Juicy baked boneless chicken thighs get a Middle Eastern makeover with a bold garlicy marinade with one of my favorite warm spice blends, baharat. The BEST chicken and potatoes dinner you'll make!
Middle Eastern Boneless chicken thighs
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are a home cook’s best friend. They’re convenient, inexpensive, and hard to mess up!
Anyone who’s been at my dinner table has probably eaten chicken thighs in some form: grilled with a side of garlicky yogurt, cooked in a skillet with deeply caramelized onions, or tossed in some marinade and baked to juicy perfection.
Today’s comforting baked boneless chicken thighs with potatoes falls into the third category, and the star ingredient in the marinade is baharat! And if you haven’t tried this magic Middle Eastern spice blend, you are in for a treat!
Baharat (Arabic for “spice blend") is a fragrant mixture of spices often including cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and more. It has warm and sweet undertones similar to allspice, but even deeper!
In Middle Eastern and North African kitchens, baharat is often used as an all-purpose seasoning for things like grilled meats (particularly lamb), chicken, stews and soups, sauces, and even roasted vegetables.
Aside from boneless, skinless chicken thighs and some baby potatoes, what makes this recipe special is the bold Middle Eastern marinade with lots of fresh garlic and baharat. Here is what you need for the marinade:
- Lime juice - Helps give you juicy, flavorful chicken.
- Extra virgin olive oil - I used our Hojiblanca Spanish EVOO, a fruity, slightly bitter oil that works well in this marinade.
- Minced garlic - While you need 10 to 15 cloves (about a whole head) of garlic, the marinade is just garlicky enough without being overwhelming.
- Tomato paste - For umami and rich color.
- Baharat - The star seasoning in this baked boneless chicken thighs recipe, baharat is spicy and sweet, and full of comforting, warm flavor.
- Red pepper flakes - Use ½ to 1 teaspoon, depending on how much spice you like. Or simply leave it out if you don’t like it spicy.
You don’t need hours for the chicken to marinade: Even 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature will do the trick.
How to make baharat baked chicken thighs
This one-pan dinner is so simple to put together! Here’s how to make it (printer-friendly recipe below):
- Make the baharat marinade. In a large mixing bowl, combine the juice of 2 to 3 limes, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 10 to 15 cloves minced garlic, 4 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 teaspoons baharat, and ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional).
- Prepare the potatoes and shallots. Halve 1 pound of baby potatoes. Also halve 3 large shallots and cut them into thick slices. Place them into a mixing bowl with about ¼ cup of the baharat marinade. Toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes and shallots on the bottom of a lightly oiled baking pan. I used a 9”x13” cast iron pan. Bake on the center rack of a 425 degrees F heated oven for 15 minutes.
- Toss the chicken in the baharat marinade . While the vegetables are in the oven, pat the chicken dry and season on both sides with kosher salt. Add it to the mixing bowl containing the marinade and toss until the chicken is well coated. Let it marinate for 15 minutes or so at room temperature. (If you have the time, you can cover and refrigerate the chicken for 2 to 4 hours).
- Toast the sesame seeds. Heat a small cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds and toss constantly until they gain a little color. Sesame seeds burn very quickly, so do not leave them unattended on the stove.
- Bake the baharat chicken. Remove the baking pan from the oven (wear oven mitts!) and gently nestle the marinated boneless chicken thighs between the vegetables. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through. (Cooked chicken will have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F when measured with a meat thermometer.)
- Garnish. Finish the chicken and potatoes with a generous sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and parsley. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for how to make the best boneless chicken thighs
- Marinate the thighs for at least 15 minutes. Chicken thighs are very forgiving because they do not dry out easily. But I like to infuse them with moisture and flavor by allowing them to sit in a marinade for a little while. (You don’t need to marinade boneless thighs for too long, but if you do want to work ahead, you can allow the chicken 2 to 4 hours in the fridge to soak up more of the flavors).
- Use a meat thermometer. Well-done chicken thighs can sometimes still look slightly pink, which makes it difficult to tell whether they are actually cooked. A meat thermometer removes any guesswork. Cooked chicken will have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (when the thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the chicken), but remember it will continue to cook for a few minutes when you take it out of the oven.
Make ahead tips
As I just mentioned, to work a few hours ahead, you can let the chicken sit in the marinade for 2 to 4 hours, refrigerated.
You can also slice the shallots up a night ahead and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. I recommend only cutting your potatoes right before roasting them. Potatoes oxidize very easily, which makes them turn a gray-brown color. While still safe to eat, they look very unappetizing.
Serve it with
You could easily serve this chicken and potatoes dinner by itself, that's the beauty of a one-pan dinner! But for some color and crunch, start with a big salad like fattoush, this hearty bean salad, or simple tomato salad would all work well!
You could also serve these baked boneless chicken thighs and potatoes over a bed of couscous or rice (for my carb-loving friends).
Leftovers and storage
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until warmed through.
More baked boneless chicken thighs recipes
Baked Boneless Chicken Thighs with Baharat
- 1 pound baby potatoes, halved
- 3 large shallots, halved, and cut into thick slices
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 1.5 pounds
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- Parsley for garnish
- Set a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Prepare the marinade. In a large mixing bowl, add the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, Baharat, and red pepper flakes. Mix to combine.
- Season the potatoes with kosher salt and toss them with about ¼ cup of the marinade mixture and arrange them, along with the shallots, in the bottom of a lightly oiled baking pan (I used a 9”x13” cast iron pan).
- Place the baking pan with the potatoes and shallots on the center rack of your heated oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry and season on both sides with kosher salt, then add the chicken to the mixing bowl and toss until the chicken is well-coated with the marinade. Set aside for 15 minutes or so.
- Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat and add the sesame seeds. Toss constantly until the seeds gain a little color. This will not take long. Sesame seeds burn very easily, so don’t leave them unattended. Set aside once toasted.
- Carefully remove the baking pan from the oven and nestle the chicken between the potatoes and shallots. Return the baking pan to the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through.
- Remove from the heat and finish the chicken with a generous sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and parsley. Enjoy!
- Tip: Marinate the chicken for at least 15 minutes at room temperature.
- To make ahead: You can let the chicken marinate for 2 to 4 hours, refrigerated. You can also cut up the shallots up to a night ahead and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Serve baharat chicken with: This is a filling meal by itself. But for some color and crunch, serve it alongside a big salad. My bean salad, simple arugula salad, or cucumber salad would all work well! You could also serve these baked boneless chicken thighs and potatoes on a bed of couscous or rice.
- How to store leftovers? Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until warmed through.
- Visit our Shop to browse Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and all-natural and organic spices (like baharat, the star ingredient in today's recipe).