Welcome to thigh heaven. An ultra simple recipe for crispy moist chicken thighs. Just a quick pat dry, some spices and bake in a high oven will get you great crispy chicken thighs.
My oven baked chicken drumstick recipe is usually the top recipe on this site. Great crispy drummies but I keep getting asked about thigh. The people want thighs. They demand thighs. So thighs they will have by popular demand I present my recipe for oven baking chicken thighs.
The chicken thigh’s dark meat is moist and flavorful. Why? Mostly the fat keeps it that way but how much fat is there. Since we are dealing with a natural product, there is some variability but think of a thigh having about triple the fat or a little more of chicken breasts. Here are the numbers from the National Chicken Councel.
I’m at a four because I’m not usually a thigh person due to fat, but a lot of the fat drained during cooking on the rack.
I think you can affect the fat content here. Trim off any trimmable fat. Get them up on a rack to let the rendered fat drain.
I was a bit surprise that the thighs took a few minutes less than drumsticks. BUT COOK TO THE TEMPERATURE not by time along. Please check my post about washing chicken at Chicken… To Rinse or Not To Rinse?
What Temperature to Cook Chicken Thighs?
Chicken thighs and drumsticks should be cooked at 425 degrees by convection. If no convection cook still at 425 but it will take a few more minutes. Cooking time will be about 30 minutes to a final internal temperature of 180-185 which is best for thighs.
Safe temperature for chicken is 165 but thighs will be more tender at 180 plus.
Smoking ovens have been an issue for some due to high temp cooking. I haven’t had the problem, BUT it is probably related to multiple factors. First, if there is trimmable fat, trim it. Use a pan with some side on it to keep any splatter contained. If your oven has convection roast and convection bake, use the bake mode. And lastly, you could turn down the oven by 25-50 degrees. This will increase the cooking time some and may prone to drying out some. Remember to cook to an end point, not by time. Of course, the oven should be clean, so the smoke isn’t coming from a previous splatter.
UPDATE: Maeleen has commented below. Some water in the pan under the rack will prevent the smoking issue. The comment is in the middle, so search the page for Maeleen to read the full comment, please.
Preheat oven to 425 convection. Pat dry the chicken thighs.
Trim any loose skin with no meat off the thighs.
Prep a baking sheet. Line with aluminum foil, add a rack and give a heavy spray of PAM.
Place thighs skin down and sprinkle lightly with the spices of your choice. I went with 7:2:1 or 7:2:2. ( If you don’t have that then just a little salt and pepper to taste.) A pinch of cayenne would be good also. Flip and tuck in any thin parts underneath and sprinkle skin side.
With skin side up, bake until internal temp of 180 to 185. About 30 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes or more before serving.
May 5, 2017