This flavorful roasted chicken dish is perfect for a weeknight or Sunday dinner. It's got all the flavors you love in one dish! You'll love how easy it is to prepare this baked chicken legs and thighs recipe using only a few ingredients.
- Baked Chicken Legs and Thighs
- What Goes with Baked Chicken?
- Can I Make This with Chicken Breasts?
- How do I Know My Chicken is Done?
- How do I Get the Skin Crispy?
- Can I Make This in an Air Fryer?
- Handy Kitchen Tools
- How to Make Crispy Baked Chicken
- How to Make Crispy Chicken in the Air Fryer
- More Easy Chicken Recipes
- 📖 Recipe
Baked Chicken Legs and Thighs
Baked chicken legs and thighs are a delicious, easy way to make your dinner. This recipe is so simple – just mix together some spices, pour them over the chicken pieces, and bake. The result is tender meat with a crispy crust that’s perfect for dipping in BBQ sauce or honey mustard.
And it’s healthy too! You can feel good about serving this dish to your family without any guilt because it has no added fat or sugar. Plus you know exactly what ingredients are going into the meal since there aren't any preservatives or artificial flavors involved.
The best part about this recipe is how versatile it is. Serve it as-is for an easy weeknight dinner, or add some extra flavor by adding in some of your favorite spices before baking.
What Goes with Baked Chicken?
With a recipe this simple, there are so many options to serve as a side to complete this dinner. You can go very simple and just serve a salad or something like this broccoli cheddar soup. Of course, you can even just your favorite vegetable or some basic garlic butter mashed potatoes instead.
More options that will go fantastic with this baked chicken legs and thighs are recipes like broccoli salad and potato salad. This will bring that homestyle feel to your dinner.
Can I Make This with Chicken Breasts?
You can easily swap out the chicken legs and thighs for chicken breasts. If you are using chicken breast, you will want to make sure to keep the skin on. That is going to give you the same texture and the closest flavor to these chicken legs.
You will need to adjust your cooking time as well. When cooking chicken breast and cooking chicken legs and thighs the cooking time is different. You want to be careful not to dry the chicken breast out since it does not have the same fat content as the darker meat.
A bone-in and skin-on chicken breast will typically take between 45 minutes to 1 hour to be cooked through and safe to serve.
How do I Know My Chicken is Done?
To make sure your baked chicken is cooked all the way through, it is best to use a meat thermometer.
The internal temperature should be at least 160°F before you remove it from the oven. For safety, it should reach 165°F internally before serving. I recommend removing 5° earlier and letting it rest for 10 minutes before serving. This allows the chicken to continue cooking and reach temperature without being overcooked and drying out.
If you do not have a thermometer, you can tell the chicken is done by piercing the thickest part of the meat with a sharp knife. If the juices run clear, it's ready to eat.
How do I Get the Skin Crispy?
One of the best parts about this recipe is how crispy the skin gets. You want to elevate the chicken off the bottom of the pan.
Use a wire rack, like a cooling rack, to get the best results. This gets the chicken out of the grease and lets the air circulate around the chicken.
In this recipe, however, one of those secret tips is included by using baking powder as part of the coating. It works wonderfully to provide crispy skin.
Another secret to getting the skin crispy is layering on some salt before baking it. This will help draw out the moisture in your chicken legs and thighs, which will crisp up when cooked.
Can I Make This in an Air Fryer?
You can definitely make this as an air fryer recipe if you prefer. One thing to remember is that you will need to cook the chicken in batches due to space in your air fryer.
You can find the directions on how to make chicken legs and thighs in the Air Fryer in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Chicken legs and thighs
- Baking powder
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
Optional: Barbecue sauce or honey mustard sauce for dipping
Handy Kitchen Tools
How to Make Crispy Baked Chicken
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup, then place an oven-safe wire rack onto the baking sheet and set it aside.
Pat dry the chicken pieces with paper towels.
In a small bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic, and black pepper until well combined.
Place the chicken onto the prepared baking rack.
Coat the chicken on all sides with the spice and baking powder mixture.
Refrigerate, uncovered, for 3 hours. If you prefer to cover, do so loosely, the goal is to let the chicken dry a bit before baking.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake skin side up for 40 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160°F has been reached.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
How to Make Crispy Chicken in the Air Fryer
Follow steps 2 to 4 above.
Place the coated chicken onto a tray or in a container allowing the chicken to be placed in a single layer and not touching. Refrigerate, uncovered for 3 hours.
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
Place the chicken pieces into the air fryer basket or tray leaving space between each piece.
Cook for 15 minutes, then turn/flip the chicken pieces over. Continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes. Check the temperature, and if not yet 160°F internally, continue cooking in additional 5-minute increments until cooked through.
Let stand 10-minutes before serving.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
Do you love chicken but need some inspiration to spice up your meal plan? Below are some of my favorite chicken recipes that are ideal for making to add flavor to your menu! Make sure to bookmark, print, or pin the recipes you like to make soon!
- Creamy Chicken Marsala 30-Minute Meal
- Braised Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs with Vegetables
- Crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken Thighs
- Loaded Baked Potato Chicken Casserole
- Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Veggies
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken legs
- 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
How to Make Crispy Baked Chicken
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup, then place an oven-safe wire rack onto the baking sheet and set it aside.
- Pat dry the chicken pieces with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic, and black pepper until well combined.
- Coat the chicken on all sides with the spice and baking powder mixture, then place on the prepared wire rack.
- Refrigerate, uncovered, for 3 hours. If you prefer to cover, do so loosely, the goal is to let the chicken dry a bit before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Bake skin side up for 40 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160°F has been reached.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
How to Make Crispy Chicken in the Air Fryer
- Follow steps 2 to 4 above.
- Place the coated chicken onto a tray or in a container allowing the chicken to be placed in a single layer and not touching. Refrigerate, uncovered for 3 hours.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Place the chicken pieces into the air fryer basket or tray leaving space between each piece.
- Cook for 15 minutes, then turn/flip the chicken pieces over. Continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes. Check the temperature, and if not yet 160°F internally, continue cooking in additional 5-minute increments until cooked through.
- Let stand 10-minutes before serving.
If cooking bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, increase the cooking time to 45 minutes to 1 hour.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 196Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 1198mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 23g