How to Cook Chicken Thighs in the Oven

If you’re looking for a delicious, juicy and easy-to-make meal, chicken thighs are the perfect choice. These cuts are packed with flavor and are budget-friendly, making them a great option for families or meal prepping. In this how-to article, we will share with you the best way to cook chicken thighs in the oven, ensuring that they are cooked to perfection every time.

Choose the Right Chicken Thighs

Before you start cooking, it is important to choose the right chicken thighs. Look for chicken thighs that are similar in size and thickness. Avoid buying chicken thighs that are too large or uneven, as this could affect the cooking time and result in unevenly cooked meat.

Prepping the Chicken Thighs

To get the best results, it is essential to prepare the chicken thighs correctly. Start by rinsing the chicken thighs with cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. You can also season the chicken thighs at this point with salt, garlic, black pepper, or any other seasoning of your preference.

Next, place the chicken thighs in a bowl or a ziplock bag and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes. Marinating the chicken thighs will help them absorb more flavor, making them taste even better.

The Cooking Process

Now that you have prepared the chicken thighs, it’s time to cook them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F (218 °C). Line a baking dish or a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Place the chicken thighs on the baking dish, making sure to leave enough space between them. This will allow the heat to circulate around the chicken, ensuring that they are cooked evenly.

Place the baking dish in the oven and cook the chicken thighs for 25-30 minutes. Halfway through the cooking process, use tongs to flip the chicken thighs to ensure that they are evenly cooked on both sides.

Checking the Doneness

To check if the chicken thighs are fully cooked, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. The chicken thighs should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). If the chicken is not fully cooked, place it back in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Serving the Chicken Thighs

Once the chicken thighs are fully cooked, remove them from the oven and let them rest for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute within the meat, making it more tender and flavorful.

You can serve the chicken thighs as they are, or you can cut them into smaller pieces, which are perfect for salads or sandwiches. Additionally, you can serve the chicken thighs with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or any other side dish of your preference.

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FAQ

Q: Can I use frozen chicken thighs for this recipe?

A: Yes, you can use frozen chicken thighs, but make sure to thaw them completely before cooking as this could affect the cooking time.

Q: Can I use other seasonings for the chicken thighs?

A: Absolutely! You can use any seasonings you like, such as paprika, oregano, thyme, or rosemary, to give the chicken thighs a unique flavor.

Q: Is it necessary to let the chicken thighs rest before serving?

A: Yes, it is essential to let the chicken thighs rest before serving as this will make the meat juicier and more flavorful.

Q: What sides would go well with chicken thighs?

A: You can serve chicken thighs with a variety of sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, rice, or a fresh salad. It all depends on your preferences.