For these crispy baked chicken thighs a homemade creole seasoning mix elevates basic chicken thighs to weeknight gourmet status. Chicken is deeply flavored, extra crispy, and juicy.
This is one of those recipes that is bursting with flavor and presents well, but is actually pretty simple to execute. The best part is you can impress family and friends who will think you worked your butt off on this dish.
This dish was driven by the music of one of my all-time favorite bands, The Meters and specifically their version of “Down By The River.” I developed the recipe as part of a Food and Music pairing project with the online music learning school Soundfly. For the project we explore music theory to explain the connection between food and music chords, progressions, and instruments.
Creole Chicken Ingredients
Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients. Most are just spices for the homemade rub and the rest are braising liquid related.
- Chicken thighs
- Yellow onions
- Garlic cloves
- Dried thyme
- Garlic powder
- Dried basil
- Dried oregano
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Onion powder
- Tomato paste
- Orange juice
- Bay leaf
- Dry white wine, Sauvignon Blanc
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COOKING CREOLE CHICKEN
Mix dry seasoning ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
Using about a 1/4 of the spice mix season the chicken and let it marinate for at least an hour refrigerated.
Remove chicken from the refrigerator and let sit uncovered to reach room temperature. While chicken rests, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat an ovenproof skillet to medium high heat. Add ghee, butter, or oil and once hot broil the chicken skin-side down for about 6-7 minutes and then flip cooking another 3-4 minutes. You want a nice browning so don’t be afraid.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Add onions and garlic, plus more oil/butter if needed. Saute for 3-4 minutes adding half the remaining spice mix to the pan about halfway through the sauce step.
Add tomato paste, wine, orange juice, and lime juice mixing well in the pan with the onions and garlic.
Add the chicken back skin side up. Make sure the skin stays above the liquid as you want the top of the chicken to remain dry to ensure you get crispy baked chicken thighs. Place the chicken in the oven and cook uncovered for about 45 minutes.
Remove the chicken and then reduce the sauce on your stovetop by cooking over high temps. Reduce until you reach your preferred consistency.
Sprinkle the remaining spice mix on top of the chicken. Serve the chicken with the reduced sauce along with green vegetables and your favorite grains. I had air fryer broccolini on hand and made some quick cook fonio which is an ancient grain grown in West Africa.
COOKING CONSIDERATIONS AND TIPS
Season the chicken below and above the skin for more flavor.
Start cooking the room temperature chicken
Don’t be afraid of browning the chicken. You want to get that skin crispy.
To protect the crispiness, you want to bake the chicken with the skin above the liquid line. Essentially the meaty portion of the chicken will braise in the flavorful broth, while the skin will be flavored with the rub pre and post cooking
MORE CHICKEN BASED RECIPES
make this creole chicken recipe
If you make these crispy baked chicken thighs, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.
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- 4 Chicken thighs bone-in, skin on
- 1 medium yellow onions sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 small lime juiced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup dry white wine Sauvignon Blanc
- Mix dry seasoning/spices together in a bowl. Season the chicken with 1/4 of spice mix. Let marinate for at least an hour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and let reach room temperature
- Add oil or ghee to hot skillet and brown the chicken well over medium high heat (6-7 minutes skin side then 3-4 minutes other side). Remove chicken and set aside
- Add onions and garlic to the skillet with additional oil if needed. Sauté onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes adding 1/2 remaining spice mice to the pan about halfway through.
- Add tomatoes, wine, orange juice, and lime juice mixing well
- Add chicken skin-side up back to the skillet. Place in the oven and cook uncovered 45 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and reduce the sauce depending on your preferred consistency.
- Serve chicken with green vegetables and grains. Sprinkle the remaining spice mix on top of the chicken.