Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs

The ease of a chicken cutlet with the flavor of a chicken thigh.

Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs
Photo: Photographer: Will Dickey
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

These Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs deliver a crackly-crisp coating with tender, juicy meat. While most Southerners are fans of deep-fried chicken, this simple and mess-free version will surely satisfy.

Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese provide a savory and satisfying coating; the chicken thighs are pounded into cutlets and baked on a wire rack. Serve with a lemon slice and a fresh salad and wedge of cornbread or yeast roll.

What Ingredients Are in Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs?

To make oven-fried chicken thighs, you'll need:

ingredients for Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs
Photographer: Will Dickey

- boneless skinless chicken thighs
- flour
- eggs
- panko
- Parmesan cheese
- cooking spray
- salt and pepper

How to Shop for Chicken Thighs

There are a few options at the grocery store when shopping for chicken thighs. Chicken thighs can be purchased either boneless and skinless; bone-in and skin-on; or bone-in and skinless.

This recipe calls for boneless, skinless thighs, which are crucial for pounding into a cutlet. While packaged chicken thighs can vary in size, aim for one-third of a pound of boneless meat per person.

How Is Oven-Fried Chicken Different From Fried Chicken?

While using the oven to cook the chicken isn't novel, this recipe has a secret technique: Place the chicken thighs on wire racks during the cooking process. This will help crisp up all sides of the chicken as the air circulates evenly around the food.

chicken cutlets pounded out
Photographer: Will Dickey

Make sure your wire rack is oven safe. Unlike deep frying, which submerges the chicken thigh in hot oil to cook the meat, oven frying uses the heat from the oven.

raw Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs on baking tray
Photographer: Will Dickey

How Long Should Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs Bake?

Most chicken thighs will need about 25 minutes to fully bake in the oven.

What Temperature Should Be Used For Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs?

We like to cook at 375°F so it cooks quickly without burning the panko coating.

If you bake the chicken thighs at 400°F, adjust the time to ensure that the thighs don't dry out.

Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs on baking rack
Photographer: Will Dickey

What to Serve with Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs

For a hearty and satisfying meal, serve alongside baked macaroni and cheese, easy squash casserole, and a cucumber salad for some fresh crunch.

Or keep it simple with a slab of cornbread and some steamed veggies. The stars of the meal, oven-fried chicken thighs, are delightful as a weeknight meal or pretty enough to be served dinner party style.

How to Store Oven Fried Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for three to four days.

Thighs can be frozen before baking: Prepare the recipe entirely, and stop before cooking. Store in an airtight freezer bag, or wrap in plastic wrap and seal in an airtight container for three to four months.

Bake thighs from frozen, though they will require a slightly longer cooking time. Check thighs with an instant-read thermometer. Cooked chicken should reach 165 °F.

How to Reheat Oven Fried Chicken Thighs

Reheat cooked chicken thighs in the air fryer or the oven at 400°F for 10 to 15 minutes on a wire rack.

Editorial contributions by Alexandra Emanuelli.


  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (6 thighs)

  • ½ cup (about 2 1/8 oz.) all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 Tbsp. water

  • 1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt

  • ½ tsp. black pepper

  • 2 ⅓ cups seasoned panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

  • 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

  • Cooking spray

  • Lemon wedges


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F with racks in top third and lower third positions. Place 2 oven-safe wire racks inside 2 rimmed baking sheets.

  2. Working with 1 chicken thigh at a time, place chicken on a layer of plastic wrap on top of a work surface. Cover chicken with another layer of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or a rolling pin, pound chicken into an even 1/4-inch thickness. Set aside.

  3. Place flour in a wide shallow plate (a pie plate works great). Lightly beat eggs, water, salt, and pepper in a second wide shallow plate. Stir together panko and Parmesan in a third wide shallow plate.

  4. Working with 1 chicken thigh at a time, coat chicken in flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in panko mixture, coating chicken thoroughly and patting to adhere coating. Place 3 chicken thighs on each wire rack, and coat tops of chicken liberally with cooking spray.

  5. Bake in preheated oven until chicken is cooked through and panko is crisp and lightly golden, about 25 minutes, flipping chicken and coating with cooking spray, and rotating baking sheets between top and bottom racks halfway through baking time. Serve chicken with lemon wedges.

Updated by
Alexandra Emanuelli
Alexandra Emanuelli

Alexandra Emanuelli is a professional food editor and writer with nine years of experience. She has been published in HuffPost, Clean Eating, AllRecipes, and other publications.

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