Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs

Salty crispy chicken skin a dangerous treat. One bite and you’ll be hooked. I’m not talking about battered chicken like southern fried or chicken fingers. Just straight up skin; seasoned, salted, pan fried then baked to perfection. This “plain” chicken thigh recipe will be the star of your dinner. 

About the Ingredients

Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs – I would plan that everyone will likely eat two. It’s important to pat the chicken dry before you start cooking. Getting the excess moisture off is essential to getting the crispy skin. Moisture will create steam and leave you with mushy skin. The recipe also calls for pounding the meat to a specific thickness. I skip this step and they still cook perfectly.

Paprika – I use sweet paprika here but you could really use any seasoning you like. 

Canola Oil – A little bit goes a long way. Use only enough to coat the bottom of your pan. The thighs will produce plenty of their own fat once they start cooking. 

Recipe Tips

Use a pan with high walls if you can. This will hold in some of the splatter from the hot oil. The pan should also be oven safe so you can make a direct transfer to the oven. I use a cast iron dutch oven when I make these crispy chicken thighs.

Golden crispy chicken thighs frying in a pot of oil.

A big pan is much better than a pan that is too small. If the chicken pieces are touching each other, they won’t crisp at the contact points. Try to give the chicken as much room as possible. 

Don’t flip the chicken too soon (not even just to peak and check the color of the skin.) If the chicken isn’t cooked yet, the skin will stick to the pan and tear away from the meat. This is the most common mistake of cooking meat with the skin on. 

This baked crispy chicken can be served with just about any side dish. In the winter I serve it with roasted potatoes and a green vegetable and in the summer time I serve it with fresh cold salads.

How to Make Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs

First preheat your oven to 500 degrees. 

Pat the raw chicken dry with paper towels and then season with salt, pepper and paprika on all sides. Heat a dutch oven, or high-walled, oven safe pan, over high heat with a swirl of canola oil. 

Add the chicken to the hot pan skin side down and cook undisturbed for 8 minutes. Then move the pan to the hot oven and cook another 7 minutes. 

Remove the pan from the oven and flip the chicken so it is skin side up. Return to the oven for another 4-7 minutes or until cooked to 165?.

Golden crispy chicken thighs frying in a pot of oil.

The Recipe For Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs

This recipe was first published in the May 2015 issue of Cooking Light Magazine and is now available on the MyRecipes.com website at Superfast Crispy Chicken Thighs. If you test out this recipe be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you served with your chicken dinner. Enjoy!

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