We love this extremely flavorful chicken because the roast helps render the skin and creates a pan sauce that’s good enough to drink. Anybody who tries this chicken will assume that you put a lot of time into making it, despite how easy it is.
What might surprise you about this recipe is the use of spices. If you’ve never tried chicken with the Mediterranean trinity of coriander, cumin, and smoked paprika – you are in for a chicken-spice awakening, my friends.
Why This Recipe Works
- This chicken cooks in a bath of its own fatty juices that just get infused with every second for a supremely seasoned chicken.
- Easy to make and fuss free. You literally smear chicken thighs with spices and let the oven do all the work. It’s fantastic what a little seasoning and heat can do.
- Chicken thighs have a richer flavor than chicken breasts and remain succulent all the way through.
- Contrasting tastes and layers of flavor create a dynamic dish. Coriander brightens the dish, while smoked paprika and cumin add a bitter, savory depth. Tangy yogurt sauce cuts through the richness of the chicken for a lighter experience.
- Patting the chicken dry before roasting and ending with the skin-side up, helps the fat render and get a rotisserie cook.
- This recipe involves simple, real ingredients and is naturally gluten free.
- You can cook as many chicken thighs as you want for leftovers (try doubling the recipe for meal prep).
How to Make Chicken Thighs and Yogurt Sauce
Pat the chicken thighs with a paper towel and season with smoked paprika, coriander seeds, cumin, and salt. I don’t mind the crunch of the coriander seeds, but if you want to crush them a bit – you can do that with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
Roast skin side down, then flip over and roast some more…the skin will have a chance to bubble and render.
Make the yogurt sauce while the chicken bakes to give the onion a little time to pickle. I like to add the lemon juice a bit at a time by taste.
Serve the chicken with cilantro and yogurt sauce.
What can I do with pan drippings? You can add a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan drippings to help release the fond (flavorful, crispy bits). Then you can use this liquid as a sauce (pan jus) to serve with the chicken or mix with a roux to make a thicker gravy.
What’s the safe internal temperature for chicken? 165 ° F – that said, I really like chicken thighs to be cooked a little past that temperature because I enjoy the texture a bit more. Use a meat thermometer, placed in the center of the chicken to get a proper temperature read.
How do I know if my spices are old? The best way to test whether your spices are fresh is to smell and taste them. They should have an aroma and a taste. If they are bland, they are definitely useless and should be thrown out. Ground spices only last for 6 months to 1 year. Whole spices can last anywhere from 1-3 years. You will always get the best flavor from buying spices whole and grinding them yourself.
More Chicken Recipes
- green chile chicken crock pot
- grilled lemongrass chicken satay
- easy skillet chicken Parmesan
- chicken fusilli with creamy paprika sauce
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating and comment below!
Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Yogurt Sauce
- 5 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin on
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 tsp whole coriander
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp minced shallot
- 2 tbsp minced fresh herbs, dill, parsley, cilantro
- cilantro, optional, for serving
Roast the Chicken
- Preheat the oven to 415°F.
- Pat the chicken thighs with a paper towel to dry the skin as much as possible. Add seasoning (you can crush the coriander* if you'd like or leave whole). Rub the seasoning on both sides and place the thighs skin-side down.
- Roast for 20 minutes, then flip the thighs over and roast for an additional 20 minutes.
Make the Yogurt Sauce
- Add the yogurt to a bowl and mix in half of the lemon juice. You can add more to taste. Stir in the salt, minced shallot, and fresh herbs. Stir until very smooth and creamy and let sit for a few minutes so the onion pickles a bit. Taste and add more lemon juice if you want a more tangy flavor.
- Serve the chicken thighs with some of the yogurt sauce and torn cilantro.
Whole Coriander Seeds:You can crush the coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle. These seeds contain a lot of flavor so you only need to crush them if you want to. Another method for crushing is to fold inside of a kitchen towel and use a meat mallet to pound a bit.
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