Lemon and rosemary marinated chicken thighs roasted in a cast iron skillet in the oven for the perfect juicy interior and golden exterior.
I’ll be honest, I’ve got a love hate relationship with chicken. It can be so good, yet so bad and bland. Call it childhood horrors of boiled bland chicken. You know if you’re getting a chicken recipe from me it’s going to be #flavortown.
Skin-on, bone-in baked chicken thighs are hard to screw up. The dark meat is naturally tender and juicy and not as susceptible to overcooking or drying out as a boneless chicken breast for instance. The skin caramelizes perfectly in the oven and keeps the inside really juicy—like a perfectly prepared rotisserie chicken.
My oven baked chicken thighs are marinated overnight in fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. A simple marinade that is packed with so much citrusy and rosemary flavor. Marinate overnight for best rosemary flavor (it will really soak in), but an hour minimum will do if you NEED to make these TONIGHT. Don’t worry I’ve got you covered.
It makes dinner prep the next day so easy as you can just place the thighs in a cast iron skillet and roast in the oven.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs
Bake chicken thighs for 40-45 minutes at 400° F. This will bring your chicken to the perfect internal temp of 165° F (always double check with a digital thermometer). As a final step, I like to turn the broiler on high for 3-5 minutes at the very end to really brown up the skin and make it crispier.
If your chicken is nice and golden when the 40 minutes is up, you may not need to do this step. Just be sure to watch the chicken closely as it can burn very quickly with the broiler.
You can make cast iron chicken thighs with boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer, the exterior just won’t be quite as golden and crispy. A few other popular recipes to mention, sweet and spicy chicken thighs and cilantro lime chicken thighs.Print
- 4–6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 lemon, juice squeezed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed from sprig
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Season chicken thighs all over with salt and pepper. Place in a large Ziploc bag with all ingredients. Shake the bag to mix and marinate overnight in the fridge or for at least 1 hour if in a hurry.
- Place chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet skin side up, pour a little extra juice in the bottom of the skillet from the Ziploc bag.
- Bake with top rack in middle position for 40-45 minutes or until chicken’s internal temp reaches 165° F. A digital thermometer works perfectly.
- With about 10 minutes left, top chicken thighs with lemon slices and add a few rosemary sprigs to the skillet.
- Optional last step, broil chicken thighs on high for 3-5 minutes at the very end to crisp up the skin if not golden enough! Baste chicken thighs with lemon sauce drippings from the skillet and serve immediately.
You can make this recipe with boneless, skinless chicken thighs as well if you’re not interested in the skin or bone.
Keywords: cast iron chicken thighs, chicken thighs