Baked Chermoula Chicken Thighs – Crispy, juicy chicken thighs cooked in a punchy chermoula paste with fresh herbs, ground spices and zesty lemon! | Gluten Free + Whole30 + Keto
Right then! Now that we’ve got out zesty chermoula paste from the other day, it’s time to put it to good use! First up: these Baked Chermoula Chicken Thighs. They’re
✓Easy to make
✓Great for leftovers
Not to mention, this chicken recipe is gluten free, dairy free + low carb/keto friendly and Whole30 compliant. Winner, winner, chicken dinner?
Chermoula Chicken Thighs Prep
First things first: make your chermoula paste!
There’s really not much to making this paste – simply throw all of the ingredients in to a blender or small food processor and blitz until you end up with a thick, pasty mixture. You can taste and season the paste as you go here. Add an additional squeeze of lemon juice for some added brightness or some extra cayenne or maybe even a fresh chili for an extra kick of spice.
Once the paste is made you can move on to prepping your chicken thighs. I recommend frying the chicken thighs before you bake to ensure a crispy skin at the end. It adds on a little extra work to your dish, but the pay off is worth the trouble.
Before adding your chicken thighs to the oven, fry them first, skin side down on a hot skillet and let it sizzle and cook for about five minutes on each side. Don’t worry about fully cooking the insides here because you will finish them off in the oven soon enough. The idea here is to really give the skin opportunity to crisp up in a way that can’t be easily done in the oven without drying it out.
After you’ve partially cooked the thighs, transfer them to a large baking dish and coat with your chermoula paste. Be generous with your coating and make sure to leave no empty spots behind. Once you’ve finished, simply transfer the chicken to the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes until cooked through.
Enjoy this chicken hot out of the oven, topped with a handful of fresh herbs and maybe a squeeze of lemon over the top. To keep this dish low carb and/or paleo friendly you can serve it along with a side of cauliflower rice or even some mashed cauliflower.
Leftovers will keep up to 4 days stored in the fridge in an airtight container. You can reheat and enjoy the chicken as is, or chop up and add to salads, stews, quesadillas and wraps.
- 1 cup cilantro, packed
- 1 cup parsley, packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt + more to taste
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper, each
- 3 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on (about 6-8 thighs)
To make the paste, add everything to a small blender and process into a thick, slightly grainy feeling paste. Add more olive oil to the blender if needed for easier blending.
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Lightly grease a large, 9x13 inch baking dish and set aside.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Warm the oil in a large skillet/frying pan on a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned chicken to the pan, skin-side down. Let the chicken cook for about 5 minutes, or until skin starts to turn golden, before flipping and cooking for another 3-4 minutes on other side. Once that's cooked, remove chicken from heat.
Add the browned chicken thighs to the prepared baking dish along with the chermoula paste. Toss well to coat the thighs in the paste fully, leaving no empty spots.
Place the dish in the middle of the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (internal temp 165°F).
Broil the last 1-2 minutes to crisp up the skin at the end. Top with fresh herbs and serve immediately and enjoy!
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can enjoy as is or slice up and add to salads and stews.
- You can skip the initial step to crisp up the chicken skin and bake the thighs all at once in your baking pan. Your skin won't be as crispy, but this will cut down on dishes and steps. Simply increase the overall bake time to 40-45 minutes and then broil an additional 2-3 minutes at the end.