Best Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35-45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for a little kick)

Instructions:

  • Preheat and prep: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easier cleanup.
  • Pat chicken dry: Pat the chicken thighs very dry with paper towels. This is key for a crispy skin!
  • Make the seasoning mix: In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme (if using), and cayenne pepper (if using).
  • Season the chicken: Drizzle the chicken thighs with olive oil and use your hands to rub it all over the skin. Generously sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the seasoning mixture.
  • Bake: Arrange the chicken thighs skin-side up on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C). The skin should be crispy and golden brown.
  • Optional broil: For extra crispy skin, turn the broiler on high and broil for 2-3 minutes, watching closely to prevent burning.
  • Rest and serve: Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, making the chicken even more tender.

Tips for the best baked chicken thighs:

  • Bone-in, skin-on: These offer the best balance of flavor and moisture.
  • Get crispy skin: Dry skin, higher heat, and not overcrowding the pan are vital for crispy skin.
  • Use a thermometer: A meat thermometer is the most reliable way to ensure your chicken is cooked through.
  • Customization: Play around with the seasonings! Try herbs like rosemary, Italian seasoning blends, or your favorite spice mixes.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve with roasted vegetables like potatoes, carrots, or broccoli.
  • Make a simple pan sauce with the juices left in the pan.
  • Enjoy with a salad and crusty bread.

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