Chicken thighs are a gift to those who’ve endured dry chicken breasts for years. These dark meat cuts are naturally moist and flavorful. The magic of baking them in the oven produces a crispy skin and delicious pan juices in just half an hour.
- 1 medium lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds total)
- Chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional, for garnish)
- 9×13-inch baking dish
- Measuring spoons
- Instant-read thermometer
- Preheat the Oven: Adjust the oven rack to the center and preheat to 425ºF.
- Prepare the Wet Rub: Grate the zest of the lemon into the baking dish. Add the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Mix until combined.
- Coat Chicken in Rub: Dry the chicken thighs using paper towels. Toss them in the baking dish to coat them with the rub. Make sure they’re placed skin-side up and spaced out evenly.
- Lemon Juice Addition: Halve the lemon you just zested. Squeeze half over the chicken, saving the other half for later.
- Bake: Roast the chicken thighs until they’re browned and cooked thoroughly. They should read at least 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. This should take between 25 to 35 minutes. After taking them out of the oven, squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon half over them. Add parsley for garnish if you like.
With the savory pan juices produced, consider serving the chicken with
- Rice, couscous, or orzo
- Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes
- Crusty bread
- Creamy polenta
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll remain good for up to 4 days.
This recipe is also versatile. It works well with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, though cooking time should be reduced to 15-20 minutes.
Enjoy your meal!