Baked crispy chicken thighs are paleo-approved and super easy to make! Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are marinated in a creamy garlic chili blend and then baked in the oven to crispy perfection!
The key to making chicken skin crispy is cooking them at a high temperature. Another important factor is whether it's exposed to any moisture. If you're cooking the chicken in the oven, it's important to keep it uncovered and raised on a cooling rack so it doesn't get soggy.
While chicken breasts are higher in fat, fat is not to be feared. In fact, this baked chicken thigh recipe is Paleo, Whole30, and ketogenic approved.
🥘 Ingredients and Substitutions
Most of these ingredients are pantry or fridge staples. There are a few you can switch out if need be.
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. This recipe also works well with bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, however, the cooking time will vary and you will want to skip cooking the bottom side first. Go straight into skin side up for 25-30 minutes.
- Grated fresh ginger. This gives the chicken a delicious and spicy zing. If you can't find fresh, substitute with ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger.
- Coconut milk. Found in the Asian foods aisle in a can. Make sure you get the full-fat option! If you can't find it or aren't avoiding dairy, substitute plain yogurt.
📋 How to Make it From Scratch
STEP 1: In a medium bowl, combine the coconut milk, garlic powder, chili powder, lemon juice, oil, and ginger and whisk to combine.
STEP 2: Add the chicken thighs to a zip-top bag, or two. I had a full 4 pounds, so I needed to divide mine into two separate bags. Pour the marinade into the bag (or divide it between the two bags), seal the bag, and rub the marinade over the chicken thighs. Refrigerate for 2-8 hours.
These are great to marinade in the morning and cook in the evening!
⏲ Cooking Time and Temperature
STEP 3: Preheat the oven to 425˚ Fahrenheit and place the rack about 6 inches from the top of the oven. Line a large baking sheet with foil (for easy clean-up) and insert a cooling rack to keep the chicken raised above the drippings. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin side down on the rack and bake for 15 minutes.
STEP 4: Flip them over and arrange them so they aren't touching. You want the heat to get to all sides of the skin.
STEP 5: Bake them an additional 20-30 minutes or until the skin is crispy and golden. Squeeze a little extra lemon juice on them and enjoy!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Crispy chicken thighs go great with these side dishes:
- Roasted Asparagus with Feta and Pine Nuts (keto-friendly)
- Quick Sauteed Zucchini and Mushrooms (Whole30, Paleo, Keto)
- Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Pecans (Whole30, Paleo)
- Fresh Orzo Summer Salad
- Vegetable Steamed Rice
🥣 Storage and Reheating
Store the chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To keep that crispy skin, place the chicken thighs, skin-side up on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes in a 325˚ oven.
Crispy Garlic Chili Chicken Thighs
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt (more for sprinkling)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, (minced)
- 3-4 pounds chicken thighs, (bone-in, skin-on )
- cracked black pepper
- MARINADE: Place chicken thighs in a large zip-top bag (or two if they are larger) and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut milk, garlic powder, chili powder, lemon juice, oil, and ginger and whisk to combine. Pour the marinade over the chicken (put half in each bag if you use 2 bags). Refrigerate for 2-8 hours.
- COOK THE CHICKEN: Arrange the chicken thighs over the wire rack, skin side down so that the sides are not touching. Cook for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken over to skin-side up and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy.
- If you are not worried about dairy, you can substitute full fat plain greek yogurt for the coconut milk
- read the post for tips on serving, freezing, and reheating leftovers!
**This blog post contains affiliate links to products that I actually use and that align with my values. See my affiliate disclaimer here.
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