Crispy Tender Baked Chicken Thighs – Cast Iron

These crispy, tender baked chicken thighs are really easy to make and come out perfect every time. All you
need is a little seasoning and some oil. They will be started on the stove top in a cast iron skillet and then be moved to the oven in the same skillet.


Very little equipment is required to cook crispy, tender baked chicken thighs. These 2 items are things I use all the time in my kitchen and are worth the investment.


To make these crispy, tender baked chicken thighs, you only need a few things. The amount of chicken
thighs is dependent on how big they are. You want there to be at least a little space between the thighs when they are in the skillet. If they are packed in with no space, the skin will not reach the desired crispiness.

  • 6 to 8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs, depending on size of thighs
  • 1 Teaspoon each of sea salt, pepper, and garlic salt
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3- cloves minced garlic (I just use squeezable minced garlic)


The prep for crispy, tender baked chicken thighs is really simple:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Using a paper towel, pat the chicken as dry as possible. (It is tempting to skip this step, but don’t. It is key to making the skins crispy.)
  3. In a small ramekin or bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, and garlic salt and then sprinkle on both sides of the thighs.
  4. Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add garlic once oil is hot.
  5. Place thighs, skin side down into hot skillet and cook for 8 minutes without moving them. This allows the skin to reach the perfect crispness
  6. Once the thighs have a crispy, golden brown crust and will release from the skillet, turn them over with tongs and move the skillet to the preheated oven.
  7. Bake chicken for about 18 minutes until it is cooked through and is at least 165° on an instant read meat thermometer.
  8. Once chicken is cooked through, move thighs to a paper towel covered plate to soak up excess fat.
  9. Serve with your favorite vegetable, green beans are really good!

Tips for Success

For the best results with these crispy, tender bake chicken thighs, follow these tips:

  • Pat the chicken dry before seasoning.
  • Do not overcrowd the chicken in the skillet, there should be a little room between each piece. If the skillet is crowded, the chicken may not reach desired crispness
  • Use an instant read thermometer that has a long probe. This will allow you to monitor the temperature without removing the chicken from the oven.
  • Chicken thighs can vary greatly in size, when selecting your thighs at the store, try to select a package where the thighs are a similar size. This will help ensure they are all cooked to a similar consistency.
  • Cooking time in this recipe is an estimate. You may need to adjust it depending on the size of the chicken thighs.



  1. This looks and sounds fantastic! I will be cooking it. I love to cook, however frying chicken has never been my forte’. I tend to skip the paper towel part, now I know why it is so important. Thank you for sharing, I will return for more great recipes!

  2. I didn’t know that I needed to leave space between the pieces. I’ll have to give this a try. I’m shocked I made it through this article without drooling on my chin. Nice Post. Thanks!

  3. I love this recipe! I have cooked chicken thighs like this before and I love the crispy chicken skin and how tender and juicy the thigh meat is.
    Which brand of instant read thermometer do you use? Mine is kind of a pain and I want one that is simpler to use.
    Thank you!

  4. That’s a neat little gadget for monitoring the temperature. Thanks for the recommendation and the recipe. I love chicken. Baked, cooked, fried, it doesn’t matter. It’s chicken! 🙂
    But I don’t seem to understand how can you check the temperature without removing the chicken from the oven..?

    • Thanks for checking out the recipe! I use an instant read thermometer similar to this one It has a long probe on a wire. The probe goes into the chicken, the display sits outside the oven where you can monitor it.

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