If I were to ever have the need to use the beloved millennial phrase “on repeat” about something I cook, it would be about Crispy Skin Chicken. For my entire adult life, I have made this chicken recipe over and over (and over on repeat) and love until death do us part. It is THE BEST CHICKEN, friends and I am so excited for you to try it.

A plate with crispy skin chicken, broccoli and mashed carrots and parsnips

Last year, I had the honor of being a guest on Vermont Public Radio to talk about cooking. Within the first two minutes of the interview, the host, Jane Lindholm, asked if I had a go-to recipe for this time of year. Without hesitation I knew the answer would be my Crispy Skin Chicken. You can hear what I said here (If you don’t want to listen to the whole thing, fast forward to minute 1:55.)

Yet, I’ve never shared the recipe here. And that reason has to do with Jane’s response to my description of the recipe, she says “But you’re not supposed to eat the chicken skin!”  That’s really what the hold up has been. I didn’t want to put a recipe for skin-on chicken on Healthy Seasonal Recipes because, well, it wasn’t particularly healthy.

A platter of Baked Chicken with Crispy Skin

But if you listen to the interview, you know my response to Jane was, “It’s the best part!” My family and I have been enjoying this, in fact I would say it is Our Favorite (with a capital F) dinner. As you know my whole philosophy about what healthy means anyway is everything in moderation. So a bit of chicken skin now and then (aka “on repeat”) is okay! And really chicken skin isn’t so bad for you.

 

How to Make Crispy Skin Chicken

Crispy skin chicken is SOOOO SIMPLE to make. It is just four ingredients and if you follow these steps you will have amazingly crispy skin every time you make it.

  1. Get you oven a-blazing! The most important part of getting the skin really crispy is having a good hot oven. That means preheating it to 425 degrees on convection. Convection baking circulates the air around the outside of the chicken as it cooks, so that it cooks faster, and allows it to become much crispier. It’s almost like searing the outside of the chicken!
  2. Choose the right pan. I use a heavy handled roasting pan. The thickness of it helps to ensure even cooking and even distribution of the heat. I also love the fact that it is stovetop safe, so clean up is a breeze! (See more on that below.) I spray the pan with cooking spray before I lay the chicken down in it so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  3. Remember that moisture is the enemy of crispy skin, you want to make sure your chicken is not wet from the packaging. (Blot it dry with a paper towel if you need to.) And also take care so it is not crowded in the pan.
  4. Seasoning! I use a heavy hand with the salt on these. Since the inside of the chicken doesn’t get any seasoning on it, you have to kinda over season the outside of the chicken. It also helps to form a nice crust on the outside. I use coarse kosher salt for this. If you’ve missed it, here’s what you need to know about subbing in a different salt.
  5. Then comes decision time for the seasoning. I am a giant fan of Teeny Tiny Spice Company blends and have an entire shelf of my spice rack dedicated to these incredible small-batch Certified Organic blends. I have 17 cans of them right now. No lie. My two favorites to use for Crispy Skin Chicken are the Montreal Seasoning and the Shepherd Herb Mix. But I also love their Hot Italian and the Za’atar spice as well in this recipe. Really you can’t go wrong! I have made this with other spice blends as well. Regular old Italian Seasoning works awesome, as does Herbs de Provence. I also love the Greek Seasoning by McCormick, which is available at most grocery stores.
  6. All of the blends I have mentioned are heavier on dried herbs and lighter on dried spices. Spices tend to darken a little too much, so when I use them for Crispy Skin Chicken I try to keep the spice mostly on the top of the chicken. But I still salt and pepper the bottom of the chicken.
  7. I haven’t even mentioned that the chicken needs to be bone-in legs! {Side note: Recently I heard Jenna Bush hadn’t ever had chicken thighs before, which I googled, and couldn’t find any evidence of, but I did find her playing Never Have I Ever in this funny video with Kathy Lee Gifford.} So I am not sure if she has or hasn’t had chicken thighs, but more important, if YOU have never had chicken thighs, then I am telling you, basically you haven’t lived. (Was that convincing enough?)
  8. The reason you want bone in thighs is they don’t dry out. So you can cook them until the bottom is crispy, the skin is crispy and the meat is steaming hot and tender and just pulls right off the bone. What I love about that is you can be a slacker and not be super precise about pulling them out of the oven right at the perfect moment. Chicken thighs don’t turn to sawdust the way chicken breast does.
  9. Bake the chicken for 50 minutes to an hour. Don’t worry, you won’t over cook it. I think it’s even better if you go for the full hour because the meat starts to fall off the bone a little bit! Succulent!
  10. To clean up, if you have a stove-top safe pan, you’re in luck!  Just add an half-inch or so of warm water and a couple drops of dish soap into the pan. Then set it on the stove and bring it to a boil. Once it boils. Turn it off and let it sit about 10 minutes. It will come clean super easily!
  11. Sorry to say that if you have leftovers the skin will not be crispy once it is refrigerated. So when you have left-overs, reheat the chicken, then remove the skin.

A table with a platter of chicken and two plates of dinner

What To Serve with Crispy Skin Chicken

My daughter’s absolute favorite Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon

Overnight Kale Caesar is also a killer combo with this chicken

Last week I shared our new fave Mashed Carrots and Parsnips. The orange flavor rocks with oven roasted chicken!

Simple Skillet Green Beans are always easy and my kids love them.

For dessert Oatmeal Cookies cannot be beat.

A dinner plate with crispy skin chicken, broccoli and mashed carrots and parsnips

These Are My Other Two Favorite Chicken Recipes

Isabel’s Island Chicken Marinade (aka the Best Chicken Marinade)

Garlic Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken 

 

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chicken thighs

Crispy Skin Chicken

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

The Best Crispy Skin Chicken! Just bake the chicken thighs with salt pepper and spice in a hot oven for an hour! It is so easy and my kids love it!


Scale

Ingredients

8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, about 4 pounds

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, or more to taste

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons purchased herb and spice blend, see note*


Instructions

  1. Arrange oven rack in center of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees convection. Lightly coat a heavy large roasting pan with cooking spray or brush with oil.
  2. Lay chicken thighs in roasting pan. Sprinkle with about half of the salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half of the dry spices. Flip over, and sprinkle the other side with the remaining salt, pepper and spices. Turn chicken skin side up and transfer to the oven.
  3. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is very crispy, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Serve hot.

Notes

Note*: This recipe works with virtually any purchased herb and spice blend. An example would be Montreal Seasoning, Italian Seasoning, Greek Seasoning or Za’atar. Spice blends like curry powder, Cajun seasoning or Mexican seasonings are also a great option, though they can get dark, especially on the bottom of the chicken. If using a spice blend, err on sprinkling the spice heavier on the top (skin side) of the chicken. Please note that some herb and spice blends also contain salt and pepper. If yours does, use less salt and pepper.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 thigh
  • Calories: 190
  • Sugar: 0
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 17 g