This recipe for roasted chicken thighs has only two ingredients and creates perfectly crispy, golden brown chicken skin. No frying, no flour, no gluten, no air fryer is necessary. It just takes a little patience and the right technique.
Check out some of my gluten-free sauces that would be perfect with this chicken and a side of Roasted Tomato and Garlic Quinoa or brown rice. My herb roasted potatoes and corn with lime butter would be great sides with this chicken.
How to Make Chicken Skin Crispy
There are a few steps to this process that require some time but the result is worth it! And the only ingredients you’ll need are chicken and salt.
The first key to this process is to remove some of the moisture from the skin before the chicken even gets to the oven. This is done by salting the skin and refrigerating overnight, uncovered. This will dry and tighten up the skin and ready it for the oven. Be sure to clear space for the pan in the fridge to avoid any cross contamination.
This step will also flavor the skin with salt, making it a savory, crispy, slightly salty bite. It is so important to salt your food before cooking so that the flavor makes it INTO the food.
Next, fit an oven-safe wire rack onto a baking sheet. I line the pan with parchment (or foil) to make clean-up easier. Cooking the chicken on the wire rack allows air to circulate around the top and bottom, which helps the skin get more crispy. Allow a good amount of space around each thigh. If they are too close together, they will steam each other, which means less brown and crispy.
Start the roasting process at 375F to cook the chicken for 15 minutes. Then crank up the temp to 400F for the next 15-20 minutes to finish the cooking and crisp up the skin. If you want it extra dark and crispy turn on the broiler (but leave the pan on the middle rack in the oven). I suggest keeping a VERY close eye on it as the broiler works quickly!
Should you Rinse/Wash Raw Chicken?
I know that some of you are in the habit of rinsing raw chicken. I highly recommend NOT doing it. It is really unnecessary. It risks splattering raw chicken and bacteria around your kitchen and adds moisture to the skin. The cooking process will do a much better job of killing any bacteria.
Crispy Roasted Chicken Thighs
- 6 chicken thighs
- kosher salt preferred, Diamond Crystal brand is the best
- Trim the excess skin and fat from the bottom of the thighs. A set of kitchen shears works really well for this task and eliminates the need for a cutting board.
- Sprinkle a light coating of kosher salt on the bottom.
- Flip them over and sprinkle a coating of salt on the skin.
- Place a wire rack on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet and spread the thighs out on the rack, skin side up.
- Refrigerate overnight or as long as 48 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
- Roast the chicken on the middle rack in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Then turn the temp up to 400°F and roast 15-20 minutes more. The cooking time may vary based on the size of the chicken pieces. The best way to know if chicken is fully cooked is to use a probe thermometer. Insert into the thickest part of the thigh without hitting the bone. Chicken is safe to eat 165°F.
- If the skin has not crisped to your liking, leave the pan on the middle rack and turn on the broiler. DO NOT WALK AWAY. The broiler works very quickly.
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