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These Classic Baked Chicken Thighs are a simple, low-carb dinner idea that’s packed full of flavor. The secret to the full flavor is my all-time favorite seasoning, Smoked Paprika! I feel the ingredient makes this the best baked chicken thighs recipe!
The only thing I knew about paprika growing up was that it was sprinkled on deviled eggs. I was well into my adult years before I discovered the smoked variety, and how amazingly tasty it could make a dish.
I love the flavor of smoked paprika so much, that I even swap it out with the regular paprika on my deviled eggs. It’s also a great season for beef and pork, and really amps up a good dry rub season!
Chicken Thighs over Chicken Breast
I’ve always been a fan of dark meat! Doesn’t matter what kind of bird…turkey, chicken, or quail…the dark meat is the undeniable best part of the bird!
When I grew up and started “getting healthy”, I switched over to chicken breast because everyone talked about how it was healthier and leaner than dark meat.
But I never enjoyed it!
Unless I have a nice sauce or gravy to go with chicken breast, it’s way too dry for my taste.
Lucky for me, the keto diet doesn’t shy away from fat! Bring me that thigh and leave the skin on it!
Do you love crispy chicken skin as much as I do? YUM!
Tried and True Recipes
I came across a recipe about 10 years ago for boneless-skinless chicken thighs that guaranteed to cook to perfection every time! And it delivered.
That recipe called for only a few seasonings: olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
I used that exact recipe to make chicken thighs for 8 years straight and it was a weekly staple in our household.
Around the time we started a ketogenic lifestyle, we started buying bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and I made slight adjustments to the recipe which is what we use today. Again, a weekly staple in our house.
And of course, the updated recipe uses my favorite spice, smoked paprika!
Apparently, my family hasn’t tired of the recipe yet because it’s always the first of the leftovers to go!
How to make Classic Baked Chicken Thighs
For best results, you’ll want to line the bottom of a broiling pan with foil and spray the top grate liberally with olive oil. If you don’t have a broiling pan, then a roasting pan will do. The key is to have some airflow below the chicken.
Place the chicken on the broiling pan and place a pat of butter underneath the skin. I like to have the butter at room temperature so I can squish it down under the skin.
Sprinkle Salt, Onion Powder, and Smoked Paprika Powder on top of the chicken thighs. I rarely measure out the seasonings and just eyeball it. I like my food very flavorful, so I don’t skimp on the seasoning!
If I were to guess, I would say probably about ½ tsp of Salt and 1 tsp each of the Onion Powder and Smoked Paprika. But really, season it as much or as little as you like.
Once seasoned, take the olive oil and spray the chicken liberally on top.
My husband recently purchased me an olive oil spritzer which I love!! All the convenience of the spray without the aerosol.
You’ll bake the chicken in 2-parts.
First, you’ll bake it at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, dial it down to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
If the skin on top is not crispy enough for your liking, set the oven on broil for 2 minutes at the very end.
Check out these Side Dishes to Pair with the Chicken Thighs!
And, if you love chicken thighs as much as I do, check out my roundup of 14 Amazing Keto Chicken Thigh Recipes!
- Heat the over to 400 degrees F
- Place the chicken on the broil pan and place a pat of butter underneath the skin.
- Sprinkle Salt, Onion Powder, and Smoked Paprika Powder on top of the chicken thighs.
- Line the bottom of a broiling pan with foil and spray the top grate liberally with olive oil.
- Once seasoned, take the olive oil and spray the chicken liberally on top.
- First, you’ll bake it at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
- Then, without opening the oven, dial it down to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
- If the skin on top is not crispy enough for your liking, set the oven on broil for 2 minutes at the very end.
If you purchase bone-less, skin-less chicken thighs, make these adjustments.
- omit the butter
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes
- Lower temp to 300 degrees F and continue baking for 20 minutes.