green beans almondine, sauteed zucchini or mushrooms, or a mix of oven roasted vegetables.
- Salad – Healthy salads always pair well with chicken!
- Sauces – These chicken thighs are already super crispy and juicy, but if you want a sauce, you can serve BBQ sauce or honey mustard on the side.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
Tools For Cooking Chicken Thighs In The Oven
- Sheet Pan – Once I got these sheet pans, I never looked back. Use them for everything from cookies and roasted veggies to this recipe for chicken thighs.
- Instant Read Thermometer – The best way to ensure you are cooking your oven baked bone-in chicken thighs perfectly. I love this one because it gives a reading very quickly (no overcooking!) and is super accurate.
Crispy Baked Bone-In Chicken Thighs
Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Thighs (Easy!)
Learn how to make crispy baked chicken thighs in the oven, perfectly every time! This easy oven baked chicken thighs recipe is juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside, with simple ingredients.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a small bowl, mash the butter with a fork.
Add the garlic, fresh herbs, and salt. Mash again.
Place the chicken thighs on the baking sheet, skin side up. Run your hands under the chicken skin to separate it from the chicken underneath. Place dollops of compound butter all over underneath the skin and then press down over the skin to spread around underneath.
Drizzle olive oil onto the chicken on both sides. Sprinkle both sides with sea salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Roast the chicken thighs in the oven, skin side down, for 10 minutes.
Flip the chicken thighs, so that the skin side is up. Roast for another 15 minutes or so, until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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Serving size: 1 chicken thigh
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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