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 Mexican-Spiced Chicken Thighs take less than 5 minutes to get in the oven and are amazing served up with warm tortillas. It’s an easy and delicious dinner!
Chicken Thighs on a white plate.

Chicken thighs are one of my favorite chicken parts to cook with. They are always tender and moist, and as a bonus they are always cheap. Chicken thighs are one of my go-to dinners for nights where I just don’t know what else to do.

The first time I made this particular version was several years ago. It was a beautiful 70 degree Sunday afternoon. I decided we should have a little picnic in the backyard. I threw together these chicken thighs and made some fresh tortillas (admittedly I use the cook and serve variety when I’m feeling lazy). I kicked back in my lounge chair with an IBC cream soda and a plate of this chicken and a couple tortillas. After that is all a blur of gluttony. The meat was moist and flavorful, the skin…oh the skin!….it was crisp and packed a punch of flavor. How could 5 minutes of prep work lead to such heavenly food? I found myself using that tortilla to soak up any last ounce of flavor. I’ve made these many, many time since and every time I’m met with glutenous joy.

If you’ve ever been afraid to cook with bone-in skin-on chicken, now is the time to get over it and enjoy that moist meat and crispy skin. Please, join me in my Sunday backyard picnic heaven. It’s full of amazingness I tell you!

Cooking Lesson
Chicken thighs might seem like an intimidating cut to work with because they have both bones and skin. No worries! They have a good amount of meat on them, and a good crispy chicken skin is to die for. The trick to getting a crispy skin is that it can’t sit in any moisture and it needs a heat source to crisp it up. With a chicken thigh, the dark meat will stay juicy while the skin crisps up, so it would take a lot for your meat to dry out. The bone-in helps bring out the chicken flavors while keeping it moist. Don’t be scared of bones and skin, it’s where all the flavor is! And as for my kids….I just pull it off the bone for them and they gobble it right up.
Chicken Thighs and half a lime on a white plate.
Chicken Thighs and half a lime on a white plate.

I’ve made a video to show you just how easy it is to make this recipe. Join be on my YouTube Channel too where I put out 3 new episodes a week. Subscribe and check out all my videos. With over 150 there’s sure to be something yummy that you will love!

Chicken Thighs on a white plate.
Mexican-Spiced Chicken Thighs take less than 5 minutes to get in the oven and are amazing served up with warm tortillas. It's an easy and delicious dinner!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 limes to juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Lay out the chicken thighs in the prepared pan, skin-side up. Squeeze the lime juice all over the meat.
  • Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle generously over the meat.
  • Divide the butter up into 8 little clumps. Place 1 clump on top of each chicken thigh.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes.
Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 587kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 244mg | Sodium: 550mg | Potassium: 525mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 720IU | Vitamin C: 9.7mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2.5mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Chicken Thighs

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Anita

5 stars
Made this last night and it was delicious. I used only 4 chicken thighs (husband, one son and me) so in a separate casserole dish, I placed onion wedges and baby bell peppers with a little vegetable oil and the remaining spice mix and roasted 20 minutes covered and 20 minutes uncovered along side the chicken. I placed the broiler on the vegetables while the chicken rested for a few minutes to get a little char. Served it all with black beans, cilantro lime rice (Uncle Bens Quick rice) and flour tortillas! So good : )

Linda

5 stars
Made this tonight and everyone — from my two-year-old granddaughter to my 60+husband — loved it! Made one change — instead of butter, used olive oil and made a paste with the spices. Let the thighs marinate for about 20 minutes. Perfect, easy but delicious dinner! Thanks!!

Lara

So thrilled to have found this recipe! We all loved it here and I’m making it for the second time in a week tonight. Thanks!

Ann

5 stars
Absolutely love this & so quick and easy.

Anna

Made this for dinner… absolutely delish… I followed the recipe as shown . No changes and no additions.

Joy

5 stars
Thanks for a quick and easy, yet delicious recipe!! Our family LOVED it! My husband who usually says dinner was “okay” kept on saying how good the chicken tasted!

LindaS

5 stars
Loved it. I substituted 1 tablespoon of olive oil for than butter and added mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers for a one pan dinner. Will def be a go to meal!

Kathy

5 stars
I made this tonight and what a hit!!! I didn’t have limes so I substituted a couple splashes of white wine for the acidity. The spices were “spot-on”!! Thank you so much Rachael. I come here first when looking for interesting recipes!

Alicia

5 stars
I tried this recipe with boneless skinless thighs and it was great. I served it with sauteed green beans and tomatoes and some mexican cornbread. There were no complaints on this meal and I will be making again.

Ida

4 stars
I really enjoy making this dish it was awesome.

Jane

Tried this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. We didn’t have any cayenne so just added a little bit more hot chilli powder. It was so easy: in the oven while we were mixing the margaritas and making guacamole, and clean plates all round. Cracking recipe!

Donna

Trying this recipe right now but i took off the skin. Will it make a difference and do i still add the butter on top? Please help ! Thank you ❤

Linda Edens

5 stars
REALLY EXCELLENT flavors, did mine with wings, hard to limit myself

Steve Smith

4 stars
I made some changes to the process. I combined the lime juice along with all of the seasonings and put it along with the chicken thighs in a sealable bag and let it sit in the fridge for 3 hours. When it came time to cook them I heated my gas grill on medium and let the skin render without burning while cooking. The chicken took about 20 minutes to cook. I served it with homemade guacamole and a quinoa salad. The chicken was delicious.

April

This was fantastic and so easy. It is now our standard Mexican chicken (I used boneless, skinless thighs) for an entree and wraps and salads. Thanks for making cooking so easy and delicious.

Karen

5 stars
Oh my gosh, this is so delicious! I had bone-in skin-on thighs and only bottled lime juice and taco seasoning mix, but these are so yummy and I can’t wait to make the meat into chicken tacos tonight (it’s currently just 7:30am but I always have to plan ahead)! Thank you for helping me make an easy meal with what I had on hand!

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