Extra Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs
Recipe for oven-fried chicken thighs that taste just like pan-fried or even deep-fried, but without all the greasy mess and a boatload of extra calories and added cholesterol.
Servings 10 servings
- 10 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 lbs, trimmed)
- 1 Tbsp BAKING POWDER (do NOT use baking soda, it's NOT the same)
- 2 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 Tbsp Buffalo wing sauce (plus more to taste; see notes)
Preheat oven to 450F
Dry chicken thighs with paper towels really well. Try getting them as dry as possible. Sprinkle on salt, paprika, pepper and baking powder and gently rub with your hands all over, ensuring even coverage. (See note).
Lay the chicken thighs on the coking rack, leaving a little space between the pieces. You may want to spray the cooling rack with PAM or rub it with some oil to minimize sticking.
Note: you can skip using a cooling rack, but that will result in the bottoms of the chicken thighs becoming a little greasy. In that case, place the thighs on paper towels after baking to remove the grease.
Transfer the thighs to a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and/or parchment paper. Either is optional, or course, but makes cleaning much easier.
Place the baking sheet in the oven. Switch the oven to 425F convection. This is very important. You must use convection to get the same crispiness.
Bake for 30 minutes for moderate crispiness and supreme juiciness.Bake for 35 - 40 minutes for ultimate crispiness and fall-off-the bone tenderness, with perhaps a tiny bit reduced juiciness.
Remove the thighs from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. This will ensure that the skin on the thighs retains much of its crispiness after tossing in Buffalo wing sauce.
Toss the thighs in Buffalo wing sauce, or any other sauce, or a combination of hot wing and BBQ sauce and serve. Alternatively, serve with a dipping sauce on the side.
While I instruct tossing the thighs with three tablespoons of Buffalo wing hot sauce, which is my favorite way to season these thighs, you have numerous options here. You can use a mix of hot and BBQ sauce, or just BBQ sauce, or serve a white dipping sauce on the side. I also like serving my homemade ranch sauce with oven-fried wings, thighs and drumsticks.
As I mentioned in the post above, you have the option to apply salt before baking or after baking, when tossing the thighs with a sauce. Applying salt prior to baking definitely helps with browning. Applying salt after baking seems to produce less browning but a touch crispier skin.
Making these chicken thighs without a convection oven
Convection is a requirement in this recipe as you get better results – as in noticeably crispier skin and a shorter cooking time. You can even easily get away without baking them on a wire rack. However, if you don’t have a convection oven try the method below originally suggested by America’s Test Kitchen. You should get somewhat similar results.
Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Arrange chicken thighs in single layer on a wire rack placed over a backing sheet. Bake on lower-middle oven rack for 30 minutes. Move to upper-middle rack, increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F and roast until golden brown and crisp, 40-50 minutes longer, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Remove sheet from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer thighs to a bowl with a wing sauce of your choice, toss to coat, and serve.
Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 691mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg