Sheet-Pan Chicken Thighs With Magic Spice Blend

October 7, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

I make a big sheet tray of these spice-rubbed chicken thighs, eat one or two for dinner that night, then turn the rest into quesadillas, rice bowls, and leftovers throughout the week.

Eric Kim

Food52 Review: Featured in: 2 Quick & Easy Chicken Thigh Recipes Our Senior Editor Swears By.The Editors

Serves: 4
Cook time: 30 min


  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons Magic Spice Blend, recipe follows

Magic Spice Blend

  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika (you can use regular sweet paprika if you don't like the taste of smoked)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed, crushed in the palm of your hand
In This Recipe


  1. Spoon all of the ingredients into a Mason jar and shake.
  2. Sprinkle the Magic Spice Blend generously on the underside of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, place on a sheet pan skin-side up, then season the skins lightly with more rub. You can let this sit covered overnight in the fridge, or bake off right away.
  3. Roast at 400° F for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

More Great Recipes:
American|Chicken|Sheet Pan|Weeknight Cooking|Dinner

Reviews (24) Questions (0)

24 Reviews

Dish06 January 23, 2019
Just yummy! The sugar had me saying...wwhhaaatt? But it's become a dish on rotation.
Barb January 1, 2019
Wr lived this recipe. It was easy, I had everything I needed which I love. The chicken browned nicely and the taste was unique and very delicious<br />
Barbara B. January 1, 2019
I used only a tablespoon of kosher salt as others suggested, but it was still overpowering and I couldn't rescue it even by doubling everything else. Would be better to add salt in at the end, to taste.
Ariella December 31, 2018
Delicious. Very special blend. I reduced salt to one tablespoon and it was perfect.
Steven W. December 30, 2018
I am quite sure I am the chicken thighs most fervent fan. I just LOVE them, any which way you do it--even boiled and tuned into pot pie--so these were an immediate favorite. The magic blend is really good even when I cut the cayenne in half (to taste for my family.) Thighs around here are often 77, 87 or 97 cents a pound so you can bet I stock up...the spice blend? I made a pint jar of it.
Author Comment
Eric K. December 31, 2018
Aw, Steven, that makes me so happy. Thanks for letting me know.
Ann December 30, 2018
Totally agree with all the previous accolades....<br />And it’s delicious on popcorn, too!
Author Comment
Eric K. December 31, 2018
Whoa! Love that idea.
Roy C. November 19, 2018
Definitely a Keeper! Easy to prepare and scales up really well. Going to try with boneless/skinless next time to see how it compares. Also want to try on salmon, as some have suggested. Thanks, Eric!
Author Comment
Eric K. November 19, 2018
Glad to hear, Roy. It's excellent on salmon. Some brief instruction here:
Roy C. November 19, 2018
Thanks again, Eric!
Helen November 5, 2018
This is really good. I had only boneless, skinless thighs on hand and used those. It was wonderful- big hit with my company. Easy and very tasty; this moves into the rotation!
Author Comment
Eric K. November 5, 2018
Delicious! The spice blend would probably penetrate boneless/skinless even better.
Helen November 6, 2018
Yes, i sprayed a sheet pan, sprinkled about 1/3 of the mix on it, then patted thighs into mix and turned pieces over. Sprinkled a little more on top. Covered pan and back in fridge for maybe 6 hrs. So spice blend was directly on the meat for several hrs. I will definitely make this again.
Author Comment
Eric K. November 6, 2018
Glad to hear it!
jules November 4, 2018
I've got my second try at this recipe in the oven right now! So excited! I love the crispy skin with the rub flavor. I've added some drum sticks this time around. Can't wait!
Author Comment
Eric K. November 4, 2018
I'll admit, sometimes I like to tear off the crispy skin and eat that first! (When no one's watching...) I actually made these tonight, too; I'm a broken record, but this chicken really is a reliable standby in my kitchen.
Andrea November 4, 2018
You're right! I just made this recipe, and the spice blend is delicious! I was worried about the amount of cayenne, but it's tamed by the brown sugar and other spices. I recommend this recipe.
Author Comment
Eric K. November 4, 2018
Thanks so much for loving it, Andrea. Glad to hear.
Andrea November 4, 2018
Does anyone know if there are other recipes with this magic spice blend?
Melanie J. November 4, 2018
No but I bet this would be amazing with salmon!
Author Comment
Eric K. November 4, 2018
It is very good with salmon! Andrea, I talk about all the ways I like to use this spice blend here: Ribs, pork chops, salmon, soft-boiled eggs, even cucumbers.
Helen November 19, 2018
I bet it would be superb with extra firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes; would oil the pan and watch it - i doubt it would need more than 15-20 mins and possibly at a higher temp to crisp up the tofu.
Author Comment
Eric K. November 19, 2018
Helen, love that idea.