How to Bake Boneless Chicken Thighs

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Home chefs may not be as familiar with boneless chicken thighs as they are with their more common counterpart, the boneless chicken breast. Boneless chicken thighs have a higher fat content than chicken breasts, which means they have a tendency to remain moist when they’re cooked. Baking boneless chicken thighs is a fairly simple process, and because of their fat content, they’re fairly forgiving if you cook them for a few minutes too long, unlike chicken breasts, which will dry out. Baked chicken thighs can be served on their own or sliced or chopped to add to salads, rice dishes and stir-fry recipes.

How to Bake Boneless Chicken Thighs
(Tom Smaldone)

Things You'll Need

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • Plastic wrap
  • Basting brush
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary, thyme, oregano, cilantro or 1/2 tablespoon dried herbs
  • Sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Baking dish
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Tongs
  • Cutting board or serving platter
  • Aluminum foil
  • Fresh lemon or lime wedge, optional
Step 1

Remove the chicken thighs from the refrigerator 45 to 60 minutes before you want to cook them. Wrap them with plastic wrap and allow them to rest at room temperature.

How to Bake Boneless Chicken Thighs
Tom Smaldone
Step 2

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Bake Boneless Chicken Thighs
Tom Smaldone
Step 3

Brush the boneless chicken thighs lightly all over with extra virgin olive oil. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with the herbs if you are using them and sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

How to Bake Boneless Chicken Thighs
Tom Smaldone
Step 4

Place the boneless chicken thighs in a baking dish, leaving a small space between each. Avoid overcrowding the baking dish, which could result in the chicken cooking unevenly.

How to Bake Boneless Chicken Thighs
Tom Smaldone
Step 5

Cook the boneless chicken thighs on the center rack in the oven for 30 minutes without opening the oven door.

How to Bake Boneless Chicken Thighs
Tom Smaldone
Step 6

Check the internal temperature of the boneless chicken thighs by inserting an instant-read thermometer about halfway through the chicken thighs. When the chicken is finished cooking, the thermometer should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Bake Boneless Chicken Thighs
Tom Smaldone
Step 7

Take the chicken thighs out of the baking dish with a pair of tongs and place them on a cutting board or serving platter. Cover the serving platter with aluminum foil; allow the chicken thighs to rest for five to seven minutes so the juices can redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and moist.

How to Bake Boneless Chicken Thighs
Tom Smaldone

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Tips & Warnings

  • If you’re on a low-sodium diet, squeeze a fresh lemon or lime wedge over the chicken thighs right after you take them out of the oven or immediately before serving them instead of using the salt for flavor.
  • Avoid over-cooking your boneless chicken thighs
  • Use proper handling techniques even with frozen chicken washing hands properly before and after
  • Use a deep enough pan to avoid spilling grease in oven to prevent fires

References

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