Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs Recipe

Something new or rather an old classic? Check out this Chicken thighs recipe that every time can be a different kind of fantastic!

Oven-roasted-chicken-thighs-recipe-4-SunCakeMomCooking food that has a solid structure — like any type of meat or vegetables — no matter the temperature of the oven, is called roasting. With that, out of the way, let’s dive into how to prepare chicken thighs, using the dry heat of the oven.

Chicken thighs are considered dark meat as opposed to the breast and wings that are considered white. The darkness of the meat is the result of oxygen and iron build up in the muscles that is needed to convert fat into energy to cover the muscles prolonged energy needs.

In contrast, the white meat, such as breasts and wings, that use carbohydrates for energy burst, have no such buildup of a special fat converting protein called myoglobin.

The difference between the chicken parts doesn’t just stop at their color but it translates to their nutritional values and preparation methods too.

While we can prepare chicken thighs and breasts with the same techniques, due to structural differences, thighs will require higher temperature and more time to achieve perfection.

Apparently, anyone, who roasts chicken whole, does it all wrong, considering that the chicken breast and chicken wings need only 145°F – 150°F / 62°C – 65°C internal temperature while the thighs need to be pushed between 175°F – 180°F / 79°C – 82°C.

So, it turns out that spit roast chicken that can be enchanting to watch rolling around oozing fat off its back – although mesmerizing – it is not the best method of preparing chicken. Or at least it explains why the breast dries out once the thigh and drumsticks are done.

It also explains why people develop preference to one particular part of the chicken over the other easily. Except, of course, if we aren’t into juicy pieces of meat but more into the overcooked, dried out strings of flesh, that we can achieve simply by roasting the whole thing long enough.

Given the above facts, the best way to prepare chicken is definitely not the one that is visually most pleasing, yet not at all discouraging either. All we have to do is to take them apart – which if we buy our chicken in shops, has already been done by our favorite butcher – then let the heat work wonders with the pieces individually.

It’s worth to mention that chicken can be kept in the freezer for 12 months uncooked and about 4 months when cooked. Chicken should never be consumed raw or at least not on US soil where abattoir practices make it especially risky. If we are in Japan where people regularly eat raw things, including chicken as part of a dish, we can probably get away with it and live to talk about it.

According to USDA, raw chicken can be kept in the fridge for 1 -2 days without problem. If the chicken was frozen before, then we can apply the two days from the day, it was fully thawed. In case if we wonder how to know if the chicken is gone when we can’t remember the day it was put in the fridge, we’ll know by its sticky, sometimes discolored skin, and pungent smell.

Of course, if we are marinating the chicken, we may have hard time recognizing if its gone so if our life is so hectic that we can’t remember when we marinated the chicken, simply label it.

Chicken thighs, as any other part of the chicken, can be prepared in many ways, but the most effortless one is probably to roast it in the oven. If we like flavors reaching to the bones, marinating or brining the chicken thighs beforehand is a must and almost as easy as simply tossing the chicken in the oven with some salt.

Roasting times can differ, depending on the juiciness we prefer but in a 390°F / 200°C preheated oven, chicken thighs can reach the necessary internal temperature in about 30 – 45 minutes. Of course, if we like drier bites, we can let the pieces sizzle in the hot oven for 120 – 180 minutes too, but then, don’t forget the baste them every now and again.

Chicken thighs can be prepared in a myriad of ways with endless options to spices and herbs to choose from that will put a smile on our faces any time the oven finally finishes its job.Oven-roasted-chicken-thighs-recipe-3-SunCakeMom

Ingredients

  • 9 lb / 4kg Chicken thigh
  • 4 teaspoons / 20g Table salt
  • 4 teaspoons / 8g Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon / 3g Black pepper (whole)
  • 1 teaspoon / 3.5g Mustard seed (whole) substitute with 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons / 30ml Cooking oil (to help with spices distribution)
  • 2 teaspoons / 7g Garlic (dried)
  • 2 teaspoons / 4g Onion (dried)
  • Optional

How to make Oven roasted chicken thighs:

  1. Grind black pepper, mustard seed and allspice. Mix all the ingredients together until the chicken thigh is uniformly covered with the spices and herbs mixture. Using two same sized baking trays turned on top of each other or a big enough dish with a lid then shake until everything is covered, can be a quite effective method. Once the chicken thighs are covered evenly, it’s ready to be put in the oven but for better results, let them marinade do its thing. 1 – 24 hours in the fridge can do wonders, the more the better.Oven-roasted-chicken-thighs-recipe-Process-4-SunCakeMom
  2. If it is not done earlier, turn the chicken thighs upside down. Place them on the middle rack of a 390°F / 200°C preheated oven until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 175°F – 180°F / 79°C – 82°C which should happen in 30 – 45 minutes. We can, of course, keep them in longer if we are after a less chewy, juicy but softer texture.Oven-roasted-chicken-thighs-recipe-Process-3-SunCakeMom
  3. Take the tray out and flip the chicken thighs over then put them back to one of the upper shelf of the oven.Oven-roasted-chicken-thighs-recipe-Process-1-SunCakeMom
  4. Set the temperature to maximum, using only the top heat source of the oven, many ovens are equipped with a  broiler so use that. Roast the chicken thighs to crispy perfection. Keep a close eye on them as this can happen in 1 – 15 minutes, depending on the closeness of the thighs to the heat source and the exact temperature. If some protruding parts seem to catch way more heat than its good for them, just lower the heat or the tray so the skin roasts evenly.Oven-roasted-chicken-thighs-recipe-Process-2-SunCakeMom

Enjoy!Oven-roasted-chicken-thighs-recipe-2-SunCakeMom

F.A.Q

What is the best way to cook chicken thighs?

There is no best way, only matter of preference. Roasting in the oven is a hassle free easy way to prepare chicken thigh, although far from being the only or most desirable way of preparing it. It can be deep fried just like in KFC, stewed like in Chicken Fricassee Recipe or seared as Chicken Souvlaki for Chicken Gyros Recipe.

Is chicken thigh better than breast?

Nutritionally, the same amount of chicken breast has more protein (+7g), less fat(-4.4g) and hence less calories(-12cal) than chicken thigh so in the health point of view chicken breast are superior, although not substantially. When it comes to flavors and texture few would argue against them though.

Are chicken thighs considered healthy?

Chicken thigh is considered dark or red meat which is considered inferior to white meat such as fish and chicken breast. It contains important nutritions and can form as a part of a healthy diet but as all meat, it should be consumed in moderation.

Is it better to bake chicken thighs at 350 or 400?

Cooking food that has a solid structure — like any type of meat or vegetables — no matter the temperature of the oven it’s called roasting. Temperature always depends on the thickness of the food we are preparing and it must be in perfect balance so the inside of the food gets cooked while the outside don’t burn. At 350°F chicken thighs need more time to cook through which causes it to dry out while over 400°F  we may run the risk of burning the skin but leaving the inside under cooked.

How long should chicken thighs be cooked?

Until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 175°F – 180°F / 79°C – 82°C which should happen in 30 – 45 minutes in a 390°F / 200°C preheated oven.

Is it better to cook chicken thighs with or without skin?

That shouldn’t even be a question. It’s a chicken thigh, of course it must be prepared with the skin. Except, of course, if we are some kind of health nuts that tries to get rid of the last couple of pounds belly fat to show off our six pack, but even then…

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Star Me Up!

Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs Recipe

Something new or rather an old classic? Check out this Chicken thighs recipe that every time can be a different kind of fantastic!
Course Low Carb Meal, Main Course, Meal
Cuisine Dairy free, Gluten free, Keto, Low carb recipe, Mediterranean, Sugar free recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 40
Calories 193kcal
Author SunCakeMom

Ingredients

  • 9 lb Chicken thigh
  • 4 teaspoons Table salt
  • 4 teaspoons Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Black pepper whole
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seed whole substitute with 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Cooking oil to help with spices distribution
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic dried
  • 2 teaspoons Onion dried
  • Optional
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice whole
  • 1 teaspoon Provencal herbs mixture Check out: Chicken Provençal Recipe

Instructions

  • Grind black pepper, mustard seed and allspice. Mix all the ingredients together until the chicken thigh is uniformly covered with the spices and herbs mixture. Using two same sized baking trays turned on top of each other or a big enough dish with a lid then shake until everything is covered, can be a quite effective method. Once the chicken thighs are covered evenly, it's ready to be put in the oven but for better results, let them marinade do its thing. 1 - 24 hours in the fridge can do wonders, the more the better.
    Oven-roasted-chicken-thighs-recipe-Process-4-SunCakeMom
  • If it is not done earlier, turn the chicken thighs upside down. Place them on the middle rack of a 390°F / 200°C preheated oven until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 175°F – 180°F / 79°C – 82°C which should happen in 30 - 45 minutes. We can, of course, keep them in longer if we are after a less chewy, juicy but softer texture.
    Oven-roasted-chicken-thighs-recipe-Process-3-SunCakeMom
  • Take the tray out and flip the chicken thighs over then put them back to one of the upper shelf of the oven.
    Oven-roasted-chicken-thighs-recipe-Process-1-SunCakeMom
  • Set the temperature to maximum, using only the top heat source of the oven, many ovens are equipped with a  broiler so use that. Roast the chicken thighs to crispy perfection. Keep a close eye on them as this can happen in 1 - 15 minutes, depending on the closeness of the thighs to the heat source and the exact temperature. If some protruding parts seem to catch way more heat than its good for them, just lower the heat or the tray so the skin roasts evenly.
    Oven-roasted-chicken-thighs-recipe-Process-2-SunCakeMom

Notes

Enjoy!

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 193kcal (10%) | Carbohydrates: 0.5g | Protein: 14g (28%) | Fat: 15g (23%) | Saturated Fat: 4g (25%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 85mg (28%) | Sodium: 67mg (3%) | Potassium: 181mg (5%) | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin A: 84IU (2%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 8mg (1%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

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