Baked Chicken Thighs

We eat a lot of chicken thighs in this house.  We prefer the flavor over chicken breast.  Often they end up braised or grilled to add a bit more flavor to them.  For this recipe I wanted something very quick to assemble and cook.

Baked Chicken Thighs
Servings: 10-12
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 110 minutes (including a 60 minute rest)


  • 16 chicken thighs (approx. ~7 lbs.)
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  1. Arrange the racks in the oven so that one is in the middle and the second is half way between the top and middle. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Trim the thighs of excess skin and fat. In a large bowl toss the thighs with the salt & pepper.
  3. Add the lemon zest, juice and olive oil to the bowl with the seasoned chicken. Toss with hands to coat well. Cover the bowl and allow it to rest, on the counter, for 1 hour.
  4. Place the thighs, skin side down on the baking sheets; 8 to a pan, . Place the chicken in the oven. Cook for 25 minutes; swapping pan locations half way through the cooking time.
  5. Turn the thighs skin side up and bake for another 10 minutes. Again, swap the pan locations half way through the cooking time.
  6. Check the temperature of the thighs with an instant-read thermometer. If the chicken has hit 160-165°F move on to the next step. If it is lower than 160°F then let the chicken bake for another few minutes and check again.
  7. Turn on the broiler and increase the oven to 450°F. Cook the first pan of chicken under the broiler for about 3 minutes, rotating the pan half way through for even browning. When the thighs are nice browned remove the first pan to a cooling rack and repeat the broiling with the second pan of chicken.
  8. Loosely cover the chicken with foil and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

There’s no need to use extra virgin olive oil here; the flavor will be lost in the heat of the oven.

The parchment serves 2 purposes; it keeps the chicken from sticking to the pan and it aids in clean-up. A silicon mat would work as well; you’ll just have to wash all the chicken fat off it (ick).


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