Start by preheating the oven to 425°F (220°C) for about 20 minutes. Choose thighs that are similar in weight to bake at the same time.
Brine them in salty water for at least 15 minutes if you have time to do so; otherwise, skip this step. Make sure to pat them dry very well; otherwise they won’t get a golden and crispy skin!
Brush the chicken thighs all over with oil, season them well on all sides with the taco seasoning and salt. If possible, gently lift the skin to scrub a little bit of oil and seasoning under, especially if you usually remove the skin of the thighs before eating.
Then sprinkle pepper and brush honey on the thighs. Grease a baking sheet or baking dish with a bit of olive oil (or line one with foil and then grease). Place the thighs on the pan/dish and transfer to the middle rack of the preheated oven.
Bake them for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the thighs: 3-4 oz (30 minutes), 5-6 oz (35 minutes), and 8 oz (40 minutes). Take them out of the oven when they reach 160°F (71°C). Of course you can bake them without skin, but it won’t be as crispy and flavorful. The skin contains fat which flavors and moisturize the meat itself while baking.
Let them rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. The internal temp will rise during this time, reaching around 165°F (74° C). Squezze lemon on top and garnish with chopped parsley.
NOTE: Honey and parsley are optional ingredients. Therefore, they are not calculated in this recipe. If you want, you can glaze your chicken thighs! To do this, sauté 3 minced garlic cloves with 2-3 tablespoon of butter on medium heat for about 1 minute. Then, stir in ¼ cup of honey and 2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard and let it cook for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Then glaze the thighs with the sauce.How to Reheat Chicken without Drying it OutThere is more than one way to reheat chicken thighs. Two of my favorites are the microwave and oven, in order of convenience:
Microwave: Place the thighs into a microwave-safe dish, brush with olive oil to keep them moist, and cover the dish with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Heat for 2 – 3 minutes. Make sure the plastic wrap doesn’t touch the chicken, as it could contaminate it with chemicals.
Oven: Preheat oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place the thighs in the center of the foil, brush with oil, and pull the sides up to wrap the chicken in the foil like a parcel. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165° F.
StorageStore baked chicken thighs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Freeze for up to 3 months! This is one of those easy freezer meals that you will want to make again and again.HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING RECIPEMix together 4 teaspoon of paprika, 2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of brown sugar (skip the sugar if you are on a keto diet, or sub with dried herbs such as oregano or thyme), 2 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. If you enjoy spicy food, mix in ½ teaspoon chili powder or cayenne.You may also use any dry rub of your choice– about 3 tablespoon for 4 medium/large thighs.HOW LONG TO BAKE CHICKEN THIGHS AT 425°FThe time will depend on the weight/size of your chicken thighs, as well as the temperature that you bake it in the oven. High temperatures work best to seal the juices in and give it a ‘seared’, golden exterior. I would say that 400-450 F temperatures work the best!I often bake chicken thighs at 425° F degrees (220°C). It has produced some of the juiciest thighs ever!At 425° F degrees (220°C), the baking time will depend on the size/weight as follows:
Small chicken thighs (3 to 4 oz) -- 30 minutes
Medium chicken thighs (about 5 to 6 oz) -- 35 minutes
Large chicken thighs (about 8 oz) -- 40 minutes.
WHY ARE CHICKEN THIGHS DRY AND TOUGH? There are the main factors that may have caused your chicken thighs to be dry and tough:
You didn’t bring the chicken out of the fridge for 20 minutes before cooking: This is key for even cooking!
The thighs were overcooked: Make sure to take them out of the oven as soon as they reach an internal temp of 160° F (71°C).
After baking them, you didn’t allow the chicken thighs to rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting them. The resting time will re-distribute the juices and lock the moisture in.
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