Oven-Roasted Chicken Thighs

What makes this recipe for oven-roasted chicken thighs so ingenious is the technique. The thighs are roasted skin-side down until cooked through then flipped and broiled. The result? Juicy, flavorful chicken with marvelously crisp skin. And it takes only 45 minutes.

Sheet pan of oven-roasted chicken thighs, topped with salt and pepper

Oven roasted chicken thighs. They’re marvelously satisfying and ridiculously easy to toss in the oven even on the craziest of weeknights. As the venerable folks at Cook’s Illustrated explain, “They’re more flavorful than lean breasts, meatier than drumsticks, and, thanks to their uniform size and thickness, less prone to overcooking than either of the above, which eliminates any need for brining or salting.” And let’s not forget the mind-boggingly, knee-wobblingly shatteringly crisp skin. Enough said.–Renee Schettler Rossi

What To Serve With These Chicken Thighs

We’d like to take things a little further than that in terms of chicken bling. We’re thinking a dribble of barbecue sauce—whether North Carolina ‘cue or Texas-style or spicy bourbon. Maybe some chimichurri. What about coating the thighs with a spice rub instead of just salt and pepper? Or spooning some pico de gallo on top and passing some homemade tortillas on the side? Some Sriracha, perhaps? The options are, quite literally, almost endless. What you decide to do is your business…unless you care to let us know in a comment below.

Oven-Roasted Chicken Thighs

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 2 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Cook's Illustrated Meat Book cookbook

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  • Eight (6- to 8-ounce) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Mild olive oil


  • 1. Adjust the oven racks to the middle and lowest positions and heat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Place a rimmed baking sheet on the lower oven rack.
  • 2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. For best results, trim all visible fat from the thighs. Using the tip of a paring knife or a metal skewer, poke the skin side of the chicken thighs 10 to 12 times. Lightly rub the chicken thighs on all sides with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • 3. Place the chicken thighs, skin side down, on the preheated baking sheet. Return the sheet to the lower rack. Roast the chicken thighs until the skin begins to brown and the meat registers 160°F (71°C), 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheet once halfway through cooking. Remove the chicken from the oven and heat the broiler. Carefully pour the rendered chicken fat from the baking sheet into a small dish. Let it cool and then cover and refrigerate it for another use or toss it in the trash.
  • 4. While the broiler heats, flip the chicken skin side up. Broil the chicken on the upper rack until the skin is crisp and well browned and the meat registers 175°F (79°C), 3 to 5 minutes, rotating the sheet as needed for even browning. Transfer the chicken to a platter or individual plates and let rest for 5 minutes before tucking into the moistest, crispest chicken thighs ever.

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