For an easy weeknight dinner, look no further than this sticky, juicy and super flavoursome oven baked BBQ chicken thighs dish!
What makes this dish extra special is the sticky, tangy, umami-rich homemade BBQ sauce using the chicken's drippings. There's is no reason to throw all that flavourful juices away. It makes the most amazing sauce!
The chicken thighs are first seasoned, baked to juicy perfection then grilled/broiled in the oven with the BBQ sauce. The result is just flavour upon flavour! Sounds good? I bet!
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs - produces the most ideal result! The fat from the chicken skin adds flavour to the homemade BBQ sauce and meats cooked with bones are just superior in flavour and juiciness! If using boneless and skinless chicken thighs, you'll have to reduce the cooking time (more on this in the recipe card below).
- Rice wine vinegar - adds a mouthwatering tanginess to the sauce and helps cut through the richness of the chicken. Substitute: white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- Worcestershire sauce - a great umami-rich sauce that is a little tangy and a little sweet. A few dashes of this sauce can really oomph up a dish! I like adding it to tomato-based pasta dishes such as my lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs recipes.
These easy oven baked BBQ chicken thighs take 35 minutes to make from start to finish.
Before anything, I like to place all of the ingredients required on the kitchen counter so that the entire cooking process is fuss-free and seamless. This recipe requires quite a few spices and seasoning so having them all out will make your life so much easier.
Now that is done, preheat the oven to 220°C/430°F.
Season chicken then bake
In a small bowl, make a quick spice rub.
The spice rub consists of a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
Combine the spices and give it a quick mix with either a teaspoon or a finger.
Place chicken thighs onto a baking tray, sprinkle with the spice rub on both sides with a drizzle of olive oil. Rub the seasoning into the chicken.
I find the chicken to be sufficiently flavourful without any marinating time (rub with spices then immediately bake). Nonetheless, adding marinating time is always a bonus and the chicken can only taste even better!
If you are thinking of making this for a party (backyard BBQ anyone?), you can prepare the chicken up to this point a day or 2 in advance. On the day, simply take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before baking to let the chicken come up to room temperature.
Bake spice-rubbed chicken thighs on the middle shelf of the oven, skin side up, for 10 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 200°C/390°F and bake for a further 15 minutes.
The higher heat in the initial 10 minutes helps kickstart the chicken skin to blister and turn lightly golden.
Colour = flavour!
Once the 25 minutes of cook time is up, remove and transfer the chicken thighs onto a plate and set aside.
Keep the juices and fat at the bottom of the baking tray!
Make BBQ sauce, glaze and bake
Now, make a quick, lip-smacking homemade BBQ sauce.
In a frying pan (or small saucepan), pour the fatty chicken juices in. Add worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce (ketchup), rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and black pepper.
Mix well and bring up to a gentle boil on medium heat.
Reduce the sauce to a thick, sticky consistency. This will take about 3 minutes.
Due to the high fat content of this sauce, you'll find the sauce to get quite bubbly (like the picture above marked #8) when reducing.
To finish off, return the chicken thighs, skin side up, back into the baking tray. Coat the chicken with the BBQ sauce generously. I use all of the sauce made, distributed evenly across all chicken pieces.
Grill/broil the chicken on the top shelf of the oven for about 4 minutes at 220°C/430°F or high heat.
The skin should be deliciously blistered, rich in colour and lightly charred.
Rest the baked BBQ chicken thighs for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Optional: sprinkle with finely chopped fresh coriander for freshness.
Serve these sticky baked BBQ chicken thighs with a side of simple and refreshing salad such as a Greek salad, a red cabbage salad, a green leafy salad, etc.
Useful tips and tricks
- Use fresh chicken thighs and not thawed. I know this might not be realistic for some but if you can, use fresh chicken! I found fresh chicken thighs produce the juiciest result and there was a notable difference in its juiciness compared to using thawed chicken (less juicy). No difference in the flavour profile so nothing to worry about in that aspect.
- Keep the chicken fat in the BBQ sauce. The pool of chicken fat may look a little alarming but it helps the sticky sauce and chicken to blister deliciously when grilled/broiled. Don't worry, pretty much all of it will drip off the chicken by the time you eat it (like the picture below).
- To prepare ahead, rub the chicken with spice rub and olive oil a day or 2 in advance. A chicken bake like this one can be easily prepared in advance of a party. On the day, simply take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before baking to bring it up to room temperature.
Good to know
It takes 25 minutes at 220°/430°F for 10 minutes then 15 minutes for 220°C/390°F.
The last 4 minutes of grilling/broiling is just to caramelise the homemade BBQ sauce on the outer layer of the chicken.
After! Then put the coated chicken back into the oven for a quick grill/broil for 4 minutes. This will caramelise the homemade BBQ sauce on the outer layer of the chicken, making it taste out of this world delicious!
These oven baked BBQ chicken thighs last up to 3 to 4 days in the fridge, stored in airtight containers.
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below!
I'd love to hear from you. 🙂
Baked BBQ chicken thighs
- 1 kg / ½ pound chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on, ~5 large
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Homemade sticky BBQ sauce
- baked chicken juice chicken's drippings
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato sauce aka ketchup
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar substitute: white wine vinegar
- ½ tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 220°C/430°F.
Season and bake chicken
- Combine and mix spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Rub all over chicken thighs with olive oil.
- Place seasoned chicken thighs, skin side up, onto a lined baking tray with a little wiggle room in between each piece. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 200°C/390°F and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Make sticky BBQ sauce
- Take the chicken out of the oven and with a pair of tongs, transfer the chicken onto a plate and set aside. Pour the fatty juices from the baking tray into a frying pan or a small saucepan. (note 1)
- Add the remaining sticky BBQ sauce ingredients into the pan. Mix well and bring sauce to a gentle boil on medium heat, reduce the sauce to a thick consistency. About 3 minutes
- Transfer chicken thighs, skin side up, back into the baking tray. Coat with the sticky BBQ sauce using a spoon.
- Return chicken thighs into the oven, on the top shelf and grill/broil for 4 minutes or until deep caramelisation occurs. Optional: sprinkle with finely chopped coriander.