These Baked Chicken Thighs are absolutely in my top ten, when it comes to chicken thighs in the oven. Marinating the chicken thighs overnight is key to the flavor and leaves very little work on the day of serving. Dried apricots take on the savory flavors in the oven, while the meaty and mild flavor flavor of the olives are the perfect complement. Stay true to the Moroccan flavors of this dish and serve over a bed of fluffy couscous.
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
I am a huge, fan of any meal made with skinless, boneless chicken thighs. They are inexpensive, so tasty, and simple to cook. In fact, I find it difficult to mess up chicken thighs. The meat is just dark enough to stay tender and juicy, but not so dark as to put off people who prefer chicken breast.
This chicken thighs recipe is a favorite, if not my absolute favorite. The trick to this dish is a 24-hour marinade, which infuses the chicken with subtle a Moroccan-esque flavor, making it unbelievably flavorful, tender and juicy. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s incredibly delicious. You’ll need to try it for yourself.
While this is a great weeknight dinner, it’s by far interesting enough for company. The overall flavor profile is sweet and spicy and looks so beautiful in its final state. Make sure to serve it over couscous, rice works too, so you can drizzle the sauce from the pan and catch all the wonderful flavors.
Your Shopping List for Baked Chicken Thighs with Apricots and Olives
The combination of these ingredients are a mix of sweet, tangy, spicy, and smoky flavors, with a touch of Moroccan flair. After marinating for 24 hours, the chicken thighs absorb all these flavors, resulting in a delicious and unique oven-baked dish you’re going to make again and again. no tagine needed!
- Fresh lemon juice: Adds a bright, tangy flavor to the marinade, while helping to tenderize the chicken thighs and infuse them with a refreshing citrusy taste.
- Honey: The sweetness to balance the acidity of the lemon juice, while helping to promote a caramelized glaze as the chicken bakes in the oven.
- Ground cinnamon: Warm and aromatic spice that helps brings a subtle hint of Moroccan flavor to the dish.
- Red pepper flakes: Red pepper flakes add a touch of heat and spiciness to the marinade.
- Kosher salt: Enhances the taste of the chicken thighs and helps the other flavors in the marinade penetrate the meat.
- Black pepper: Adds mild heat and complements the other spices, adding depth to the marinade.
- Ground cumin: Another staple spice in Moroccan cooking, it infuses the chicken with an earthy and nutty flavor.
- Smoked paprika: Adds a unique smoky flavor to the marinade, giving the chicken thighs a subtle depth of taste.
- Pimento-stuffed green olives: Contributes a briny and slightly tangy element to the dish as well as texture.
- Dried apricots: Adds natural sweetness and a chewy texture as well as a distinct Moroccan touch to the recipe.
- Fresh cilantro: Brings a fresh and herbaceous note, while brightening up the overall flavor.
- Skinless boneless chicken thighs: Chicken thighs create a well-seasoned, juicy, and succulent final dish.
Storage Tips for Baked Chicken Thighs
To store leftovers of the Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Apricots and Olives, follow these steps to ensure they remain safe and flavorful:
- Cool the leftovers: Allow the cooked dish to cool down to room temperature before storing. Leaving it out for too long at room temperature can promote bacterial growth.
- Use airtight containers: Transfer the chicken thighs and any sauce into an airtight container. Make sure the containers are designed for food storage and have a good seal to prevent air from entering.
- Refrigerate promptly: Place the containers in the refrigerator as soon as possible after cooking. Ideally, they should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking.
- Consume within 3-4 days: Oven Baked Chicken Thighs can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Beyond that, the quality and safety of the leftovers may decline.
- Freeze for longer storage: If you don’t plan to consume the chicken within 3-4 days, you can freeze for longer storage. Place cooled chicken thighs in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag. Label with the date. Frozen leftovers can be kept for 2-3 months.
To reheat the baked chicken thighs, follow these instructions to ensure it is safely reheated, while maintaining its flavor.
- Refrigerator thawing (if frozen): If you had previously frozen the leftovers, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Thawing in the refrigerator is the safest method to avoid bacterial growth.
- Oven method:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Place the chicken thighs in an oven-safe dish.
- Cover with aluminum foil to prevent the food from drying out.
- Reheat in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is hot and sauce is bubbling.
- Microwave method:
- For a quick individual portion, place a serving of the chicken on a microwave-safe plate.
- Cover the plate with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe wrap to retain moisture.
- Microwave in short intervals, stirring or rearranging the contents in between, until the chicken is warmed to temperature.
- Stovetop method:
- If you prefer to reheat on the stovetop, use a non-stick skillet or a saucepan.
- Add a small amount of chicken broth, water, or olive oil to the skillet to prevent sticking and add moisture.
- Heat the skillet over medium heat and add the chicken. Stir occasionally until the chicken is heated through.
- Sauce and seasoning: If you notice any loss of moisture or flavor during reheating, consider adding a splash of chicken broth, a drizzle of olive oil, or a sprinkle of additional seasoning to enhance the dish.
More Juicy and Tender Chicken Thigh Recipes:
- Spice up your weeknight dinner routine with this easy and flavorful cashew kung pao chicken recipe.
- Jazz up your chicken with these grilled curried yogurt chicken thighs. They add a new flavor dimension and look to your regular grilled chicken recipe.
- Margarita Chicken have such a nice flavor and easily cooks to perfection.
- Every bite of this air fryer Caribbean spiced chicken is juicy, luscious and a testimony to the fragrant spices, flair and exotic flavors of the Caribbean.
- This simple chicken and snow pea stir-fry is the answer to a quick and easy dinner meal.
- Chicken Saltimbocca is a quick and easy recipe for the busiest of home cooks with so much tasty flavor.
- 15-Minute tangy-sweet plum-spiced chicken – the perfect meal to make when you are short on time in the kitchen.
- The best chicken and rice made on the stovetop. So delicious every time.
Sweet, Tangy and Savory
When you get around to spicing up your dinner routine with this charming oven baked chicken thighs dish, don’t forget to snap a photo and tag @NOBLEPIG and #noblepig on INSTAGRAM. I can’t wait to see how much you enjoyed every bite.
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How to Bake Chicken Thighs
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs with Apricots and Olives
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs:
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tsps. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1-1/2 tsps. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsps. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika (do not substitute)
- 1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, plus extra for garnish
- 1-1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs (4 large thighs)
Oven Baked Chicken Thighs:
- In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, pepper flakes, salt, pepper, cumin and smoked paprika. Stir in the olives, apricots and cilantro.1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/3 cup honey, 2 tsps. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1-1/2 tsps. kosher salt, 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, 2 tsps. ground cumin, 1 tsp. smoked paprika (do not substitute), 1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped, 1/3 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped, 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, plus extra for garnish
- Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs and place in a large zip-top plastic bag. Pour marinade over and seal the bag. Turn to coat all of the chicken and refrigerate for 24 hours (do not skip the 24 hour part), turning occasionally.1-1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs (4 large thighs)
- Preheat oven to 375 °F.
- Arrange chicken thighs in a single layer in a shallow 2-quart (8′-square pan) (no larger, otherwise there will not be enough sauce around the chicken) baking dish. Pour marinade with the olives and apricots over the chicken.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165 °F on an instant read thermometer and juices run clear with a fork. (I use my meat thermometer that I place in the thickest part of one of the thighs towards the middle of the dish.)
- Garnish each portion with a little chopped cilantro. Serve over couscous or rice.
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