Best Crispy Chicken Thighs (+ More Chicken Thigh Recipes)

best-crispy-chicken-thighs-(+-more-chicken-thigh-recipes)

In this post, we are chatting all things chicken thigh recipes. We’ll share how to make chicken thighs in a variety of different methods, teach you how to make our signature baked crispy chicken thighs, plus we’re rounding up all of the best chicken thigh recipes on Fit Foodie Finds.

Cutting through a chicken thigh on a plate.

Let’s Hear it for Chicken Thighs!

We’re big chicken thigh fans over here on Fit Foodie Finds. Not only is this cut of chicken super flavorful, it’s also super versatile and can be prepared in so many delicious ways.

Chicken Thighs vs. Chicken Breasts

Both chicken thighs and breasts are great sources of lean protein, but they differ in both the type of meat and the location in which it comes from in the chicken itself.

Chicken thighs come from the thigh of the chicken, and are a darker meat. Because of this, it is a fattier cut of meat, but still packs great protein. For a 3.5 oz. chicken thigh: 209 calories.

Chicken breasts come from the breast of the chicken and are a white meat. Because white meat is leaner than dark meat, you’ll find that chicken breasts have less fat and calories than the same size chicken thigh. For a 3.5 oz. chicken breast: 165 calories.

How to Cook Chicken Thighs

There are many ways to cook chicken thighs! And the great news? We have recipes for each method of cooking here on Fit Foodie Finds!

chicken thigh size matters!

Chicken thighs can vary greatly in size and thickness. The goal is to get the internal temperature of the chicken to be 165ºF. So, if you have larger thighs, you may need to cook a bit longer to reach a safe temperature.

Removing moisture from the chicken thighs with a paper towel.

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs Ingredients

These crispy baked chicken thighs come together in a short list of easy ingredients:

Chicken Thighs: For this recipe, we’re using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Why? Skin-on chicken thighs will crisp nicely when cooked due to the higher fat skin that is still in tact.

Garlic Powder: Garlic powder gives these chicken thighs a delicious garlicky flavor that complements nicely with the honey.

Honey: We love a little sweetener with chicken! Honey not only provides great flavor, but also helps the chicken skin crisp up when baked.

Olive Oil: Oiling the chicken thighs nicely helps them stay juicy when baking.

Salt & Pepper: A classic seasoning! Salt and pepper complements the garlic powder in this recipe.

Raw chicken thighs with seasonings.

How to Make Crispy Chicken Thighs – Step by Step

Preheat & Season

Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a metal cooling rack on top of the aluminum foil. This will allow the chicken thighs to drain excess fat, and crisp to perfection.

Add the granulated garlic, salt, and pepper into a small bowl, and set aside. 

Trim Chicken Thighs

Next, prep chicken thighs by using kitchen shears to trim any excess skin. Next, draw out moisture from the chicken thighs by patting them with a paper towel. Having dry chicken will allow the thighs to fully absorb the dry rub ingredients.

Sprinkle the spices on the chicken thighs and use your hands to massage the spices into the chicken. Be sure the chicken thighs are covered with spices, and then let the chicken sit for 10-15 minutes in the dry rub. 

Drizzle & Bake

Place the chicken thighs on top of the metal rack. 

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and honey together and drizzle the mixture over the chicken thighs. 

Then place the chicken in the oven and bake the chicken thighs for 30-35 minutes or until they reach 160ºF. When you allow the chicken thighs to rest after baking, the internal temperature will continue to rise to a safe 160ºF.

Let Rest & Enjoy

Remove the chicken from the oven, and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides (we share some of our favorite serving suggestions below!), and ENJOY!

Chicken thighs on a baking sheet with seasonings.

Can I Make this Recipe with Chicken Breasts?

If you’re looking to use chicken breasts, we recommend making this Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken instead as this recipe is timed and seasoned specifically for chicken thighs.

Serving Suggestions

Make your crispy chicken thighs a complete meal by serving it with a grain and your favorite veggie. Here are some ideas:

Fried Rice: Whip up our Instant Pot Fried Rice for a veggie-packed side.

Coconut Rice: Coconut rice is sweet and sticky and would be a perfect grain for this chicken.

Quinoa: Keep things basic with Instant Pot Quinoa so that you get all the flavors from the honey garlic chicken!

Veggies: Serve these crispy chicken thighs next to your favorite steamed or sautéed veggies such as broccoli, green beans, peppers, onions, etc.

Pouring oil on top of chicken thighs.

Storage

Let the chicken thighs cool completely. Then, store crispy chicken thighs in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.

Freezer Instructions

After Cooked: Let crispy chicken thighs cool completely. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe gallon-size bag and remove as much air as possible. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months.

Before Cooked: Place all raw ingredients into a freezer-safe gallon-size bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.

When you are ready for cooking, allow the frozen chicken thighs to thaw fully before baking.

Baked chicken thighs on a plate.

Chicken thighs on a plate.

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs (+Best Chicken Thigh Recipes)

This baked chicken thigh recipe has the crispiest skin and the juiciest inside. You can’t go wrong with this recipe any day of the week. 

Prep: 20 minutesCook: 35 minutesTotal: 55 minutes

Fat 37 Carbs 5 Protein 30

Yield 1/6 1x

Ingredients

  • 1.5lb. – 2 lbs. bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs (~4 large chicken thighs)
  • 1.5 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a metal cooling rack on top of the aluminum foil.  
  2. Add the granulated garlic, salt, and pepper into a small bowl. Set aside. 
  3. Next, prep chicken thighs by using kitchen shears to trim any excess skin. Next, draw out moisture from the chicken thighs by patting them with a paper towel. 
  4. Sprinkle the spices on the chicken thighs and use your hands to massage the spices into the chicken. Be sure the chicken thighs are covered with spices. Let the chicken sit for 10-15 minutes in the dry rub. 
  5. Place the chicken thighs on top of the metal rack. 
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and honey together and drizzle the mixture over the chicken thighs. 
  7. Place the chicken in the oven and bake the chicken thighs for 30-35 minutes or until they reach 160ºF. 
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/4 Calories: 455 Sugar: 4 Fat: 37 Carbohydrates: 5 Fiber: 0 Protein: 30

Author: Linley RichterCategory: DinnerMethod: OvenCuisine: American

Best Recipes with Chicken Thighs

We really do have some of the BEST chicken thigh recipes on the internet. Everything from sous vide chicken thighs, to Instant Pot chicken thighs to one pot meals with chicken thighs. Check out some of our faves:

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs with Sticky Honey Garlic Sauce

Ready for the most delicious Instant Pot Chicken Thighs recipe on the internet? Say hello to these sticky, sweet Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs.

Chicken thighs in a bowl with sesame seeds on top.

Best Grilled Chicken Thighs

These are the best grilled chicken thighs because the skin gets nice and crispy on the outside while the inside is tender and juicy.

Chicken thighs on plate

Skillet Chicken and Potatoes

This Skillet Chicken and Potatoes is the perfect easy weeknight meal! With savory fall veggies and deliciously seasoned chicken thighs, this recipe will quickly become a staple in your kitchen!

skillet chicken and potatoes in a cast iron skillet

Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies

This sheet pan chicken and veggie dinner is an easy dinner that anyone can make. You throw sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and chicken thighs on a baking sheet, season them all and bake them to perfection!

Chicken, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet.

Roasted Balsamic Chicken Pasta

This roasted balsamic chicken pasta is flavorful, packed with veggies, and ready in under an hour! Make it this perfect weeknight dinner for the family!

Balsamic roasted chicken pasta on a plate

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