Tender, Juicy Baked Chicken Thighs

By popular request. I posted these chicken thighs on social media as the supporting actors in a drama starring sweet potatoes, which here in the USA are called “Japanese sweet potatoes.” Well the chicken caught the attention of a few friends and a request for a recipe resulted.

Now since this is one of the dishes that I can cook in my sleep without measurements etc, I had to slow it down and try to be meticulous in order to share it and preserve it for my children in the future. This time, I tried something a little different – a kind of vlog. Let me know in the comment section if you like this format.

I am often cooking with one hand and videotaping with the other so this is a very “down home” production… And my dog Mick makes a few guest appearances on the video soundtrack.

This recipe combines two techniques that I picked up from two boss chefs: my mom and Mark Bittman. From my mom – baking chicken on a bed of vegetables. From Mark Bittman – searing the chicken in the baking dish by putting the skin side down in hot fat then flipping to cook… you will see.


  • 10-12 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tbsp blended fresh herbs
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
  • 1 -2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 2 celery sticks sliced
  • salt/seasoning salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Although this method is comprised of 15 steps, please don’t be discouraged. An experienced cook would be able to replicate this dish after watching the videos just once or twice. The detailed steps are here to guide an ambitious but less experienced cook.

STEP 1: Trim excess fat from chicken
STEP 2: Squeeze fresh lemon juice
STEP 3: Add fresh ground black pepper
STEP 4: Add salt or seasoning salt to taste.
STEP 5: Add herb blend to marinate 1 hour to 3 days. Click for detailed instructions on making herb blends.

The longer the chicken is left to marinate, the better. In this case I was not able to return to finish the recipe until 3 days later. The chicken keeps very well in the refrigerator for a few days because the herbs – especially the onion and garlic act as preservatives and discourage bacterial growth.

STEP 6: Preheat the oven to 400oF

STEP 7: Cut up your veggies as shown here. Place your oil and butter into the baking dish and put the baking dish into the oven for 12 minutes or until the butter just begins to brown. Remove the baking dish from the oven and proceed with STEP 8

STEP 8 is the Bittman technique… Except his chicken is seasoned only with salt and pepper… that’s a huge no no for me.

STEP 8: Immediately place the chicken thighs skin side down in the hot butter-oil mixture. When you have placed all of the pieces, turn them over one by one and return the dish to the oven

STEP 9: Cook the chicken for 20 minutes

STEP 10: Remove chicken from oven. Temporarily remove the chicken pieces from the baking pan and set aside. Add the veggies to pan and return the pan to the oven for 10 minutes.
STEP 11: After 10 minutes, remove the pan with the veggies from the oven. Return the chicken to pan, layered on top of the vegetables. Tolerate barking dog in the process (ha ha).

Bake for an additional 30 minutes

STEP 12: Remove the chicken from the oven
STEP 13: Turn the thighs skin side down. Return to the oven

After another 20 minutes or so

STEP 14: Remove the thighs from the oven. Not done yet!
STEP 15: Flip thighs over one last time.

Return to the oven for browning and crisping of the skin. Check after 15 minutes.

All done!
Baste thighs

Fingerlickin’ good! Serve with your favorite side dishes.

  • The carrots in this dish turn out like candy: Soft and super sweet. Don’t leave them in the pan. YUM!
  • Although it may appear to be sitting in a lot of fat, that does not concern me. In fact the fat keeps the leftovers from drying out in the refrigerator.
  • Heat up leftovers in the pan you cooked them in. Stick the pan in the oven at 350oF until the chicken is bubbling… if you have leftovers

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