Crispy oven baked chicken thighs are way easier than you think to make! Ultra crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside.
I love crispy chicken but I hate the mess that frying on the stovetop makes! I also hate how much oil it takes up. This is why I am totally in love with this crispy oven baked chicken thighs. They are everything delicious about fried chicken thighs but so much easier, less messy, and all done in the oven!
If you are hesitant to cook with chicken thighs, give this recipe a shot before you sub in the classic boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
I find that boneless, skinless chicken thighs are not only thinner, easier to cook, and juicier, but they are almost always so much cheaper! I find these on sale for less than chicken breasts all. the. time. My freezer is stocked with chicken thighs!
Tips and Tricks for Crispy Chicken Thighs
- Make sure that you are opening up and flattening out the chicken thighs when breading them. They will already be sliced open from the bone being removed, just spread them out as much as they will go when breading.
- With each breading step, shake off any excess. This keeps the chicken thighs evenly coated.
- Make sure you use both the panko and traditional breadcrumbs. I tested different combinations of each and the half and half combination wins out for texture every single time.
- Don’t skip the butter! This is what crisps up the outside breading nicely and gives it the classic golden brown glow.
Serving these crispy baked chicken thighs with a squeeze of lemon juice is the perfect topping and all they need! I’ve tried them with gravy and honestly, it’s a little bit too much. They are definitely a light version of fried chicken and the lemon is perfect and not too heavy.
If you do need to substitute in chicken breasts, you will want to pound them out to be about 1 inch thick, or just slice them in half lengthwise and then flatten them evenly. This just makes sure they cook evenly, stay juicy, and are done cooking in a reasonable amount of time.
But trust me! You’ll want to try these crispy baked chicken thighs before substituting anything! They are perfect. And such a great alternative to fried chicken. So much easier!
Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- Preheat oven at 400ºF.
- In a shallow dish (like a pie plate), combine flour, season salt, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- In a separate shallow dish, combine eggs and water. Whisk well.
- In a separate shallow dish, combine panko and plain breadcrumbs.
- Pat chicken thighs dry. Dip each chicken thigh first in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture. Be sure the chicken thighs are spread out as flat as possible when doing this.
- Place coated chicken thighs on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with all remaining chicken thighs.
- Divide 2 tablespoons of the butter between all the chicken thighs, placing a small amount on top of each chicken thigh.
- Bake chicken thighs for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, flip each chicken thigh over, and divide remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over the chicken thighs.
- Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the chicken thighs register 165ºF.
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