Baking frozen chicken thighs in oven to tender is possible and so delicious! We have shared many other ways of cooking frozen chicken thighs, this is the final one! With crispy skin on the outside and insides that are fork tender and juicy, it’s a cheap meal everyone loves.
Have you ever wanted to make baked frozen chicken thighs because you forgot to defrost them? Thought it was impossible so you went out to dinner instead? OMG let me show you how to roast them perfectly next time so you can try this easy chicken thigh recipe too. (affiliate links present)
Frozen Chicken Thighs in Oven
Ok so I have shared many ways of cooking frozen meat to tender. Why?? Well because I have my moments, or days, when I just don’t seem to have it together the day before. Thinking that far ahead to thaw everything out in time just doesn’t always happen, and that is okay. 😉
Once you get the hang of this you will be superwoman (I mean not quite but closer) and when you find them on sale you can stock up! That is what I do to save money and time. When I do I will divide them up into 4 in a freezer bag and throw them into our deep freezer. That way I know how to save dinner even if they’re rock hard.
Baked Chicken Thighs From Frozen
Ok so one thing I will recommend is that if you are freezing them yourself, make sure they aren’t overlapping. As you can see here above each one was set next to one another but not on top. Reason this is important is when they’re baked in the oven the heat needs to reach to the middle.
If you bought them frozen and they are stuck on top of one another you will need to separate them. Best way to do this is to run cool water over the top. You don’t want to use hot because that will begin to cook the outsides and that’s no good. Just grasp both pieces and in a bit you should be able to twist and remove them from one another.
- 4 chicken thighs frozen, these were bone in
- I also have timing for frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs if that is what you have
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
- Olive oil
Of course you can use your own favorite seasonings on top. I would use what you normally would when you cook this cut of poultry. This makes a great Old Bay recipe too if you love those flavors. You can add some at the beginning AND more at the end when they are warmed and it will stick nicely. Depends on how thick of a coating you want.
Bone In Frozen Chicken Thighs
Preheat the oven to 360 F. Place frozen chicken thighs in a baking dish. They should not be overlapping, if so run under cool water to separate and lay in 1 layer, add rosemary.
- Brush with a little olive oil to keep the chicken from drying out in the oven.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes -after this time, the thighs should be soft.
- However, if they are large, then the time can be increased to 80 minutes.
- Remove the foil, brush your thighs with olive oil and sprinkle with spices and salt.
- Put in the oven uncovered for another 30 minutes or until thickest portion reaches 165 degrees and skin is browned and crisped.
Baked frozen boneless chicken thighs
For these you’ll want to preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. They will take closer to 50 min to 1 hour since it is faster to heat all the way to the center this way. Do not pull them out until it reaches the safe proper internal meat temperature in the thickest part of the meat.
Are chicken thighs done at 165?
Yes! Once the internal temperature reaches this you will want to immediately pull them out. You don’t want them to overcook and dry out. Then allow them to rest with a bit of foil on top to keep them warm.
Another way to know when they are done is if you pierce the thigh with a skewer, clear juices/fat will flow out. If it is pink, then increase the baking time by another 10 minutes. If you don’t have a digital meat thermometer to check this is a pretty accurate way to know as well. Then slice and make sure it is not pink either.
How to Bake Frozen Chicken Thighs
Whether you choose to cook bone in chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken thighs these cooking times below should help. I really love a casserole dish so it can catch all of the wonderful juices. Then I can drain that and make gravy from chicken drippings at the end with some cornstarch on the stove.
If you want to cook the chicken on a baking sheet just make sure it has high sides or the liquid may flow over and make a mess. We use a similar method to bake a frozen chicken breast in oven. With both you will want crispy chicken skin so uncovering once the insides are tender is a must. Of course you could do this in your air fryer too.
It is just easier to keep everything in the same pan though if you ask me. Less to clean up for sure and works just as great. Once you get the hang of this you can make all sort of things, like combining to make sheet pan chicken thighs and vegetables together. We will share a few of our other favorites below.
Frozen Chicken Thigh Recipes
Ok so once you have this done you can of course serve them as is with a simple side dish. But you could remove the meat and make something else too. Same goes with if you have leftovers. First off we love a great chicken casserole, with light or dark meat(s).
Often times I will buy bagged shredded lettuce, slice avocado, cheese and sour cream to make soft tacos. It is always a hit because everyone can dress theirs up however they want and is a super cheap meal overall.
You can shred or chop the meat and sprinkle it on top of a great salad to add some protein to it. We have a lot of leftover chicken recipes here to choose from too.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Baking Frozen Chicken Thighs
- 1 baking dish
- Preheat the oven to 360 F. Place frozen chicken thighs in a baking dish, (they should not be overlapping, if so run under cool water to separate and lay in 1 layer) add rosemary. Brush with a little olive oil to keep the chicken from drying out in the oven.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes -after this time, the thighs should be soft. However, if they are large, then the time can be increased to 80 minutes.
- Remove the foil, brush your thighs with olive oil and sprinkle with spices and salt. Put in the oven uncovered for another 30 minutes or until thickest portion reaches 165 degrees and skin is browned and crisped.
- How to know when it is done; If you pierce the thigh with a skewer, clear juices/fat will flow out. If it is pink, then increase the baking time by another 10 minutes. Use internal thermometer as a second check to ensure it is 165 inside.
- ** Boneless – Put into preheated oven set to 375 degrees F. They will take closer to 50 min to 1 hour. Uncover during last 15 minutes to brown.