Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs

Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs
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Juicier and more flavorful than their light meat counterparts, simple baked crispy chicken thighs are the unsung hero of meals both opulent and simple.

Baked Chicken Thighs—Sounds Boring, Actually Isn’t.

When you bake skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs in the oven, the skin crisps up beautifully, holding in all of the flavorful juiciness of that rich, tender dark meat. It’s pure, roasted chicken thigh magic and requires almost no skill. In fact, cooking crispy chicken thighs in the oven is a much easier skill to perfect cooking than chicken breasts, because thighs—especially if they’re skin-on—have more fat and therefore are less inclined to dry out.  

Perfectly Crispy Chicken Thighs Thanks To...

Egg whites! A simple egg wash applied right before baking is the secret to making sure that these oven roasted bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs have perfectly browned, crispy skin. Whip your egg whites until they’re super frothy, and then brush them onto your seasoned chicken thighs with a pastry brush. Crispy chicken thighs, guaranteed.

Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs

Five Ingredients, Endless Possibilities.

We season our crispy chicken thighs with salt, pepper and a little paprika for color and a hint of sweet-smokey flavor. This recipe is all about versatility and is designed to be used as a master recipe—bake a big sheet pan of chicken thighs and store them in the fridge for use throughout the week. You can serve them as-is with a big salad and some good bread, or these oven-baked crispy chicken thighs are delicious in:

How To Bake Chicken Thighs:

Roasting chicken thighs in the oven until they’re tender, juicy and crispy is a skill that’s easy to master. Crank your oven up to 450°F (and then down to 425°F) and get cooking! It’s as easy as:

  1. Season your bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with salt, pepper and paprika.
  2. Lay them on a sheet pan, skin-side up, and brush them with beaten egg whites.
  3. Turn the oven down to 425°F and bake!
  4. After thirty minutes, check for doneness. How long to bake chicken thighs can vary a bit, since every chicken thigh is a little bit different in size and thickness. When the chicken juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 170°F, your chicken thighs are cooked.
Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs

But Wait. Are Chicken Thighs Bad for You?

The idea that chicken thighs are an unhealthy choice is one that just won’t seem to go away. While it’s true that skin-on chicken thighs have more saturated fat and calories than chicken breast, they also have way more flavor. Also, because we’re using skin-on chicken thighs, we don’t need to add any other fat to the chicken, as you might if you were cooking a skinless chicken breast—the skin releases flavorful fat as it cooks, keeping the thigh meat lovely and juicy. Chicken thighs are a great source of protein, and they are high in iron, too. As part of a balanced meal, chicken thighs are a perfectly healthy choice. 

Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs

Tools You’ll Need:

Our Favorite Roasted Chicken Recipes:

Let your oven do the heavy lifting.

Are You A Chicken Thigh Convert Yet?

Snap a photo of your sheet pan of golden brown, perfectly crispy chicken thighs and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed them to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs

Serves 6

Ingredients

2.5 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 egg white, beaten until frothy

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Toss bone-in skin-on chicken thighs with 2.5 teaspoons of salt, along with the pepper and paprika.
  3. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining with foil and setting a cooling rack on top. Arrange the chicken thighs skin side up on the cooling rack and brush with the whipped egg whites.
  4. Reduce temp to 425°F. Bake for 30 minutes, until chicken thigh temp reaches 170°F with an instant read thermometer.

Note: The egg white is essential to achieving extra crispy skin!