This tender, oven baked chicken thighs recipe is seasoned with a Cajun blend, then seared and baked with peppers and potatoes for an easy anytime dinner. Just the right amount of spices for me.
Have you ever cooked with chicken thighs? No? It's time to start!
Chicken thighs are delicious and a dark meat alternative to the more traditional chicken breast meal you might be used to. Because they are dark meat, they have a higher fat content, so you're upping your calorie intake and saturated fat a bit.
Because of that fat content, they are much more forgiving in the pan and in the oven if you accidentally leave them in a bit too long. Chicken breast can become dry if you don't watch them carefully. Not so with chicken thighs, especially oven baked chicken thighs.
Like this recipe. Tonight we're cooking Cajun Oven Baked Chicken Thighs, and I think you're going to love it. These chicken thighs are nicely seasoned with a vibrant Cajun seasoning blend and extra garlic, quickly pan seared, then baked in the oven with potatoes for a meal you can whip together any night of the week. So easy to make!
Chicken thighs love you, and you will love them back. And! Did I mention chicken thighs are affordable? I almost want to say cheap!
Seriously, for right around a buck a pound, you'll get yourself a huge meal for an extremely reasonable price. You'll pay even LESS by the pound if you purchase the whole chicken, but today we just want those outstanding chicken thighs.
OK, maybe the chicken wings for some chicken wing recipes, but that is for next time!
Let's talk about how we make these oven baked chicken thighs, shall we?
Cajun Baked Chicken Thighs Ingredients
- Chicken Thighs. I am using bone in, skin on chicken thighs, though you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Olive Oil. For cooking. You can use other oils, or even butter.
- Seasonings. Cajun seasonings, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. You can use other seasonings if you prefer, but I love my Cajun blend.
- Aromatics. Onion, garlic, cubanelle peppers. I also love to include jalapeno peppers for some heat. Bell peppers are good, too.
- Liquids. White wine, chicken broth, lemon juice.
- Baby Potatoes. To round out the dish. You can also cut up larger potatoes and add them to the dish instead.
- For Serving. Chopped parsley, spicy chili flakes.
How to Make Cajun Baked Chicken Thighs - the Recipe Method
Prepare the Seasonings. First, combine the spices in a small bowl.
Dry and Season the Chicken Thighs. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and rub them down with the spice rub. Be sure to get under the skins and on the skins as well. Let them sit for about 20 minutes or so at room temperature. Drying out the skin will help to achieve a crispy skin.
Preheat the Oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F to prep for baking.
Sear the Chicken Thighs. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium heat and add a couple tablespoons olive oil. Sear the chicken thighs 5 minutes each side, skin side down first for a crispy skin. Remove to a plate to hold them.
Cook the Aromatics. To the pan, add onion and peppers. Cook about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Be sure to stir. Add white wine to deglaze. Be sure to stir up the brown bits from the bottom. Let the wine reduce until it is almost gone.
Prep for Baking. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add chicken thighs back to the pan along with the baby potatoes and them them into the oven. You can also transfer them to a baking dish, if you prefer. For example, if you don't have an oven-safe pan.
Bake the Chicken Thighs. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and the skins are golden brown. It should measure an internal temperature of 165 degrees F when measured with a meat thermometer. Cooking times can vary, depending on the size of your chicken thighs, so be sure to check the internal temperature to be sure. It could take 35-40 minutes with larger chicken thighs, though it's usually not that long to bake chicken.
Remove from heat, cool slightly, then squeeze lemon juice over the thighs.
Top with parsley and spicy red chili flakes and serve.
BOOM! Easy enough, isn't it? Such an easy oven baked chicken thighs recipe. Chicken dinner anytime! I love this dish. Nice and lightly spicy. Definitely family loved.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Cajun Blend. We went the Cajun route with a spicy Homemade Cajun Seasoning blend, gave them a nice and hot sear to get the skins a bit crispy, then baked them with small yellow potatoes, diced Cubanelle chili peppers (great sweet peppers!), some garlic, and a bit of chicken broth. Super easy! I'm serious. SUPER easy. I like that.
- The Chicken. This recipe is great with any chicken thighs - bone-in, boneless, with or without skin. Adjust your cooking time when cooking with boneless. They won't need as much time. You can make this with chicken breast as well - bone-in or boneless - as well as chicken legs and even chicken wings. So good!
- Spice It Up. Maybe next time I can prepare some with a superhot chili pepper rub. Yes! Once they're done, just squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top for that pop of citrus. It will liven things up.
- Optional Ingredients. Feel free to mix this recipe up with other ingredients. Soy sauce is a popular choice for marinating and flavoring chicken, as is a bit of vinegar and olive oil with other seasonings, like Italian seasonings or your favorite.
Party time! Enjoy!
Try These Other Popular Recipes
- Peri Peri Chicken Wings
- Peri Peri Chicken Legs
- Grilled Harissa Chicken Legs
- Korean Chicken
- Chicken Vindaloo
- Quick and Easy Chipotle Chicken
- Chicken Drumsticks with Pumpkin Seed Sauce (Pipian Rojo)
- Italian Chicken Drumsticks with Peppers and Paprika
- Chicken Scarpariello
- Chicken Cacciatore
If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you'll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don't forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I'll be sure to share! Thanks! -- Mike H.
Cajun Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe
- 4 chicken thighs bone in, skin on
- Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2-3 tablespoons Cajun seasonings Or use a nice chili pepper blend
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 Cubanelle peppers chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 12-16 small baby potatoes
- Juice from half a lemon
- Chopped parsley for serving
- Combine spices in a small bowl.
- Pat dry the chicken thighs and rub them down with the spice rub. Be sure to get under the skins and on the skins as well. Let them sit for about 20 minutes or so at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat a cast iron skillet to medium heat and add a couple tablespoons olive oil.
- Sear the chicken thighs 5 minutes each side. Remove to a plate to hold them.
- To the pan, add onion and peppers. Cook about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Be sure to stir.
- Add white wine to deglaze. Be sure to stir up the brown bits from the bottom. Let the wine reduce until it is almost gone.
- Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Add chicken thighs back to the pan along with the baby potatoes.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. It should measure at least 165 degrees F internal temperature.
- Remove from heat, cool slightly, then squeeze lemon juice over the thighs.
- Top with parsley and serve.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 6/4/21 to include new information, photos and video. It was originally published on 9/25/15.