Southern Baked Chicken Thighs are juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Brushed with buttermilk and then coated with the most delicious mildly smoky-spicy seasonings! Low carb and keto instructions are provided.
❤️ Southern-Style Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
"Crispy baked chicken thighs just like my Grandma used to make! Southern-style fried chicken made healthier and easier - without the mess."
Crispy and Juicy
These crispy baked chicken thighs turn out so juicy and tender it was hard to believe that they weren't deep-fried. The skin was super crispy and full of garlic, onion, and cayenne flavor!
Inevitably I'm going to get asked - what makes these Southern? 😉
This chicken thighs recipe is inspired by the Southern side of my family who love their buttermilk fried chicken with tobasco sauce!
Many Southerners take their chicken very seriously - including me! I wanted a "fried" chicken recipe just like Grandma's but I didn't want to fry it. I'm too impatient and it makes a mess! LOL. Enter: this baked chicken thigh recipe.
This recipe is made healthier by oven baking. If you want to make them even healthier substitute olive oil for the butter. You can also use fat free buttermilk
Make it keto: omitting the flour and using finely crushed pork rinds instead! Use full fat buttermilk.
🥘 What You'll Need
Here are the ingredients and equipment you will need to make these southern baked chicken thighs:
- Chicken Thighs - for best results, use bone-in and skin-on!
- Hot Sauce - using hot sauce is optional. I used Tobasco hot sauce but you can use any favorite brand.
- All-Purpose Flour - keto followers can substitute finely crushed pork rinds, also called pork panko.
- Salt - I used tabled salt but feel free to use kosher or a salt substitute.
- Smoked Paprika
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions!
Equipment and tools needed to make this southern baked chicken thigh recipe:
- Baking Sheet - big enough to fit six chicken thighs. Preferably with sides to help from spilling.
- Aluminum Foil - to line baking sheet.
- 1-Gallon Zip-Lock Bag - for marinating chicken.
- Cutting Board - to dry chicken. A large plate works perfectly also.
- Measuring Cups
- Measure Spoons
- 2 Small Mixing Bowls
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Tongs - for serving.
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making southern baked chicken thighs:
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine your flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl or plastic bag. Mix until well incorporated.
Whisk your egg, buttermilk, and hot sauce in a separate bowl until mixed well.
While the butter is melting, prepare your chicken thighs.
Dip each thigh into the buttermilk mixture and make sure all sides are covered.
Line a baking sheet (with sides) with aluminum foil. Cut butter into 4 pats and place on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 2 to 5 minutes or until the butter has melted.
Once the butter is melted on your pan, place the chicken thighs skin side down on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
After 35 minutes in the oven, remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the thighs, so the skin side is now facing up.
Return the chicken to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
🥗 How To Serve
Here are a few ways to serve Southern baked chicken thighs:
Garnish with chopped green onions or parsley and serve with hot sauce or bbq sauce.
For a keto meal idea I recommend serving this with Baked Zucchini Casserole with Cheese and a fresh green salad.
Here are a few ways you can vary or make substitutions to this recipe:
- You can substitute boneless thighs if you can't find bone-in. The bones add extra flavor and tenderness. Boneless thighs will take approximately 25 - 30 minutes to bake.
- Feel free to add or change up spices! I used old-bay seasoning, dried herb blends, and even cajun seasoning. If you use a salted blend reduce salt accordingly.
- Increase your spice level by adding your favorite hot sauce to the buttermilk mixture! This is a classic way to increase the flavor and spice of your chicken thighs! Start with 1 teaspoon and increase from there.
💭 Top Tips
- As the butter melts in the oven and the pan warms, watch it carefully as the butter can burn quickly.
- Feel free to marinate your thighs in buttermilk, salt, and a little hot sauce up to 24 hours before. This will tenderize the thighs even further. Just shake off any excess and then dip straight into the flour and seasoning mixture.
How to store them
Store your leftover thighs (if any) in an air-tight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How to reheat
While you can reheat in a microwave, to keep that crispy crust reheat these chicken thighs in an air fryer or oven at 350 degrees F. Place on a baking sheet and heat until warmed through.
Air Fryer: 350 degrees F, 5 to 10 minutes.
Oven: 350 degrees F, 10-15 minutes .
Bone in chicken thighs take approximately 45 - 55 minutes bake at 375 degrees F (the larger the thigh the longer it will take to cook). Chicken thighs are done when they are no longer pink, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Bone in chicken thighs take approximately 50 to 55 minutes to bake at 350 degrees F (the larger the thigh the longer they will take to cook). They are done when their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
✔️ More Chicken Thigh Recipes
If you are looking for more delicious recipes with chicken thighs, be sure to check these out:
- Low Carb and Keto Chicken Piccata
- Italian Style Crock Pot Chicken Thighs
- Low Carb Chicken in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce
- Hungarian Paprika Chicken
- French Country Skillet Chicken Dinner
⭐ Let's Connect
Southern Baked Chicken Thighs
- 6 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup flour (keto followers use finely crushed pork rind)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (use more if you like it spicy)
- 4 tablespoons butter (cut into 4 pats)
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- In a medium-sized bowl add buttermilk, optional hot sauce, and egg. Whisk to combine.
- In a large plastic bag, add flour, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Shake bag to mix.
- Using tongs coat chicken in buttermilk mixture, then place in plastic bag and shake to coat. Set aside on a plate. Repeat for each chicken thigh.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place pats of butter on the sheet. Bake in the oven for 2 to 5 minutes just until butter is melted.
- Place chicken thighs, skin side down, on the baking sheet in the melted butter.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the chicken skin side up. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 to 15 more minutes, or until the chicken is done.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- VARIATIONS: Make these keto by using finely crushed pork rind instead of flour, reducing the carbs to 2 grams.
- TOP TIPS: Place the pats of butter in the oven to melt, watch them carefully as the butter can turn brown quickly.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Garnish with chopped green onions or parsley and serve with hot sauce or bbq sauce.
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