Crispy Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs

These super easy Spiced Chicken Thighs show off the power of spices, and how you can make a truly delicious meal with a handful of ingredients from the pantry!

Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs

How often do you go into your spice cabinet?

The other day I realized I had completely forgotten about the greatness of spices. I haven’t done a rub in ages!

While there’s definitely something to be said about fresh ingredients, having so much flavor sitting in your cabinet all year long, right at your fingertips, can be very handy. Especially if you know how to pair those spices together.

Spice Rub for Chicken
The collection of spices I’m sharing with you today is my favorite rub to put on chicken. It has some Indian and Chinese influences in there, with very warm spices, like ginger, cardamom, cumin, and so on.

I keep a jar of it in my pantry all the time so if I’m feeling tired on a weekday, I know that I can rub it on some chicken and make a simple meal.

My recommended cut for this rub is chicken thighs, and you’re going to cook them in a way that gets the skin all crispy. My husband put it perfectly when he said this dish tastes sort of like Indian Fried Chicken.

Indian Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs Recipe @fifteenspatulas

The chicken thighs I buy happen to have a lot of excess fat/skin on them, so if any overhangs the main portion of meat, trim it off with a knife or scissors:

How to Trim Chicken Thighs

This dish goes great with a little quinoa and a dollop of thick yogurt on the side, but similar grains like couscous or farro would work well too.

In the comments below, what is your favorite spice? Mine would have to be…cinnamon! Cumin is a close second.

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5 from 15 votes

Crispy Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs

 These super easy Spiced Chicken Thighs show off the power of spices, and how you can make a truly delicious meal with a handful of ingredients from the pantry!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken thigh seasoning, chicken thighs
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 -4
Calories 347kcal


  • 2 or 3 lb package skin-on bone-in chicken thighs about 5 pieces
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Stir to combine the ginger, chipotle pepper, curry powder, paprika, garlic powder, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cayenne, cumin, and salt.
  • Trim the excess fat from the chicken thighs (any part that overhangs the main piece). Rub the chicken thighs all over with the spice rub.
  • Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan (about 2 tbsp). Cook the chicken thighs skin side down (in a single layer) for 10 minutes, until the skin gets crispy (and if the skin isn’t golden brown and crispy after 10 minutes, cook it for a few minutes longer). Flip the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes, then transfer the skillet to the oven to cook for additional 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and has reached an internal temperature of 180 degrees F. Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 349mg | Fiber: 1g