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Baked boneless chicken thighs are an affordable, fast, and family-friendly dinner! With this flavorful bourbon marinade, the meat comes out tender, juicy, and perfect every time.

Close overhead shot of a platter of baked boneless chicken thighs.
Table of Contents
  1. Is it better to bake chicken thighs at 350 or 400?
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Bake Boneless Chicken Thighs
  4. What to Serve with Baked Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  5. Preparation and Storage Tips
  6. Recipe Variations
  7. Tips for the Best Baked Boneless Chicken Thigh Recipe
  8. Bourbon Marinated Baked Boneless Chicken Thighs Recipe

If you’re looking for even more delicious chicken recipes, be sure to try these braised chicken thighs with gravy, this simple-yet-flavorful dump-and-bake chicken tzatziki with rice, and a tray of bbq sheet pan chicken and veggies, too!

Boneless skinless chicken thigh recipes are staples in so many of our kitchens, since the inexpensive meat tastes delicious, can be prepared in a variety of ways, and cooks faster than its bone-in, skin-on counterparts.

If you’re looking for a new and interesting way to serve this particular piece of meat, then you’ve come to the right place. These marinated chicken thighs are sweet and savory, thanks to an orange bourbon glaze that’s flavored with Dijon mustard, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh herbs, and plenty of garlic and onion. Pair them with rice, cornbread, biscuits, or a simple green salad.

Whisking together chicken thigh marinade.

Is it better to bake chicken thighs at 350 or 400?

Baking chicken thighs at 400°F is ideal, because it ensures that the chicken is cooked through while still staying juicy and moist. This temperature also helps achieve a crisp, slightly charred exterior, which adds great flavor to the meat.

How Long to Marinate Chicken Thighs

For the best results, marinate the chicken thighs for at least 2-4 hours, but not more than 6-8 hours. This particular marinade has some acid in it, so leaving the chicken in the marinade overnight can potentially make the meat mushy.

Since there are days when we just don’t plan ahead enough, it’s fine to soak the chicken in the marinade for even just 15-30 minutes. The meat will still be delicious!

Process shot showing how to make marinated baked boneless chicken thighs.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for delicious baked boneless chicken thighs. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Orange juice: the acid that tenderizes the chicken thighs.
  • Bourbon: tenderizes the meat and adds rich flavor to the marinade.
  • Olive oil: helps transfer fat-soluble flavors onto the meat and also helps the meat retain moisture.
  • Sesame oil: another important fat component in the marinade, sesame oil has a unique, nutty flavor that’s delicious when paired with the soy sauce and brown sugar. If you don’t have sesame oil in your pantry, you can sub with extra olive oil.
  • Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce: I prefer less-sodium soy sauce, but any variety will work. Both of these ingredients add great salty, umami flavor to the meat.
  • Brown sugar: sweetens the marinade, which balances out the savory flavors, and helps the chicken brown in the oven.
  • Dijon mustard: an emulsifier that brings the marinade together, while also adding zesty flavor to the dish.
  • Oregano and rosemary: fresh herbs are always my preference, but dried herbs work fine in a pinch!
  • Garlic powder and onion powder: for savory flavor. If you prefer fresh ingredients, use a couple of garlic cloves and some sliced green onions instead.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs: bake as much chicken as you need to feed your family. Typically, 8 boneless skinless thighs weigh about 2 – 2 ½ lbs. total; however, you can easily scale the ingredients to serve a larger group. If you prefer to substitute with a different cut of chicken (such as boneless skinless chicken breasts), you’ll need to adjust the total cooking time.
Marinated chicken thighs on a foil lined pan.

How to Bake Boneless Chicken Thighs

The quick chicken thigh marinade comes together in about 10 minutes, and then most of your work is done! I’ve included the detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the short version:

  • Whisk together the marinade.
  • Add the marinade to the chicken.
  • Refrigerate the chicken in the marinade for 2-4 hours.
  • Bake the boneless chicken thighs in a 400°F oven for about 20-25 minutes. The meat is done when the juices run clear and an instant read thermometer registers 165°F. You can broil the meat at the end if you like an even crispier, more charred exterior.
Square overhead image of baked boneless chicken thighs on a blue and white serving tray.

What to Serve with Baked Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

Oven baked boneless chicken thighs are so popular because they’re so versatile! Pair the meat with your family’s favorite sides, and you have a kid-friendly meal ready in no time. Here are a few easy side dishes that go well with the juicy chicken thighs:

Sliced baked boneless skinless chicken thighs on a plate with rice.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Prepare the marinade up to 2 days in advance. Store it in a jar or other airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 15-30 minutes. Ideally, the chicken thighs should sit in the marinade for 2-4 hours, but that’s not always possible.
  • Prepare this recipe as a freezer meal by placing the raw chicken thighs in a large Ziploc freezer bag with the marinade. Squeeze out all of the air from the bag, lay the bag flat, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use the chicken, place the bag in the refrigerator to thaw overnight before cooking according to the recipe instructions.
  • Store leftover baked chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Serving tray of bourbon marinated chicken thighs with parsley garnish.

Recipe Variations

  • Grill the marinated chicken thighs instead of baking them. To do so, preheat your grill to medium-high heat (about 400-450°F). Place the chicken thighs directly on the grill grates and grill for approximately 6-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F.
  • Scale this recipe to feed a crowd! For our family of 5, I typically bake 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 2 – 2 ½ lbs. total). If you’d like to feed a larger group, just double (or triple) the marinade so that you have enough to coat more chicken pieces. Similarly, you can cut all of the ingredients in half to serve a smaller family.
  • Switch up the herbs and use your favorites. For instance, add parsley instead of oregano, or use thyme instead of rosemary. You can also try other spices, such as cayenne for heat or smoked paprika, cumin, or chili powder for smoky flavor.
  • Instead of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, try bone-in chicken thighs. The bone-in meat tends to require a little bit longer cooking time (about 40-45 minutes). Cover the chicken loosely with foil if the skin starts to get too dark before it’s done.
  • Use fresh garlic cloves and sliced green onions instead of the garlic powder and onion powder.
  • Swap out the brown sugar and use honey instead.
Square overhead shot of baked boneless chicken thighs on a plate with rice.

Tips for the Best Baked Boneless Chicken Thigh Recipe

  • You do not need to flip the chicken thighs as they cook.
  • For a crispier, more charred exterior, transfer the chicken to the broiler for the final couple of minutes. Just keep a close eye on it because the meat can burn quickly.
  • Make Ahead: if possible, marinate the chicken thighs for about 2-4 hours (but not more than 6-8 hours). This will yield the most tender, flavorful, and juicy meat. At a minimum, let the chicken sit in the marinade for 15-30 minutes.
  • Use fresh herbs for the best flavor. If you don’t have access to fresh rosemary or oregano, it’s fine to use a smaller amount of the dried herbs instead.
  • Line your baking sheet or roasting pan with foil before adding the chicken. This makes clean-up a breeze.
  • Since the size and thickness of chicken thighs can vary, I suggest using a meat thermometer to know when your chicken is done. The meat needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
Overhead shot of a platter of baked chicken thighs in a bourbon marinade.

More Boneless Skinless Chicken Thigh Recipes to Try

Square overhead image of baked boneless chicken thighs on a blue and white serving tray.

Bourbon Marinated Baked Boneless Chicken Thighs

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Marinating Time 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 300 kcal
Baked boneless chicken thighs are an affordable, fast, and family-friendly dinner!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 sprigs (about 2 tablespoons) fresh oregano leaves, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • In a large measuring cup or in a jar with a lid, whisk (or shake) together the orange juice, bourbon, olive oil, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, and onion powder until completely combined.
    Whisking together chicken thigh marinade.
  • Place chicken thighs in a large Ziploc bag or bowl. Pour the marinade in the bag with the chicken. Seal the top of the bag and place chicken in the refrigerator to marinate for 2-4 hours (and not more than 6-8 hours). If you’re pressed for time, marinate the chicken for just 15-30 minutes – it will still be good!
    Process shot showing how to make marinated baked boneless chicken thighs.
  • Remove chicken from the bag or bowl and discard the marinade. Let the chicken sit on the counter and come to room temperature for about 30 minutes while you preheat the oven.
    Marinated chicken thighs on a foil lined pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the chicken thighs on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or in a greased baking dish. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper to taste. Bake until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F, about 20-25 minutes. For a more charred, crispy exterior, place the chicken thighs under the broiler for the final few minutes. Just keep a close eye on them because they can burn quickly under the broiler.
    Close overhead shot of a platter of baked boneless chicken thighs.

Notes

  • You do not need to flip the chicken thighs as they cook.
  • For a crispier, more charred exterior, transfer the chicken to the broiler for the final couple of minutes. Just keep a close eye on it because the meat can burn quickly.
  • Make Ahead: if possible, marinate the chicken thighs for about 2-4 hours (but not more than 6-8 hours). This will yield the most tender, flavorful, and juicy meat. At a minimum, let the chicken sit in the marinade for 15-30 minutes.
  • Use fresh herbs for the best flavor. If you don’t have access to fresh rosemary or oregano, it’s fine to use a smaller amount of the dried herbs instead.
  • Line your baking sheet or roasting pan with foil before adding the chicken. This makes clean-up a breeze.
  • Since the size and thickness of chicken thighs can vary, I suggest using a meat thermometer to know when your chicken is done. The meat needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 300kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 30gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 324mgPotassium: 431mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 53IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: baked boneless chicken thighs, baked boneless skinless chicken thighs, boneless skinless chicken thigh recipes, marinated chicken thighs
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Peggy says:

    Can you make thighs and marinade ahead of time and freeze? Then cook per your directions?

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Hi, Peggy! Yes, ma’am. That should work really well! Just thaw in the fridge overnight before baking. 🙂

  2. Linda says:

    5 stars
    What can I use instead of bourbon?

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Hi, Linda! I would just use extra orange juice. 🙂

  3. Donna says:

    5 stars
    Made this chicken…easy & delicious!!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Donna!