My mom’s Ukrainian Baked Chicken Thighs with simple ingredients. Crispy skin, juicy meat, tons of flavor!
Baked Bone In Chicken Thighs
Simple baked chicken thighs recipe is a restaurant quality date night dinner in. Easy oven baked chicken thighs are my go-to when “what’s for dinner?” strikes and my brain is blank. Or when we have guests over and I’m tired. It is hands off, cheap and hard to screw up.
These simple, juicy and basic baked chicken thighs will become your favorite!
Simple Ukrainian Seasoning
In this easy recipe, I rely heavily on garlic because I’m a strong believer that garlic makes everything taste better. And because I’m Ukrainian – if you haven’t cooked with fresh dill, you haven’t lived.:)
- Fresh garlic
- Dried oregano or rosemary
- Salt and pepper
That’s it!!! Basically, baked garlic chicken thighs. The best!
Bone In vs. Boneless Meat:
Thighs are dark meat. That’s why they are more juicy than chicken breasts. You can use either with bone in or boneless chicken thighs. I experimented with both.
My preference is bone in and skin on meat. The result is crispy tender baked chicken thighs. You can always remove skin before eating if you are worried about saturated fat.
Baked boneless skinless chicken thighs turn out less juicy. And let’s be honest, looking less appealing.
Can I Use Frozen Meat?
You can bake slightly thawed and still frozen chicken. Yes, I have done it a million times and ended up with perfect baked chicken thighs. It is fatty part of chicken, so it will not dry out in the oven.
- As soon as you can separate frozen pieces of meat, you can bake them.
- Use tongs to mix frozen meat.
- Make baked chicken thighs and drumsticks. Both have same cooking time. Yes!
- Add 10-15 minutes to baking time. Just keep your pretty eye on it.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs?
High and fast. Crank up the oven temperature as high as 450. Chicken thigh bake time is around 30 minutes. Or until internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F. Do not cover!
How to Cook Chicken Thighs in the Oven
- Season Chicken Thighs: Right in ceramic or glass baking dish, toss to coat chicken and seasonings. Use hands or tongs.
- Marinate a Little: Let chicken stand for 10 minutes. In the meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss chicken again and arrange in a single layer skin side up, tucking in skin underneath. You want things tight.
- Bake the Chicken: Bake uncovered on high heat. Then using a syringe/baster, pour juice over the thighs and then if you like more crispy skin (who doesn’t?!) broil to your likeness.
- Let Stand a Bit: Remove from the oven, cover and let stand for 5 minutes to allow juices to settle. Do not skip!
What to Serve with?
Let me introduce you to our Ukrainian spread. More often than not we serve baked chicken with mashed potatoes. Because those juices are begging to be poured over a creamy mash. Or brown rice or quinoa (I often make both in my Instant Pot). And what Eastern European meal is without a simple cucumber tomato salad.
This is how we often entertain families with “picky eaters”. Obviously not with super expensive organic chicken thighs. Sorry.
You can also make cauliflower risotto, pair it with a glass of white wine and have a healthy date night in.
Are Chicken Thighs Healthy?
Poultry without the skin is considered healthier than red meat. However, there are lean cuts of beef and pork. Whether chicken thighs are healthy depends if you eat them with or without skin that is high in saturated fat. If you ask me, the question also is how often do you eat chicken skin. Also we bake chicken thighs with no added oil, butter or mayo. So, it is already a step in the right direction.
Calories vary based on whether you use skinless or skin on chicken. With skin on thighs run at 377 calories and 7 grams of saturated fat. Where as, baked boneless chicken thighs contain 206 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat.
Check out more on breasts vs. thighs from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
More Healthy Baked Chicken Thighs Recipes:
- Maple ginger chicken thighs from Healthy Seasonal Recipes cookbook. Yum!
- Slow cooker Thai chicken thighs with my homemade Thai sweet chili sauce.
- One pan chicken thighs and potatoes with carrots, onion and garlic. My mom’s recipe!
- Peanut sauce chicken thighs baked with pineapple and topped with my easy peanut sauce. OMG!
- Browse all healthy chicken recipes.
Watch Olena Cooking Chicken Thighs
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Baked Chicken Thighs
Make my mom’s oven baked chicken thighs with lots of garlic and crispy skin for quick and easy dinner tonight! Also how to bake from frozen and make a one pan dinner instructions included.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 9 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American Ukrainian
- 3 lbs chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
- 2–3 large garlic cloves, grated
- 2 tsp oregano, dried
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Parsley or dill for garnish, finely chopped
- In 8 x 8 square baking dish, add chicken thighs, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Using your hands, toss to coat and let stand for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Toss chicken again, making sure to spread garlic and spices evenly, and arrange in a single layer skin side up, tucking in skin underneath. You want things tight.
- Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until thermometer reads at least 165 degrees F, skin starts to brown and lots of juices accumulate in the dish. Using a syringe/baster, pour juice over the thighs and then if you like more crispy skin (who doesn’t?!) broil to your likeness.
- Remove from the oven, cover and let stand for 5 minutes to allow juices to settle.
- Serve warm, skin removed for healthier version with brown rice, quinoa or cauliflower risotto. It’s a restaurant quality date night dinner.
You can use either with bone in or boneless chicken thighs. My preference is bone in and skin on chicken thighs.
You can bake slightly thawed and still frozen chicken thighs. As soon as you can separate frozen chicken thighs, you can bake them. Add 10-15 minutes to baking time. Just keep your pretty eye on it.
To make it a one pan dinner, check out my roasted chicken thighs and potatoes.
Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.