Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Herbs is the best chicken thighs recipe that results in super crispy skin with succulent, shreddable dark meat chicken.
Cooking chicken thighs low and slow in the oven results in a layer of bubbled, crispy chicken skin on top of fall-apart tender meat that easily shreds with a fork.
Chicken thighs in oven
Yes, you can make pulled chicken with chicken thighs cooked in the oven!
Simply use a chicken thigh recipe, like this one, and cook chicken thighs at a temperature of 325 for an extended amount of time. And you will have baked chicken that easily falls off the bone and shreds with a fork, everytime!
- Chicken thighs – chicken thighs are dark meat chicken. Chicken thighs can be purchased bone in or boneless, and either skin on or skinless. This recipe calls for bone in, skin on chicken thighs. The most flavorful cut of chicken.
- Lemon – zested for seasoning and sliced, for serving.
- Garlic – fresh garlic cloves for the chicken seasoning.
- Herbs – fresh or dried thyme, basil, parsley, marjoram etc.
- Salt and pepper
Step by step instructions
- Using a mortar and pestle, or food processor, combine salt, pepper, lemon zest, garlic and herbs into a thick seasoning paste.
- Dry chicken well with paper towels. Place chicken skin side up on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Divide spice rub evenly between all chicken pieces and rub into the skin well. Baking chicken thighs at a low temperature means that the season will not char on the chicken skin. But seasoning can be added between the meat and skin instead by gently lifting the skin. Or you can season chicken with only salt and pepper instead.
- When ready to cook preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake chicken thighs for 1 ½ hours. Or until chicken skin is bubbly and crispy and the meat inside easily falls off the bone. With this easy oven baked chicken method you never have to wonder if your chicken is cooked. Or worry about the chicken being a little pink when cooked. Because the chicken thighs are cooked perfectly, everytime! This is truly a foolproof method.
- Serve baked chicken thighs immediately with an extra squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of fresh herbs. Or cool and refrigerate to use within 4 days for quick and easy lunches and dinners.
How to serve
The chicken thighs will render a good amount of delicious chicken fat, also called shmaltz, out on the pan. To make a simple sheet pan chicken meal simply add some cubed potatoes and carrots to the pan after the first 30 minutes and the potatoes will sop up the succulent shmaltz.
Or serve chicken thighs with rice, potatoes, or pasta like orzo with vegetables.
This chicken thigh recipe is also perfect to make as meal prep and use as a base for so many meals! Use the shredded chicken for tacos, enchiladas, soup, wraps, chicken salad sandwiches, pulled chicken sandwiches, cold green salads, grain salads, and more.
This roasted chicken recipe yields roughly 12 chicken thighs, enough for 4-6 servings.
The average serving size for chicken thighs is about 2 chicken thighs per person, or 6 ounces of cooked chicken meat. Light eaters and children will usually eat only 1 chicken thigh. And larger appetites will require 3 or more.
How to store
Store cooked chicken thighs refrigerated for up to 4 days. You can refrigerate on the bone or pull the chicken off the bone and store shredded.
- 5 pounds bone in skin on chicken thighs about 10-12 thighs
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 medium lemon zested and sliced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil or parsley
- Combine salt, pepper, lemon zest, garlic and herbs into a thick paste using a mortar and pestle or food processor.
- Place chicken skin side up on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Dry well with paper towels and season with paste, rubbing into each piece of chicken skin.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place chicken into preheated oven and bake for 90 minutes.
- Remove from oven and squeeze lemon juice over chicken.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days.