Garlicky Paprika Oven Baked Chicken Thighs

This flavorful oven baked chicken thighs recipe is one of our favorite family dinner ideas. Serve it with mashed potatoes or fluffy saffron rice for a simple meal that feels fancy!

Looking for more ways to cook chicken thighs? Try my Maple Soy Baked Chicken Thighs.

This simple oven baked chicken thighs recipe only takes a few moments to put together and results in tender meat that goes with everything from creamy mashed potatoes to fuffy rice. Fresh garlic cloves, smoky paprika, cumin, and oregano give you a punch of mouthwatering flavor while also making your home smell incredible. My favorite part is probably the skin, which gets just crispy enough to contrast beautifully with the tender dark thigh meat.

My grandmother used to make a Sephardic dish for muslos de pollo (Spanish for chicken thighs) similar to this one. Her recipe has long since been lost to memory, but this version gets pretty close. If you’re looking for a new way to bake chicken thighs – something simple that feels a bit fancy – this recipe might be just the thing! In my opinion chicken thighs are one of the best cuts of meat to cook with. They’re juicy, succulent, and nearly impossible to overcook. When I taught my kiddo how to make chicken I started with thighs because they are so forgiving, making them the ideal protein for novice cooks!

How to Bake Chicken Thighs in the Oven

The most difficult part of this recipe is just waiting for it to be done. Making it is a cinch! Here’s how:

  • Preheat the oven. Prep by preheating your oven to 425F and getting out a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Make the spice rub. In a medium bowl combine the garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • Prep the chicken. Place the chicken thighs in the baking dish and give them a good and thorough rub down with the spice mixture.
  • Bake. Pour vegetable broth into the pan and bake the thighs for 35-40 minutes, until the chicken is golden and it reaches 165F. No eyeballing it! Make sure to use an instant-read thermometer (affiliate link).

Should I Cover with Foil When Baking?

I recommend cooking chicken thighs uncovered. Cooking them this way results in crispy skin and tender meat. However, if you find that the chicken is browning too quickly and the internal temperature still has not reached 165F, then go ahead and cover the chicken with aluminum foil until it has finished cooking.

5 baked chicken thighs in a baking dish

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Chicken Thighs Dark Meat?

Yes. Chicken thighs are dark meat, which means they turn out tender and moist when cooked. Although dark meat is higher in fat than white meat, it’s also higher in nutrients (more delicious AND more nutritious!).

At What Temperature Are Boneless Chicken Thighs Done?

Chicken thighs are done when they reach the internal temperature of 165F. Be sure to never guess about the doneness and to always use an instant-read thermometer.

Can You Overcook Chicken Thighs?

Because chicken thighs are dark meat and have a higher fat content than white meat, it’s harder to overcook them. Chicken thighs are very forgiving so if you accidentally cook them a bit too long you’ll still have tender, flavorful meat and no one will know you spaced for a bit!

Serving Suggestions

For a match made in heaven, pair these oven-baked chicken thighs with saffron rice. The juiciness and texture of the chicken go wonderfully with the fluffy rice, which is topped with sautéed diced onions and dried fruit!

Homemade mashed potatoes are another delightful combo, and I always recommend something bready to sop up every bit of the sauce. These sweet potato buttermilk biscuits or these cornbread muffins would be my top picks!

Cut open baked chicken thighs on a bed of saffron rice

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

After the chicken thighs have completely cooled, put them in an air-tight container and store them (for up to 4 days) in the fridge.

You can reheat your chicken in the microwave on a microwave-safe dish covered with a plate. Heat them one at a time, flipping halfway through until they have reached your desired temperature. I usually zap one chicken thigh for about 2 minutes total.

The best way to reheat your chicken thighs is to do so in the oven! Spoon a few tablespoons of leftover juices onto them (if you don’t have any left, you can use vegetable broth), cover your dish with foil and bake them at 325F until warmed through.

Leftover chicken thighs are just so wonderful, but keep in mind that it’s safest to only reheat them once.

Can I Freeze Baked Chicken Thighs?

Yes! Once your chicken thighs have reached room temperature, put them in a freezer-safe and airtight container. You can freeze them for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to dig into these delicious thighs again, just leave them in the fridge overnight to defrost them! Then reheat as outlined above.

Ways to Use Leftover Meat

Leftovers are just the best, aren’t they? With leftover chicken thighs, the sky’s the limit for what you can do with them!

Here are a few easy ideas of what to do with your leftover chicken thighs: use them for a fresh salad, make a decadent sandwich, throw them inside a cheesy quesadilla, or just use them to top off a mouth-watering plate of nachos (the ULTIMATE comfort food).

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Garlicky Paprika Oven Baked Chicken Thighs

Saffron rice on a plate with chicken thighs
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This flavorful baked chicken thighs recipe is one of our favorite family dinner ideas. Serve it with mashed potatoes or fluffy saffron rice for a simple meal that feels fancy!

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 45 boneless chicken thighs
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth

Instructions

Prep your tools. Preheat the oven to 425F. Get out a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.

Make the spice rub. In a medium bowl combine the garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Bake. Place the chicken thighs in the baking dish and rub them all over with the spice mixture. Pour vegetable broth into the pan and bake the thighs for 35-40 minutes, until the chicken is golden and registers 165F with an instant-read thermometer.

Keywords: baked chicken thighs, easy chicken thighs recipe, simple dinner idea

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