Baked Crispy Tender Turmeric Chicken Thighs
A super simple and truly delicious Oven Baked Crispy Tender Turmeric Chicken Thighs recipe with crispy skins and tender juicy thigh meat baked in turmeric coconut milk cream until sweet and melt-in-your mouth creamy juicy. This simple flavorful and little hands-on time dish will become your everyday go-to chicken thigh casserole recipe !
The Best of Both Worlds: crispy AND tender/flavorful
This Baked Crispy Tender Turmeric Chicken Thighs recipe is influenced by Thai cuisine. I omitted fish sauce and replaced it with coconut aminos to give the dish a boost of Umami flavor.
The chicken thigh skins are crispy, yet the meaty parts are creamy, tender, and flavorful. Be sure to read on and pay attention to some simple details below so that your Baked Crispy Tender Turmeric Chicken Thighs will be just as delicious and gorgeous as mine !
Simple dry spice seasonings
Use one clean hand to grab the spice and the other hand to gently rub/massage the spice into both skin and meaty sides so that the chicken will be more flavorful.
Crisp up the chicken thighs in a well-heated skillet with skin side down for about 7-8 mins over medium heat. Once you see the skins are crisp, and golden brown color, sear the flip (meaty) side for about 3 minutes before adding them to the casserole dish.
Melt-in-your-mouth sweet and creamy: Best chicken thigh recipe
To be honest with you I wasn’t that into leeks until this dish so if you are on the fence, I highly recommend you give it a try. 🙂
I think one of the best ways to enjoy leeks is to roast and bake them until they are melt-in-your-mouth tender sweet. Most articles online tell us only use the white color parts of the leek because the darker green parts are too tough to eat. I, however, used almost an entire leek and only cut off of the bottom end of the really tougher parts – then dice the rest into small cross-sections.
Place the tougher green parts (diced in slightly thinner sections than the white parts) at the bottom of the casserole dish and the white sections around and in-between the thighs. They are sweet, soft, and melt-in-your-mouth tender once out of the oven.
Order please !!
It’s ridiculously simple but the order in which you place the ingredients in the casserole dish will give you that best-of-both-worlds – crispy AND tender juicy chicken thighs in one dish.
How to bake both Crispy and Tender Chicken Thighs in the oven:
- Place the green parts of the leeks at the bottom of a casserole. (more info in recipe below).
- Mix coconut milk cream with turmeric and pour the cream sauce over.
- Place chicken thighs – skin side up – after crisp up in a skillet – only meaty parts in touch with the cream (more info in recipe below).
- Place white rounds of the leeks around and in-between each thighs.
- Add sliced chilies if you like or skip them and bake !
This Baked Crispy Tender Turmeric Chicken Thighs is –
Little hands-on time
Tender juicy meat
Melt-in-your-mouth savory sweet
If you give this Baked Crispy Tender Turmeric Chicken Thighs a try, let me know ! Leave a comment and rate the recipe. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #IHeartUmami on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. XOXO !
Baked Crispy Tender Turmeric Chicken Thighs with Leek recipe
- 4 pieces 1 ⅔ lbs chicken thighs (skin-on bone-in)
- 1 large leek*
- 1 fresno or serrano chili pepper, thin sliced to strips (optional) (seeds removed)
Dry spice seasonings:
- 1 tsp turmeric powder, alt. curry powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Coarse salt and black pepper to taste
Milk cream: (Qty. based on a 13 by 8.5-inch oval shape casserole dish)
- About 1 ½ cups full fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp turmeric powder, alt. curry powder
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- Chicken: Preheat oven to 375F/191C. Season chicken thighs with ingredients under “dry spice” - both skin and meaty sides. Use your hands to gently rub/massage the spice in so that the chicken will be more flavorful. Preheat a large cast iron (or stainless steel) skillet over medium/medium-low heat until the skillet is well-heated. Add ghee or avocado oil, place the chicken skin side down. Crisp up the skins without moving them around for about 7-8 mins. Once the skin is crispy, sear the flip side for about 3 additional minutes.
- Leek: In the meantime, cut off of the bottom tougher tip end of the leek (dark green part). Save them for later soup stock use. Dice the remainder of the leek to rounds - white parts about ¼ inch rounds & green parts about little less than ¼ inch rounds. Separate white and green parts. Rinse under cold water until clean. Drain and set aside.
- Add ingredients in order: Mixed well coconut milk, turmeric, and coconut aminos. Place green (tougher parts) of the leeks at the bottom of a casserole dish. Pour the milk over. Distribute it evenly over the casserole dish. Place seared chicken thighs (skin side up) on top of the leeks. Pour-in any extra chicken juice in the skillet. Gently wiggle/push the chicken down a bit so that the meaty bottom parts are in touch with the cream and the skin sides are above the cream (i.e. not touching the cream). Place white parts of the leeks around & in-between the chicken thighs.* (Optional: place thin sliced chilies on top of chicken).
- Bake at 375F lower rack for 40 minutes then raise the temperature to 400F for 8 to 10 additional minutes*. Remove the dish from the oven. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken further. Serve with a bowl of fresh leafy green salad (my favorite is wild arugula mixed with romaine lettuce).
- How much milk cream should you add to the dish? Chances are your casserole dish will be in different size than mine. A good rule-of-thumb: you want to have just enough milk cream that touches the bottom meaty side of the chicken yet not too much that will spill-over/cover the crispy skin. If your casserole dish is smaller than mine, use less milk cream and vice versa. Find a dish that’s just about the right size to fit/snuggle in all the chicken thighs with some small space in between.
- Bake time: Oven temperature varies. The chicken is cooked through when a meat thermometer reaches 165F at the thickest part of the chicken.