30 minutes or less/dinner/meat/recipes

Crispy Oven Fried Panko Chicken Thighs

Posted April 1, 2015 by Stephanie
crispy oven baked thighs recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

crispy oven baked thighs recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com crispy oven baked thighs recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

crispy oven baked thighs recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

crispy oven baked thighs recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

It’s April Fools – are you guys fans of April Fool’s day jokes? I totally wanted to one here, but I didn’t get my shit together in time so all I have are these crispy oven baked thighs, which isn’t much of a loss in my books, but I do get a kick out of funny pranks!

Non-hijinks aside, these crispy thighs are my kind of chicken. They’re the kind of toss ’em and pop ’em in the oven kind of situation. I used panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) for two reasons: 1.) it’s ultra crispy and 2.) I miss Japan so much that I’m incorporating Japanese ingredients into my food in any way that I can.

If you haven’t had panko before you definitely need to up your bread crumb game. I want to say that comparing panko to breadcrumbs is like comparing a supermarket steak to an incredible dry-aged, bone-in rib eye: they’re the same beast, but they aren’t the same at all. Panko, at least real panko, is light, crispy and giant. The crumbs have more of a flake-like quality, which makes them extra-crunchy. Panko is made from crustless Japanese bread and in Japan you can actually get grades of panko based on crumb size. The bigger the flake, the better the crunch.

Crunchier is most definitely better. But, you know what? I’m the only one in this household that is so passionate about panko. Mike definitely does not think that there’s a difference and…gasp, he didn’t think these thighs were that good. But, you know, he’ll take deep-fried thighs over oven-baked any day, so there’s that. Then again, I would too! Nonetheless, panko for life!

Crispy Oven Baked Thighs Recipe
serves 4

  • 1 cup panko
  • 4-6 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Toast the panko in a dry pan over low heat until golden brown and crunchy, about 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, stir in the spices and move to a shallow container.

Dip the chicken thighs in the buttermilk and then the panko mixture, pressing to make sure the crumbs stick on both sides.

Place the chicken, skin-side up on a lined baking sheet or wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 40-45 minutes. Enjoy hot!

crispy oven baked thighs recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com


  1. I completely share your panko obsession, and don’t even buy normal breadcrumbs anymore.

  2. Sure, many things are great when you fry them, but there’s something special about crispy chicken.

  3. Ooh mama, just found a box of panko when I was cleaning out my cupboard and have had a weirdly persistent craving for chicken soooo I think I know what I may be making in my very near future. YUM

  4. Marissa says:

    This is my kind of chicken, no foolin’. :) I’m not much for April fool’s jokes – I’m too gullible.

  5. Steph, it’s already embarrassing how many of your recipes I make for weeknight dinners. Definitely adding this one to the repertoire tho.

  6. I love panko crumbs too. This recipe shows why. I wish I could just grab one and eat it.
    Beautifully browned—perfect. I can ‘taste’ the crunch now.

  7. These look so good! I love chicken thighs.

  8. I love to oven fry, and I refuse to use dry, icky chicken breasts when I could use chicken thighs. This recipe is right up my alley!

  9. Alana says:

    OMG ME TOO!! So many. And this one is bookmarked for sure. Panko is my jam and these look perfect.

  10. Alana says:

    (wait, the me too was in response to Michelle’s comment about how many recipes she makes for dinner from your blog. hehe)

  11. Jaime says:

    You had me at Panko…♥

  12. Abby says:

    Ooh, this recipe looks delicious, Stephanie. Love!

  13. Faye says:

    Did you use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs? I wanna make these tonight!

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      yep, they’re bone in, skin on. i’ll adjust the ingredient list!

  14. Chrissy says:

    These look scrumptious Stephanie! I <3 panko too. So much lighter and more tasty than normal breadcrumbs. Used to live on panko crumbed prawns before I got a crustacean allergy :( boooo! Luckily you can panko pretty much anything (including camembert and deep fry it… omg). You've inspired me to panko something on littlefoodblog.com now :)

  15. Ali says:

    Whoa! That crumb is mouthwatering! I feel like this would be super yummy on fish as well :) Thanks for the inspo!

  16. Bec says:

    I am a panko convert – I had panko fried tomatoes tonight and they were delicious.

    These look amazing, I am going to make them for my man.

  17. Oh shnikey can’t wait to make this for Teddy. I have panko in the cupboard, too … a lil run to the organic chicken shop down the street … oh yes. PS i have never deep fried chicken. Please come over and show me?? ^__^

  18. Heck yes – panko-baked chickie is a darn close second for fried. In fact, I’ma make these with…mayoooooooooo! I am. I said it. It’s happening. :)

  19. Mmmmmm panko all the way!!! Although I do love regular breadcrumbs too only because of Milanesa, but panko is perfection in every form. Texture and taste. And no worries, I’m so bad at preparing–much less thinking–of special days ahead of time so rarely anything happens in my word of holidays :P.

  20. Susan says:

    This was a hit! The skin was perfectly crispy which was a big surprise. Crisp on the outside, moist on the inside – can’t ask for anything more than that! Impressive!

  21. Lori A says:

    Your cooking time is way too long, leave plenty of room between thighs (at least an inch). It would be best to use a meat thermometer to avoid the chicken getting so dark and dry. Great recipe tho!!!

  22. Erica says:

    Just made these. So easy to make & they turned out super crispy & flavourful. Will definitely make again. Thanks Steph!

  23. Karen says:

    I don’t have any buttermilk…what can I use?

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      you can add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into milk and use that!

  24. Loretta Baker says:

    Hi, what type of vinegar white or cider to put into milk for replacement of buttermilk?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi loretta,
      you can use either white or apple cider vinegar!

  25. Sharon says:

    If you put breaded thighs or anything else breaded for that matter in the freezer for 20 minutes or refrigerator for 30, the breading won’t fall off. They will still cook evenly.

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