Do you know what I love about this baked chicken thighs recipe the most? The thighs are soft and juicy on the inside, the skin is crispy and flavorful and the best part is that you also cook a delicious onion gravy while baking the thighs in the oven.
Any dish is better with a gravy, no need to argue about that. But sometimes I just don’t want to spend extra time on preparing it, or I don’t have the extra ingredients at hand. One way or another, with this recipe it’s different.
I’m baking these thighs on a thick layer of onions and garlic that are submerged in broth or stock. The drippings from the thighs mix with the base and all it takes to make the gravy is to blend the garlic & onion mix, just a few minutes before the thighs are fully baked. As simple as that.
I have a video of the whole cooking process posted below, so make sure to watch it. It’s very simple to prepare this dish and I can guarantee that you will be happy about the result. We’re making oven baked chicken thighs all the time at home, following various recipes, but this one is very high on our list of favorites.
These baked chicken thighs are best served with rice, but you can also use boiled or baked potatoes or your favorite type of pasta. To make it complete, I added a small bowl of simple apple & bacon coleslaw that my son prepared.
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs Ingredients :
8-10 chicken thighs
3 large onions
3-4 cloves of garlic
1-2 cups of broth or stock
1-2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed caraway
2-3 teaspoons of your favorite BBQ mix
Note: Adjust the amount of salt and other seasonings to your likings, you can also use a spicy mix. I used broth which was already salted, but should you decide to use stock, add some salt to it as well.
How To Make These Baked Chicken Thighs :
Watch the video or scroll down for step by step instructions:
1. Start by seasoning the chicken thighs. I used a deep baking dish for this, it’s easier to properly season all sides this way and I had one less dish to clean afterwards. Start with the olive oil first, this way the seasonings stick to the meat better. Next comes the salt, caraway and bbq mix.
You can choose any bbq mix you like! The one I used contained black pepper, sweet paprika, garlic powder, rosemary and thyme. You can also use fresh herbs, but do not add too many as the thighs would become too fragrant. Once properly seasoned from all sides, move the chicken thighs to a plate.
2. Cut the onions and garlic into larger chunks. No need to cut them finely, since we will be blending these later anyways. Spread the onions and garlic evenly across the baking dish and pour the broth or stock over them. They should be almost fully submerged, so depending on your baking dish size you will need 1 or 2 cups.
3. As mentioned earlier, in case you decided to use stock, add a pinch of salt to it. Don’t have any broth or stock available? You can use water as well, just make sure you season it with salt and pepper at least. You can also add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce into it.
4. Now place the thighs over the onion/garlic layer and cover them with aluminium foil. This will protect the meat from direct heat and keep the moisture in during the first “baking phase”. Preheat the oven to 220C (425F) and start baking.
5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, based on the size of the thighs. The thighs should start to become soft at this stage, remove the foil and keep baking for 20 more minutes. The sauce will reduce a bit during these 20 minutes, which is what we want to happen, so it becomes more intense in flavor.
6. Now it’s time to work on the gravy. Take the baking dish out of the oven, remove the thighs and put them on a plate. Using a soup ladle, transfer all the onions, garlic and most of the sauce to a small pot or deep pan. Leave just about 1cm (½ inch) of the sauce in the baking dish.
7. Put the chicken thighs back into the baking dish and keep baking at 250C (475F). We want to reach a crispy, golden brown skin which should take about 20 more minutes of baking. Make sure you do not burn the skin or dry the meat out, so keep an eye on thighs.
8. Using a hand blender, finely blend the onions and garlic. The gravy will start to form, changing the color to a creamy one. Bring it to a boil and add a few teaspoons of starch slurry to thicken the gravy up. Give it a taste and add salt if needed.
9. The thighs are fully baked and the color looks nothing short of amazing. And that means we are ready to serve.
10. Cooked rice is the best side for this recipe in my opinion, but you can use baked potatoes too. Use lot’s of the gravy, it goes with the rice really well. And a bit of salad can’t hurt! I used a simple coleslaw but feel free to use your favorite one or just throw some pickles on the plate. Enjoy!
Optional Tips For This Recipe:
- You can add some vegetables into the base to make the final gravy more flavorful. Red bell peppers or carrots work well. I have also used white or brown mushrooms with success.
- To give the gravy an extra kick, add some bacon to the base, it will provide a smoky touch.
- This dish can certainly be done in a spicy way! Add some chilies to the onion base to make that happen.
- You can use the same recipe with different meat types too, pork neck is a great alternative. Just keep in mind it needs to be baked for a longer period of time than chicken thighs.
- You can also add some red or white wine or even beer into the onion base. Try to experiment!
- Have a guest who doesn’t like onion gravy? Make my universal mushroom sauce instead 🙂
Recipe Card Below:
Simple Baked Chicken Thighs With Onion Gravy
- 8-10 chicken thighs
- 3 large onions
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1-2 cups broth or stock
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed caraway
- 2-3 teaspoons of your favorite BBQ mix
- Season the chicken thighs properly. Start with the olive oil so the dry seasonings stick to the meat better.
- Cut onions and garlic into larger chunks and layer them over the bottom of the baking dish.
- Add broth or stock. The onion and garlic chunks need to be almost fully submerged.
- Place the chicken thighs over the onion base, cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how large the thighs are.
- Remove the foil and keep baking for 20 more minutes.
- Place the thighs on a plate and transfer all of the onions, garlic and almost all of the sauce into a small pot. Leave just about 1 cm (1/2 inch) of the sauce in the baking dish.
- Put the chicken thighs back into the baking dish and keep baking at 250C (475F) for about 20 more minutes or until the skin becomes crispy and golden brown.
- Blend the onions, garlic and sauce mix finely. Bring to a boil and add starch slurry to tighten the gravy. Add salt if needed.
- Serve with rice or potatoes and lots of the gravy. Some veggies or a simple coleslaw go with the thighs great too.