Craving crispy baked chicken thighs that are juicy and full of flavor? This easy recipe uses simple ingredients and seasoning to create perfectly crispy skin on your oven-fried chicken thighs!
Extra crispy baked chicken without deep frying is what we all want! Isn't it?
Usually, you have to deep fry chicken to get the skin to cook up to crispy perfection. This easy chicken recipe proves that it's possible to make the crispiest chicken ever in the oven!
This recipe is for all of you chicken thigh lovers out there. If you want to enjoy crispy skin, with totally tender and juicy meat inside, cooked right in your oven, you have come to the right place!
Chicken thighs are one of the cheapest cuts of chicken, but they're also one of the most flavorful parts of the chicken. That's a great combo!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- The skin cooks up super crispy and delicious - the kind we all love to eat.
- An easy chicken thighs recipe that's perfect for weeknight dinners.
- A family-friendly meal that kids and adults all love!
- A healthier option when you're craving fried chicken.
Grab the handful of ingredients to make these delicious crispy baked chicken thighs with baking powder and let's get cooking.
The main players are listed below, but you'll find the complete list of ingredients with quantities in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Chicken thighs: You want to use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. The skin is necessary for creating the crispy outside and the bone adds more flavor to the chicken as it cooks and keeps it from drying out.
- BAKING POWDER: I know it sounds strange but baking powder dries out the skin and helps your oven-roasted chicken to brown beautifully as it cooks. That's the secret to how you get extra crispy oven-fried chicken.
- Chicken seasoning: You can use any combination of chicken seasoning.
- Seasoned salt and garlic powder: For a little bit more flavor. You only need the seasoned salt if your chicken seasoning is salt-free or low-sodium.
INGREDIENT TIP: Remember, the secret to getting that deep-fried taste and crispiness comes from adjusting the oven temperature and using baking powder, NOT baking soda. Only baking powder will do!
How to Make Crispy Chicken Thighs in the Oven
This is an easy recipe that anyone can make. It only takes a few easy steps to make some of the best chicken you'll ever have.
I'm covering the highlights below. You'll find the complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs. Combine all the ingredients along with the thighs in a resealable bag. Shake and toss until well-coated.
- Place the thighs on a foiled-lined baking sheet with a wire rack.
- Bake for fifty minutes at 250 degrees on the lower-middle rack of the oven.
- Move the baking tray to the upper-middle rack and cook for another 45 to 55 minutes at 425 degrees until golden brown and crispy.
- Turn the baking sheet halfway through cooking.
Substitutions and Variations
- Chicken Breasts: This oven-baked chicken works with bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts as well though they will need to cook longer since they are larger.
- Spicy: For some heat, add cayenne or red pepper flakes for an extra kick of flavor and heat.
If you love recipes like this one, then you'll enjoy these air fryer fried chicken thighs.
- Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: Freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight, freezer-safe container.
- Reheat: The best method for reheating baked chicken thighs in the oven. Return the chicken to a baking dish and cook at 400 degrees F until the outside is crisp - about 7 to 10 minutes. You can also microwave the chicken on a plate lined with paper towels until it's heated through but the skin will not crisp up the same.
- Make Ahead: I don't recommend making this chicken ahead of time. It's the best fresh from the oven.
What to Serve with Crispy Chicken Thighs
Lots of different classic sides go perfectly with fried chicken thighs in the oven. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Potatoes: It's great with mashed potatoes, air fryer garlic potatoes, or cheesy potato casserole.
- Mac and cheese: Serve it up flavored with rosemary in this homemade macaroni and cheese recipe or try it spicy with this jalapeno ranch macaroni and cheese.
- Rice: Steamed white, brown, or wild rice pilaf works great too.
- Vegetables: Southern collard greens and fried tomatoes are a few of our favorites.
Need more serving ideas? Get some inspiration in this post on what to serve with fried chicken.
This amazing meal would be made perfect by adding a side dish. For many ideas, go to What to Serve With Chicken Marsala.
- Baking powder is the secret ingredient necessary for a crispy chicken cooked in the oven! There are NO substitutes.
- Cook the chicken at two different temperatures. First at a low temperature and then at a higher temperature for the best results.
- Be sure to line the baking pan with foil and use a wire rack for cooking the chicken thighs. The wire rack helps crisp up the chicken and the foil makes cleanup a breeze.
- Use any chicken seasoning blend you enjoy! You can make your own or simply use a store-bought option.
Many ovens have hot spots so changing the rack position changes the way the thighs interact with the heat so they cook more evenly. So they come out perfectly juicy while still getting super crispy.
Baking powder is alkaline, which raises the pH of the chicken skin's protein. This causes the proteins to break down more easily, creating browner, crispier skin.
They sure are! Although they have more fat than chicken thighs, they're still relatively lean and loaded with protein and iron.
More Creative Chicken Thigh Recipes
Do you like chicken thighs? Here are some recipes you may also like to try.
Crispy Baked Chicken Thigh Video
Ready to get cooking? Remember that you can print this recipe if you would like.
Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- Resealable bag or bowl
- Adjust your oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. You need to start baking your chicken on the bottom rack and finish it off on the upper rack.
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil and a rack coated in cooking spray. Set aside.
- If your chicken seasoning is low or no salt or sodium you must use 2 teaspoons of salt or seasoned salt in this recipe. I just don't want your skin to taste salty (if you enjoy eating a little crispy skin like I do on occasion). Some chicken seasonings are have a high salt content.
- In a small bowl or in a large resealable bag, combine BAKING POWDER, chicken seasoning, garlic powder, seasoned salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Wash and pat your chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Trim excess fat or skin if necessary.
- Place in the large resealable bag or bowl with powder mixture.
- Adjust and shake the chicken thighs around. Make sure all of them are lightly coated in the baking powder mixture. Shake each thigh to remove excess coating before placing on your prepared baking sheet.
- Place the chicken thighs on your prepared sheet. Bake for 50 minutes on the lower-middle rack.
- Remove your thighs from lower-middle and move to upper-middle rack. Close your oven door and turn the temperature up to 425 degrees. Your oven needs to preheat with the chicken thighs inside it.
- Bake for another 45 - 55 minutes and thighs are a nice golden brown color. Start watching your chicken thighs at about the 30 minute mark. Depending on the size of your chicken thighs you will need to check for the appearance of burnt spots. A few are ok but you don't want a lot of them.
- Try to turn your baking sheet quickly, halfway through baking if your oven has a hotspot. Remove thighs from oven and let stand for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy|!
This post was originally published March 2018. It has been updated for content and images.