Crispy Oven Fried Chicken Thighs are crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, and the perfect way to enjoy fried chicken in less than an hour!

I love making oven-fried recipes because you get the satisfying crunch and flavor of a fried dish, but you don’t need to cook with a lot of oil. Check out two of my other favorite recipes, Oven Fried Tilapia and Oven Fried Pork Chops.

Three pieces of crispy oven fried chicken on parchment paper next to dipping sauce.

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken Thighs are tender and juicy on the inside with perfectly crispy skin on the outside, made with a few simple ingredients. This is definitely a family favorite in my house, because it’s really close to fried chicken but doesn’t involve working with hot oil. It’ll be your family’s new favorite crispy chicken.

We like dark meat so we usually make this using thighs, but you can also make this recipe with skinless chicken breasts or chicken drumsticks! Drumsticks will use less time, you can check out my Herb and Garlic Chicken Drumsticks for reference. Your family will request this baked chicken every week! Serve with all of your favorite dipping sauces. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

Individual ingredients needed to make oven fried chicken thighs on a table.

Chicken Thighs. I use bone-in chicken thighs with skin, which is the key to tender chicken. The bones help keep the meat juicy and the skin gets really crispy.

You can still make this recipe with boneless skinless cuts of chicken, or other pieces of chicken like boneless chicken breasts and drumsticks.

Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. Any gluten free all purpose flour works here. If you’re not gluten free, you can use regular flour. 

Eggs and Milk. The eggs and milk are mixed together to help the breading stick to the chicken.

The protein in the eggs cooks and holds the breading in place. You can also use half and half, cream, or buttermilk mixed with the eggs. 

Gluten Free Breadcrumbs. I recommend the regular plain gluten free breadcrumbs, or a half and half mix of gluten free regular and gluten free panko breadcrumbs.

I’ve tried this with all gluten free panko breadcrumbs, and you need a lot of them to fully coat the chicken. 

Dijon Mustard. I mix this with the egg mixture to add flavor to the chicken. You can leave this out if you don’t have it. You can also use other flavors of mustard depending on your preference. 

If you want some heat, add a few teaspoons of hot sauce to the egg mixture as well. You can also serve with extra hot sauce at the table. 

Spices. You want a minimum of kosher salt and pepper. Personally, I’d also include garlic powder and onion powder no matter what, too. The full spice mixture gives the chicken a lot of flavor.

You can also add cayenne and red pepper flakes if you want some heat. Add an extra teaspoon paprika for flavor and color to the breadcrumbs. 

Cooking Spray. This is the trick to getting a nice crispy coating on the chicken. The breadcrumbs must be lightly coated with oil to “fry” in the oven. 

Jacqui’s Tip! This chicken tastes great dipped in honey mustard, blue cheese dressing, buffalo sauce, or my Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing!

How to Make Oven Fried Chicken Thighs

Step by step photos for how to make oven fried chicken thighs.
  1. Set out three bowls. Put flour and spices in one bowl, the egg/milk/dijon mixture in another, and gluten free breadcrumbs in the third. Dip the first chicken thigh in the egg mixture. 
  2. Shake off excess egg mixture and place the chicken in the flour mixture, coating evenly. Lift and gently shake the extra flour mixture off. 
  3. Place the chicken back into the egg mixture, coating evenly. Pick up and let extra egg mixture fall off. 
  4. Then place into the breadcrumb mixture, coating evenly and gently pressing breadcrumbs into the chicken. 
  5. Place chicken onto the baking sheet. Repeat for all pieces. Once done, spray lightly with cooking oil until breadcrumbs look wet. Bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and breading is golden brown.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do chicken thighs bake for?

At 400°F chicken thighs will take 40-45 minutes to bake. Make sure your chicken has come to an internal temperature of 165°F on a meat thermometer for food safety.

Why isn’t my chicken crispy?

Oil – Even though we’re not frying these thighs in the traditional way, you still need to add a small amount of oil. I take cooking spray and lightly coat the breadcrumbs, so they can get crispy in the heat.
Too close together – Make sure your chicken is spaced out enough so it can get crispy on all sides.

Do you cover chicken thighs when baking?

I don’t usually cover chicken thighs when I’m baking them. Leaving them uncovered helps them get crispy.
If you notice that the breading has started the burn, you can cover them with tinfoil until they’re done baking. But then you should check that your oven is cooking true to temperature with an oven thermometer.

Jacqui’s Tip! If you don’t want to deal with all of the individual spices, you can add a few teaspoons of Italian seasoning, or homemade Ranch Seasoning. You can add them to the flour mixture or the breading mixture.

How to Make Oven Fried Chicken Thighs with Buttermilk

  1. For a richer flavor, try marinating the raw chicken in buttermilk before breading. In a large bowl whisk together buttermilk and spices (I like to use paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper). Make sure you make enough of the buttermilk mixture to cover the chicken. Place the raw chicken in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate for about an hour.
  2. Lift a chicken thigh out of the buttermilk and place straight into the flour mixture. Then follow the recipe as-is from that step.

Storage

Refrigerate. You can store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 

Freeze. If you want to freeze leftovers, place the chicken on a sheet pan, wrap in plastic wrap, and put in the freezer until completely frozen (1-2 hours). Transfer the frozen chicken to an airtight container and freeze for 2-3 months. Reheat in the oven or air fryer to keep the breading crispy.

More Chicken Recipes

Tips and Tricks

  • You can make boneless oven fried chicken thighs with this same recipe. Watch your cooking time though, it may take slightly less time. Check your thighs a few minutes earlier, making sure they’ve come to temperate. The skinless chicken thighs may not turn out as crispy as the full thighs. 
  • You can make this recipe on a prepared baking sheet or in a baking dish. Keep the breading crispy by making sure the pieces are not too close together. 
  • You can also do this with any regular chicken pieces, like chicken leg quarters, chicken wings, or chicken drumsticks. Just remember if you use other chicken pieces, that the baking time can vary depending on what you make. They’re ready once they reach an internal temperature of 165°F on a meat thermometer.
  • I’ve made this with both plain and seasoned gluten free bread crumbs, and a gluten free Panko mixture. All of these options turned out fine.
  • I spray the breaded chicken with olive oil, but you can use canola oil or vegetable oil if that’s what you have. 
  • Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or greased aluminum foil for easy cleanup later. 
A piece of crispy chicken being pulled apart by two hands.

If you loved this recipe, be sure to leave a 5 Star review below, and tag me with a photo of your finished recipe on instagram @Jacqui_DishingDelish!

Three pieces of crispy oven fried chicken on parchment paper next to dipping sauce.

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken Thighs

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken Thighs are crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, and the perfect way to enjoy fried chicken in less than an hour!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Jacqui
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, bone-in, with skin
  • 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 2 cups plain gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • cooking spray

Seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Equipment

  • 1 baking sheet
  • 3 bowls

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Set out three bowls. In the first bowl add flour. In the second bowl whisk together eggs, milk, and dijon mustard. In the third bowl add breadcrumbs.
  • Dip the first thigh in the egg mixture, completely coating it. Then dip the thigh into the flour, covering the piece completely, and lightly shaking off the excess.
  • Put it back into the egg wash, then into the breadcrumbs, coating completely. Place the chicken on the baking sheet, and repeat for all of the thighs.
  • Once all of the thighs are breaded, use the cooking spray to lightly coat them in oil (or until breadcrumbs appear wet).
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and crispy, and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Notes

Click on the time in the instructions to start a timer!
Storage
Refrigerate. You can store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 
Freeze. If you want to freeze leftovers, place the chicken on a sheet pan, wrap in plastic wrap, and put in the freezer until completely frozen (1-2 hours). Transfer the frozen chicken to an airtight container and freeze for 2-3 months. Reheat in the oven or air fryer to keep the breading crispy.
Cooking Tips
  • You can make this recipe with any cut of chicken, like chicken breasts or drumsticks. Cooking times can vary. 
  • I’ve made this with both plain and seasoned gluten free bread crumbs, and a gluten free Panko mixture. All of these options turned out fine.
  • I spray the breaded chicken with olive oil, but you can use canola oil or vegetable oil.
  • Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or greased aluminum foil for easy cleanup later. 

Nutrition

Calories: 511kcal (26%)Carbohydrates: 33g (11%)Protein: 31g (62%)Fat: 28g (43%)Saturated Fat: 7g (44%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 211mg (70%)Sodium: 349mg (15%)Potassium: 375mg (11%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 554IU (11%)Vitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 53mg (5%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
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