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Baked Chicken Thighs

When it comes to comfort food, nothing beats the classic appeal of baked chicken thighs. With their crispy exterior and juicy interior, they’re a hit at any dinner table.

But what really sets this recipe apart is the delectable pan sauce, which can be effortlessly transformed into a rich, homemade gravy. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a cooking novice, this dish is sure to impress.


Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s take a moment to appreciate the symphony of flavors that make this dish so special. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Chicken:

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin on: This cut ensures a juicy and flavorful result.
  • A sprinkle of salt and pepper: For that essential seasoning.
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter: This adds a rich, buttery flavor.
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil: For a healthier fat option.
  • A quarter teaspoon each of paprika, onion powder, rosemary, oregano, and thyme: This blend of herbs and spices will give your chicken a robust flavor.

For the Pan Sauce:

  • ½ cup of dry white wine: Choose a good quality wine for the best flavor. If you prefer, chicken broth can be used as a non-alcoholic option.
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed: This will infuse the sauce with a pungent, aromatic flavor.
  • 1 ½ cups of chicken broth: For a rich and savory base.
  • ½ a chicken bouillon cube (optional): This adds an extra depth of flavor.
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme: For a subtle, earthy aroma.
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice: This adds a bright, zesty kick.

For the Optional Gravy:

  • 3-4 tablespoons of butter: This will form the base of your roux.
  • 3-4 tablespoons of flour: To thicken the gravy to perfection.

With your ingredients ready, you’re set to embark on a culinary adventure that promises a mouthwatering meal at the end.

Stay tuned as we walk through the cooking process, ensuring each step is executed to perfection for the best baked chicken thighs you’ve ever tasted.

A Step-by-Step Cooking Guide:

  1. Preheat and Prepare: Kick things off by preheating your oven to a toasty 375°F (190°C). This ensures that once the chicken hits the oven, it starts cooking immediately, locking in all those delicious juices. Next, take your chicken thighs and give them a good pat down with a paper towel, ensuring they are completely dry. This is key to achieving that irresistible crispy skin. Season both sides of the thighs generously with salt and pepper, making sure to lift the skin and get some of that seasoning underneath as well.
  2. Create the Flavor Base: In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, olive oil, and all of your dried herbs and spices. This mixture is going to give your chicken an incredible depth of flavor. Using a pastry brush, coat the chicken thighs evenly with this aromatic blend, ensuring every inch is covered.
  3. Sear to Perfection: Place a wide skillet over a medium-high flame and let it get nice and hot. This is where the magic happens. Lay the chicken thighs skin-side-down into the skillet. You should hear that satisfying sizzle as soon as the chicken hits the pan. Let them cook undisturbed for about 4 minutes, or until the skin is beautifully golden and crispy. Give them a quick flip, just to seal in the juices on the other side, and then transfer them to a plate.
  4. Deglaze and Develop Flavors: Turn off the heat and drain off all but one tablespoon of the fat from the skillet. This leaves behind all the flavorful bits without making the sauce too greasy. Pour in the dry white wine, being careful as it may sizzle up. As it bubbles away, scrape up all those tasty bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a silicone spatula. This is called deglazing, and it’s crucial for building a rich, flavorful sauce. Add in the chicken broth, bouillon cube (if using), garlic, and fresh thyme. Bring everything to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Bake to Juicy Perfection: Now, add the chicken thighs back into the skillet, skin-side-up. Make sure they’re nestled in nicely, then pop the whole thing into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is even crispier.
  6. Rest and Ready: Once out of the oven, transfer the chicken to a plate and let it rest for a good 6-8 minutes. This is an essential step, as it allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring each bite is as juicy as the last.

With the chicken now resting, you’ve got a bit of time on your hands. Perfect for whipping up a quick gravy with the pan sauce if you’re feeling fancy.

Stay tuned for the final touches and some pro tips to take your dish to the next level!

Making the Gravy:

  1. Separate and Skim: First, pour the pan sauce and drippings into a large measuring cup or a fat separator if you have one. Allow it to sit for a moment so the fat rises to the top. Skim off the majority of the fat, leaving the flavorful juices behind. If you find yourself with less than 2 cups of liquid, simply top it up with some additional chicken broth.
  2. Create the Roux: In the same skillet you used for the chicken, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring continuously. This mixture, known as a roux, will thicken your gravy. Keep stirring for around 2 minutes, until the roux turns a light golden brown.
  3. Whisk in the Juices: Gradually add the reserved pan juices to the roux, whisking continuously to prevent any lumps from forming. If things are getting too hot and sizzling, feel free to reduce the heat. Once all the liquid is added, bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the gravy reaches your desired consistency.
  4. Serve and Savor: Spoon the gravy over the rested chicken thighs, or serve it on the side for everyone to help themselves. This dish pairs beautifully with mashed potatoes, soaking up all that gravy goodness.

Pro Tips for Perfection:

Trim the Fat: If you notice any excess fat or skin on the chicken thighs, don’t hesitate to trim it off with some kitchen shears.

However, make sure to leave enough skin to cover the top of the thigh, as this will crisp up beautifully in the oven.

Wine Wisdom: When it comes to choosing a wine for your pan sauce, a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc works best. B

ut remember, if you prefer not to cook with wine, chicken broth is a perfectly fine substitute.

Temperature Check: Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) for safe eating. If you prefer your dark meat a little more tender, aim for a temperature between 175-180°F (80-82°C).

Storing and Reusing:

Keep it Fresh: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

The gravy should also be stored separately in an airtight container.

Repurpose and Reuse: Don’t let leftovers go to waste. Shredded leftover chicken makes for a great addition to homemade soups, while leftover gravy can bring a new level of flavor to a Chicken Pot Pie.


This recipe serves 8, and the nutritional information provided includes the pan sauce but not the optional gravy. It’s a hearty dish that brings both flavor and nutrition to the table.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect nutritionally from a serving of this delectable dish:

  • Calories: 364 kcal
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Fat: 27 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 146 mg
  • Sodium: 347 mg
  • Potassium: 329 mg
  • Vitamin A: 181 IU
  • Vitamin C: 2 mg
  • Calcium: 22 mg
  • Iron: 1 mg

Understanding the nutritional content of your meals is crucial for making informed choices about your diet.

With these final steps and tips, you’re now ready to serve up a dish that’s sure to impress. The crispy skin, juicy meat, and flavorful gravy combine to create a symphony of flavors that dance on the palate.

So go ahead, give it a try, and watch as this baked chicken thighs recipe becomes a new favorite in your culinary repertoire. Enjoy your meal!