Looking for super-easy chicken dinner which will be loved by all in the family? This oven fried chicken thighs is practically a zero-effort recipe with just 5 ingredients and a sure-shot winner on dinner table!
I am loving super easy one-pot recipes these days which are high on taste but ridiculously low in efforts! Such recipes make our lives somewhat relaxed especially under the given circumstances when the other avenues of relaxation are very limited!
Today’s recipe of oven fried chicken thighs is just the perfect example of such stress-free recipe! You need hardly few ingredients and all the work will be done by your trusty oven while you can chill on your couch!
I also have a bonus for you! I have shared 2 ways to enjoy these incredible chicken thighs! You can devour them just out of the oven with the epic spice rub made of cayenne pepper and sweet paprika; or you can toss them in buffalo sauce and take it a notch higher in flavor & taste!
You may be thinking why this is called oven fried chicken thighs and not oven baked! The reason being that in this recipe the oven temperature is kept very high so that the chicken thighs get a fried-kinda texture with a super-crispy exterior.
This is not slow cooking which happens when you bake your chicken thighs at a lower temperature and the chicken becomes more succulent and juicy instead of crispy. You may check out my garlic butter baked chicken thighs recipe which is another crowd-pleaser!
In this oven fried chicken thighs recipe, you have to use skin-on & bone-in thigh pieces to achieve the epic crispiness on the outer skin while the meat inside still remains juicy as the skin protects the meat from getting dry under such high heat.
Another important step to make this oven fried chicken thighs recipe perfect every time is the use of grilling rack. You need a baking tray and a grilling rack on top of it. Then arrange the chicken thighs on the grilling rack in a single layer. Make sure there is at least an inch gap between any 2 pieces.
This arrangement is important so that the hot air circulates around each thigh piece and make it crispy all over. If you place the chicken thighs directly on a baking dish, the chicken pieces will touch the base of the dish leaving the bottom soft & soggy and not crispy at all.
Reason being that the chicken oozes out water while being cooked and that excess moisture gets trapped inside the baking dish making the bottom of the chicken soggy; whereas if you place them over a grilling rack, the excess moisture will drip down ensuring your oven fried chicken thighs turn out truly crispy!
As you would notice in the recipe instructions below, I have recommended using convection mode of your oven while baking these chicken thighs. Under convection mode, hot air circulates inside the oven uniformly which helps in achieving the crispiness of outer skin.
If you don’t have convection mode in your oven, you can still do this with slight adjustments. First bake the chicken thighs arranged over a grilling rack for 30 minutes at a very low temperature of 250 F /120 C placing the chicken at the lower-middle rack of the oven.
Then increase the temperature to 425 F and move the chicken thighs to upper middle rack and roast them for 50-60 minutes until golden brown & crisp. The initial baking at low temperature will draw out excess water and later hot blast of heat will make your chicken thighs crispy in absence of convection mode.
Use of baking powder is also an important point which I think we should discuss quickly. In many of my chicken wings recipes, you will find baking powder as an essential ingredient as it aids in crispiness of the skin when they are being baked in the oven.
As many bloggers & food scientists explained that baking powder helps break down the protein in the skin when skin-on chicken pieces are tossed in it and as a result of which adds crispiness, I had to try it on my own. And not surprisingly, they were absolutely correct!
Baking powder not only helps obtaining dry skin that crisps up beautifully in the oven, but also helps in browning! Hence you get the gorgeous brown skin which is so crispy that it looks and tastes like fried chicken! And that’s how you create these super-crispy oven fried chicken thighs!
I adapted this recipe from this fabulous blog called cravingtasty.com which is run by food blogger Victor. His extra- crispy oven fried chicken thighs looked so tempting to me that I could not resist myself from trying my hands on it! Thank God I did!
The result was these extra-crispy chicken thighs which were truly incredible not only in taste but also in the ease of making it. This can easily be your weeknight go-to chicken dinner; the effort is minimal, the ingredients are minimal but the outcome is phenomenal!
You may replicate this recipe using chicken drumsticks; just use skin-on drumsticks as skin is important to achieve the crispiness which is the USP of this oven fried chicken recipe! Keep this recipe handy in your lockdown recipe collection and I am sure it will prove to be your savior in multiple occasions! Enjoy!
- Chicken thighs – 8, skin-on & bone-in
- Baking powder – ½ tbsp + ¼ tsp
- Cayenne pepper – ½ tsp
- Sweet paprika – 2 tsp
- Black pepper – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Buffalo sauce – 4 to 6 tbsp
- Preheat your oven to 220 C/430F and place the wire rack at center of the oven. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil, then place a grilling rack on top of the lined tray.
- Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs using paper towels really well. The drier you make the skin, the crispier they will be.
- Sprinkle cayenne pepper, paprika, baking powder, pepper & salt over the chicken thighs and gently rub them in with your hands on all side of the thighs ensuring uniform coverage including all the nooks & crannies.
- Arrange the coated chicken thighs on the grilling rack, leaving a little space between the pieces. You may want to spray the cooling rack with some oil to minimize sticking.
- Insert the chicken thighs into the preheated oven and bake them at 220 C / 430 F using convection mode. This is very important. You must use convection mode to get that ultra-crispiness.
- Bake the chicken thighs for 45 – 50 minutes until internal temperature reaches 75°C/165°F or juices run clear when pierced in the middle using the edge of a knife.
- Take the chicken thighs out of the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes. This resting time will ensure that the skin on the thighs retains much of its crispiness after tossing them in Buffalo sauce.
- After 5 minutes of resting, toss the chicken thighs in Buffalo sauce. You may use any sauce you prefer and not only buffalo sauce. You can also go for a combination of hot sauce and BBQ sauce.
- Alternatively, you can skip the tossing and serve the crispy chicken thighs with a dipping sauce on the side; my favorite is ranch dipping sauce! Enjoy!