These Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Thighs are seriously the best chicken thighs that I have ever baked! It’s all thanks to a secret ingredient, can you guess what it is?
The Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Thighs Secret Ingredient
It’s my new recipe for The Best Homemade Shake & Bake Mix! These oven baked chicken thighs were utterly devoured by the entire family and they are seriously the crispiest oven baked chicken thighs you will ever eat – unless you are making the actual Shake and Bake from the package. Which I don’t suggest you do because there is nothing but pure spices and ingredients in my homemade version.
Why Do I Want to use Chicken Thighs?
- Chicken thighs are the best cut of chicken to use when you are baking chicken in the oven. Chicken thighs can handle a little bit of overcooking, indeed, you have to cook them to around the 185 °F mark in order to have the best meat texture.
- Chicken thighs don’t dry out like chicken breasts do. Chicken breasts are my nemesis and can dry out at the drop of a hat. Chicken thighs are more forgiving, if you cook them to even 200 or more they are still great!
- Chicken thighs are cheaper, at least where I live! I can get a pack of 6-8 chicken thighs on sale for the prices of TWO chicken breasts, I kid you not! When chicken thighs go on sale I load up and freeze them in packages of 8. Yes 8 because when I make these crispy oven baked chicken thighs for my family of four we all eat TWO chicken thighs! They are that good!
De-boning & Fileting Chicken Thighs Video
This is a great video showing you how to de-bone and filet a chicken thigh if you are wanting to have chicken tenders more than chicken on the bone. This video also shows you how to do it AND keep this skin on, meaning that you get tender morsels of baked chicken thighs that are crispy on the outside from that skin!
But most recipes say that you bake chicken thighs to 165°f?
Yes, a lot of recipes tell you to bake chicken thighs to 165 °F and that’s just for safety sake. The USDA Meat Cooking Recommended Temperatures will definitely tell you that chicken should be cooked to that temperature. However that doesn’t mean that baked chicken thighs actually are the best texture or finished product at 165°F. Did you know that in order to get the best oven baked chicken thighs that you are looking to hit 185 °F? This is a little known fact that I’ve learned from many of my chef friends who would never, ever cook it less than that. Chicken thigh meat needs to be cooked to a higher finishing temperature to break down the dark meat fibers and the fat. That fat is why chicken thighs are so delicious, but also why you need to cook them to a higher temperature. This is how you are going to get the best tender, crispy oven baked chicken thighs that will blow your mind!
Just take a look at that baked chicken thigh in the photo below and how fall-apart tender the meat is!
How to Get the Most Tender, Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Thighs Tips & Tricks
- Make sure to use the canola oil in my Homemade Shake and Bake. I know that a lot of people will leave it out to make the mixture less calories and that’s fine but realize that you will lost the crispy texture. It’s the oil that makes them so crispy. It’s all natural, whole ingredients so enjoy it!
- Use a cold pressed canola oil – that way there are no chemicals in it. Quality canola oil is actually good for you!
- Bake the chicken thighs to at least 185 °F. Trust me. Try it once and you’ll realize that you’ve been under baking chicken thighs your entire life. I did and let me tell you that I wish I had known this earlier! You are going to love how oven baked chicken thighs turn out when they are cooked properly! Life changing! They are also so forgiving that if you overcook them to 200 or so it doesn’t even matter.
- You have to bake the chicken thighs at 400°F, just like the store bought shake and bake tells you to. That’s because you need to get that fat moving and dissolving and crisping up that chicken thigh skin! You don’t want low and slow for baking chicken thighs, you want fast and serious heat!
- Use bone-in chicken thighs. Not only are they cheaper ( you have to pay for someone’s time to remove those bones remember!) the bone adds flavour to the end result. Don’t believe me? Bon Appetit said bone-in chicken thighs are better!
If you are looking for more great chicken recipes try the ones listed below, there are flavours for everyone!
- The Best Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Legs
- Smashed Tomato Chicken
- Man Catching Oven Baked Fried Chicken
- The Best Crispy Oven Fried Chicken Recipe Ever.
- Baked Sesame Chicken
Happy cooking everyone!
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Tender, Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
- Prep Time
- 5 minutes
- Cook Time
- 30 minutes
- Total Time
- 35 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 8 chicken thighs
Homemade Shake and Bake
- 4 cups Panko Breadcrumbs, crushed very finely
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons canola oil cold pressed
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 °F. Get out a large rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
- Combine all of the Shake and Bake ingredients completely. Take out 1/2 of the mixture and place in a large sealing plastic bag.
- Make sure that the chicken thighs are wet with water and then place into the bag 2 at a time. Shake until the chicken thighs are coated thoroughly. Place on the ungreased baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken thighs are done
- Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the chicken thighs reach 185 °F. Remove and serve hot.
- Store the remaining Shake and bake in a closed container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!
John Swadden says
I loved this recipe so much I subscribed to your channel.
I am in my 72nd year of this good old life and have been cooking for 60 of them. One of my favorite pass times is to surf the net’s recipe world. Half the time to come up with ideas for tonight’s supper the other half to learn from the best cooks.
Voila..I came across your site for crispy oven baked chicken thighs. I really enjoy the three “D’s” style of your teaching… Directing, Discussing and Delegating. It makes your approach warm and personal.
Now, about the chicken thighs. Until last nights meal, they were my least favorite piece of chicken. Mostly because of a valuable point you make in your instructions..That well cooked thighs need to be 185F. when the rest of the bird is done at 165F. Which always meant that the thighs stayed in my frying pan after my meal was served. So my thighs were always delegated to chicken salad sandwiches or the like.
I think you mentioned the words “Life Changing” if one followed your recipe verbatim. Well, in my case, your recipe has moved chicken thighs from my least liked to my go to chicken baked meal.
So… readers..please follow Karlynn’s recipe to the Tee and surprise yourself what an absolute delicious piece of meat you can create.
Karlynn Johnston says
Your comment made my day, thank you! Happy cooking!!
This is my husband and 6 year old’s favorite recipe ever! They request it as much as they think they can get away with. Little do they know, it’s soooo easy and absolutely delicious!!
Apparently, I like this recipe so much I’ve reviewed it twice! 🤣
Absolutely perfect! My husband and 6 year old ask for this all the time!
April Pigueiras says
I made these chicken thighs for dinner last night and I have to tell you how delicious they were. My only problem was my husband wanted more!!
Meredith Vrobel says
Good taste didn’t add the optional salt but think at least half would be better. Also needed to bake the thighs longer than 30 minutes more like 40 – 45 minutes. Turned for last 15 minutes. They did stick a bit maybe spray pan with cooking spray. Thanks Karlynn!
This was so good! I am a fellow Prairie girl (Saskatchewan) and we need all the comfort food we can get right now! Brrrr…… Thank you!
Karlynn Johnston says
Glad that you liked them!!!