Tender Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs
When I tell you to think about "Healthy Meal Prep," what do you think of? I bet at least half of you thought of chicken breast. Well let me suggest an alternative to the dry, flavorless chicken breast that is still very healthy and stays juicy and moist after sitting in a Tupperware container for a few days. I have been using this recipe for four weeks straight now, and I'm still not tired of chicken.
It's got a little kick to it, but you can adjust your Cayenne pepper amount depending on how spicy you like your food. I love spicy food, but I adjusted the measurement for a more mild spice in this recipe.
2lbs of Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (I trimmed off about 80% of the fat as well)
3-4 TBS Avocado Oil (or oil of choice)
1 TBS Salt
1 TBS Pepper
2 TBS Garlic Powder (If you only have Garlic Salt, use 3 TBS and do not add regular salt)
1 TSP Cayenne Pepper (I like to use about 1 TBS for a stronger kick)
- If this is your first time making this recipe, I suggest starting by mixing all of the dry seasoning in a bowl and tasting it to see if it's salty enough, spicy enough, etc. Add seasonings to fit your palate.
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Depending on how you purchase your chicken thighs, you will need to prep them for seasoning by removing any bones, skin, and/or fat. I purchase them boneless and skinless so I just trim off excess fat to get them ready.
- WASH YOUR CHICKEN. I'm always surprised by how many recipes don't suggest washing your chicken. I run the chicken under cold water and use sliced lemon to rub on it. Use gloves if you want to avoid touching raw chicken.
*Note: You can use fresh lemon or lemon juice to massage the chicken with. The acidity helps keep the chicken tender as well as gets rid of funky meat smell (I wash ALL my meat with lemon, by the way!)
- Pat your chicken dry with a paper towel and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle half of the avocado oil onto the chicken and mix. Drizzle the other half and mix again, making sure each thigh gets a light coating of oil.
- Sprinkle half of the seasoning mixture over the chicken, mix, and repeat with the other half of the seasoning, making sure there are no clumps of seasoning and each thigh has a nice coat.
- Prepare a baking pan/tray (with edges) by lining it with foil and spreading out a light coating of oil or cooking spray.
- Place your chicken thighs on the tray so that they are not touching. They don't have to be far apart, but give them about 1/2 an inch of space to breathe.
*Because thighs can be long and lumpy, I like to tuck the lumpy parts underneath the smooth side to create a nice little mound of thigh (see picture for reference)
- Place the chicken on the middle shelf in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Depending on how thick you made your thighs, you may need to remove it a couple minutes earlier or later, so check your chicken at 18 minutes and add more time if necessary.
*I get too paranoid about undercooked chicken so I'm the type of person who "checks" my chicken by taking one piece out of the oven and cutting into it to check if the meat is still pink.
- When the chicken thighs are done, remove from the oven and let it rest on the pan for about 10-15 minutes. Serve them warm like that, or pack them up into containers and store in the fridge for up to 5 days!