Garlic butter chicken thighs baked in the oven or air fryer turn out perfectly moist with crispy chicken skin on the outside and tons of flavor! A cheap meal packed with protein your whole family will love.
These garlic butter chicken thighs are cheap and a family favorite. Moist protein that doesn’t take long to prep and a healthy dinner even your kids will love. One of many quick and easy chicken recipes we added on the blog this week. (affiliate links present, originally published 4/22)
Oven Baked Bone In Chicken Thighs
Why did we choose this variety? Well because it is the cheapest cut out there on the bird and has the most tender meat if you ask me. Loads more flavor than chicken breasts too. I made the change a few years ago and grab these when making almost any meal nowadays.
Yes you could opt for boneless for this easy chicken thigh recipe, but they’re quite a bit more expensive. If you do though the timing might be a little much, you could decrease it by a few minutes and check.
Cast Iron Chicken Thighs
This is how long to cook chicken thigh on stove with a rich sauce or plain with just a bit of butter or olive oil and seasonings. You can just use the skillet or brown in it and then transfer to the oven.
Seasonings as always are up to you but there are suggestions as to what was used here below in the printable recipe card. This is to give the skin a bunch of flavor and drip down to the meat itself a bit. If you want more and more just use the same mix and rub more underneath the skin itself.
Use a cast iron pan for this one, trust me, the best way for all Bone In Chicken Breast Recipes. I mean if you have one already you know what I am talking about. When yours is years old and properly seasoned that will just add to the overall flavors of your meat. It makes things easier too because you can sear first, then pop the whole thing in the oven without transferring to a baking pan.
Skillet Chicken Thighs
I mean look at the golden brown nature of these my friends. SO yummy right? I mean you don’t need to brown the outsides first I suppose but it sure creates delicious chicken skin for sure. Gets all those flavors cooked right in so every bite is delish. Plus the color makes it more appetizing.
We say right at the middle is ideal. After browning the outside skin on the stovetop, 375 F. is ideal to maintain juicy tender meat and not burn the skin.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put butter into skillet and heat on your stovetop on high / medium heat until it’s melted. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle all sides of meat with seasonings and then put into the hot skillet. Brown on both sides, about 4 minutes and then remove from heat.
- Put cast iron pan into oven for about 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.
Remove and leave in the pan to rest for at least a full 5 minutes before slicing. This will help maintain the juiciness inside and keep it as moist as possible. If you cut into it right away they will all flow out quickly and make the meat a bit dry and not ideal.
Skillet Bone In Chicken Thighs
You can cook air fryer chicken thighs even faster but sometimes lower and slower is preferred. If you don’t have one of these “magic machines” yet you may need other methods too.
I would highly suggest you get one though, it has seriously changed my life in the kitchen. We’ve even made frozen chicken thighs in air fryer before!!
- Defrosted or fresh thighs
- Butter or olive oil can be used
- Cast iron pan or skillet and oven safe baking dish
- Italian seasoning
- Minced roasted garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic powder
If you have fresh roasted garlic cloves those are the best. The type spooned right out of the jar works too. This whole process will take about 30 minutes total. 15 minutes is just the baking cook time at the end. Maybe longer if you want the outside more golden brown.
Remember when you’re done that cast iron skillet care is much different than any other pan. You want to keep it “seasoned” at all times and not scrub or use soaps to clean it. If you’re new to these pans they are kinda’ a head scratcher at the beginning I’m not gonna’ lie.
Use it for a few months though and I bet you will be hooked. The flavors they suck in and give every dish you make in them is out of this world delicious. They’re not just great for chicken though, every meat is killer cooked inside these things I tell you.
What can you eat with chicken thighs?
Um well literally anything goes really. We love roast potatoes as a side dish with green beans or some white rice. I like to keep things healthy when I can with a simple starch and a vegetable like air fryer mushrooms too. I have done this my kids’ whole life and now they love veggies probably more than meat.
What is the Best Way to Cook Chicken Thighs?
I hope we answered this question for you. I’d say this is the easiest and best, not the only way. If you have any left over you will want to save them and enjoy the next day, that is easy. You do want to make sure you store in containers with the least amount of air left inside though.
Freezer bags work better than Tupperware for this. You can suck the air out easily and keep them super tender for reheating in the microwave or air fryer.
Or dice them up and throw into our creamy Crockpot chicken recipe for a second day meal. They’ll never know that the meat was from the day before and you’ll get two meals for the price of one out of it.
Jump to recipe below and let us know what you think, if they knock your socks you should try our boneless skinless chicken thighs Crockpot recipe 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!
Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put butter into skillet and heat on stovetop until melted. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle all sides of meat with seasonings and half of garlic, then put into hot skillet. Brown on both sides, about 4 minutes and then remove from heat. Sprinkle remaining garlic on top of pieces.
- Put cast iron skillet into oven for about 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.
- Remove and leave in the pan to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.