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Simple and flavorful chicken thighs with crispy skin
In this recipe, I will talk techniques to get the most flavor out of your chicken thighs. They don't need sauce, marinade, seasonings, or hard work. This is the way to get crispy chicken thighs oven method that is foolproof.
That's right, no frying.
This technique will give you a caramelized flavorful bottom crust and shatteringly crisp top skin. It takes the strong flavor out of the thigh making them more palatable if you don't think you like chicken thighs. They will result in an intense umami chicken flavor.
For decades I didn't even much like chicken thighs and now they are my favorite part of the chicken thanks to this method of roasting them. Now I make them every week as part of my meal prep! They are best right out of the oven but reheating and recrisping them in the air fryer brings them back to that just-baked crispness.
You may like this french onion chicken meatball recipe
Table of Contents
Equipment to make lacquered chicken thighs
The baking pan is a critical part of having success with this method. I have some options for you to get a good result. Because the thighs will release collage, that will caramelize acting like a glue making it hard to life the chicken from the pan during each turn. You will lose the glorious crunchy bottom and lacquered crisp skin on top if the pan isn't properly prepared.
- A good heavy nonstick baking sheet (should have a 1/2" rim as the thighs let off a lot of fat as they render down) Do not use a casserole or baking pan as they thighs won't get crispy
- Line a sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil like this one from Reynolds wrap. If you have a silicone baking mat that will work great too!
The lacquered chicken thigh method
Place one rack in the lower third of the oven and the other rack in the upper third. Preheat oven to 375F.
- Bone in skin on chicken thighs
- Salt and if desired, pepper, garlic powder and or onion powder
Have your prepared baking sheet ready. With your hands pull the skin flap that may be tucked or wrapped around the thigh so it is fully exposed when the thigh is turned right side up. Place all the thighs on the baking sheet allowing 2-3" between each. Do not crowd them.
Season with salt and other seasonings listed if desired. Salt alone will result in a perfectly delicious thigh. I like a pinch of onion powder on the bottom when I do the first turn (keep reading)
Put the pan(s) in the oven lower rack and bake for 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, turn them over with tongs. Take care turning in case the skin flap is sticking. At this point, there will be a fair amount of watery liquid that has been released. Sprinkle again with a bit of salt and if desired, garlic and or onion powder. Return to lower rack of the oven for 25 minutes.
After the time has passed take them out of the oven again and very carefully lift in a gentle peeling up so the skin doesn't stick to the bottom of the baking pan.
Finishing crispy chicken thighs oven method
Now return the pan to the oven with skin side facing yup on the upper rack for 15-20 minutes until fragrant. Let rest 5 full minutes (do not cover) before serving to allow skin to crisp as it cools a bit.