Italian Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe

Chicken is one of those common foods that can be easily be taken for granted. In fact, it's not hard to screw it up and cook a terrible chicken dish, and it can be tricky to prepare a chicken dish that seems like it's anything special. But as ubiquitous as this humble protein may seem, it can indeed be prepared in a very special way. And with only a few choice ingredients needed, as you'll achieve a special meal, thanks to this baked chicken recipe from chef and recipe developer Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert of Wholly Nourished.

Don't worry, you don't have to be a pro chef in order to put together this special chicken dish — you just need to follow the few steps here very closely. "This is definitely an easier recipe," Bachtell-Shelbert says, adding, "The only mistake would be overcooking the chicken, but following these guidelines for time and temperature makes it pretty foolproof." And as for making a whole meal of it, Bachtell-Shelbert notes, "[My] personal preference here [is] a starch such as roasted potatoes or a rice pilaf, plus a veggie such as roasted broccoli or asparagus would round it out nicely."

Gather the ingredients for Italian baked chicken thighs

As noted, the beauty of this recipe is that it really doesn't use all that many ingredients. Instead, a few fresh herbs, some classic spices, and a bit of lemon and oil work in concert to make a delicious meal.

All told, for a four-serving batch of this chicken, you'll need four bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds of chicken overall), a couple of tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, four garlic cloves (minced), a tablespoon each of fresh rosemary and fresh thyme (chopped), and then some fresh basil and lemon for serving. That's it!

Season the chicken thighs

Start things off by preheating the oven to 400 F, and make sure the upper rack is close enough to the broiler that you can make use of it later in the process. Now, place the chicken thighs in a baking dish, skin side up. Pour the olive oil over the thighs, and season them with salt and pepper. Use your fingers to rub the oil, pepper, and salt into the meat to ensure the thighs are covered. 

Next, mix the garlic, rosemary, and thyme in a small bowl. Then, spread this mixture over the tops of the chicken thighs.

Bake the chicken

With the chicken seasoned and ready, place the dish in the oven on the top rack. Then, bake it for 30 to 35 minutes until the juices run clear, the meat is white throughout when sliced, and a meat thermometer reads 165 F or higher when stuck into the chicken.

One the chicken has cooked to a safe internal temperature, turn the oven to broil, and broil the chicken for up to five minutes until the skin is crisp. Then, take the dish from the oven, and remove the chicken out of the hot roasting pan onto a platter.

Serving and leftovers

Serve the chicken with freshly chopped basil and either lemon wheels or wedges and, as Bachtell-Shelbert suggests, a robust starch like potatoes or a hearty rice, and healthy green veggies will round things out into a delight of a meal.

If you end up with extra chicken, no problem there. "Store leftovers in the fridge for up to four days," Bachtell-Shelbert says. "The microwave is a quick, easy way to reheat [the chicken] or heat it in a 400 F oven for about 15 minutes. To make sure the chicken doesn't dry out, place a few tablespoons of water or broth in the bottom of the baking dish when reheating."

Italian Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe
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These Italian baked chicken thighs would pair nicely with roasted potatoes or a rice pilaf, in addition to a veggie like roasted broccoli or asparagus.
Prep Time
Cook Time
baked chicken on a plate
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
Optional Ingredients
  • fresh basil, for serving
  • lemon slices, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in a baking dish skin side up.
  3. Pour the olive oil over the chicken thighs, and season with salt and pepper. Rub in the oil and salt to ensure the thighs are covered.
  4. Mix the garlic, rosemary, and thyme in a small bowl, then rub the mixture into the tops of the chicken thighs.
  5. Place the dish in the oven, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the juices run clear.
  6. Turn the oven to broil, and broil the chicken for up to 5 minutes, until the skin is crisp.
  7. Serve with fresh basil and lemon slices.
Calories per Serving 493
Total Fat 38.9 g
Saturated Fat 9.7 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 189.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 2.1 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Total Sugars 0.0 g
Sodium 475.3 mg
Protein 32.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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