Juicy bacon-wrapped chicken thighs, a simple, delicious recipe using just two main ingredients and some spices.
Do you feel like having something delicious tonight? Like a hearty, filling chicken dinner in about half an hour? Give these spicy, bacon-wrapped chicken thighs a try; you will not regret it! Juicy chicken and crispy bacon – all in one! A delicious chicken thighs recipe ready in no time, one of those family dinner recipes you will make again and again.
Why love this chicken thigh recipe?
Flavor: The thighs are moist, juicy, and so incredibly delicious. These particular cuts are generally full of flavor, but wrapping them in a slice of bacon brings them to a whole new level.
Super easy to make: All you have to do is to spice and wrap the meat.
One-pot meal: One smallish roasting tin is all you need. You can even use it when you sprinkle the meat with the spices and wipe it a bit cleaner with paper towels afterward.
Scale: This chicken recipe can be scaled to feed a crowd, just use a larger pan.
Quick: You will need less than 5 minutes of prep time. The roasting time is relatively short as well, about 30 minutes.
What you don’t need to do
Don’t pound the meat. The thighs are wide but flat and of a regular thickness. While it makes sense to pound breasts that tend to be much thicker in the middle, this task is unnecessary when cooking other poultry cuts.
Don’t secure with toothpicks or strings; they will hold together perfectly; just make sure to place the wrapped thighs with the seam facing down into the baking pan.
Don’t use additional fat for the roasting pan. The bacon will render enough fat to stop the meat from sticking. If you are still unsure about it, line the baking tin with aluminum foil or parchment paper. However, I’ve never once had problems with sticking when cooking this recipe.
I’ve seen these steps recommended in other recipes but trust me, the extra effort is unnecessary.
What do you need?
The ingredient list is short and cheap.
Boneless skinless chicken thighs:
Those that I can usually buy still have the skin on, so I have to remove it. Don’t be tempted to leave the skin on; it will become soggy and make the dish too fatty.
Can I use other parts?
The advantage of using boneless chicken thighs is that they cook faster than a whole thigh and are easier to cut through when eating. Dark meat is also juicier and more flavorful than white meat. But, of course, you can use those other parts as well.
- Chicken breast: In this case, the cooking time will be even shorter; check after about 20 minutes already.
- Bone-in thighs: the cooking time will be slightly longer, about 45-50 minutes, but check.
- Drumsticks: they will also need about 50 minutes of cooking time. Always check.
- Thin-cut strips. I use unsmoked most of the time, but smoky bacon is fine as well.
- Don’t use thick-cut slices as you will not be able to wrap them properly around the meat.
- Use as required; it depends on the slices’ width; I needed 3 for each thigh, so a total of 12.
- Fine sea salt
- Black pepper
- Brown sugar
- Smoked paprika
- Cayenne pepper
- Dried oregano
I like these spices, but a simple combination of salt and pepper is enough as well. Or you can use other spices instead. You can also add some garlic powder, onion powder, or chili powder. To make things really easy, use a seasoning mix or any dry rub you like.
How to make chicken thighs wrapped in bacon?
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. There is no need to oil the roasting tin; the bacon will quickly render some fat, so the food will not stick to the pan.
- Season: Open the boneless thighs on a large cutting board. Mix the spices in a small bowl and season the meat generously, flip, and season on the other side.
- Roll: Deboned thighs are relatively wide, so you will have to roll them up before wrapping.
- Wrap each rolled piece in 1 to 3 pieces thinly sliced bacon. The number of slices you need depends on the size of the cuts, I needed 3 for each thigh, but they were super narrow.
- Either begin wrapping from below the thigh and wrap the strip of bacon around it as many times as possible.
- OR lay 2-3 strips on the cutting board, place the rolled meat on top and wrap the slices around it.
- Each piece of meat should be covered in bacon. The ends of the slices should come underneath the thigh.
- Place the rolls in a shallow roasting tin with the ends of the bacon slices facing down.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature in the center reaches 74 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to check is with a digital meat thermometer. Alternatively, cut one piece in the middle; the meat should be white and juicy, there is no pink allowed.
- The baking time depends on the size of the pieces of meat and the oven. Ensure to check as instructed and allow more cooking time if the meat is still pink or didn’t reach the required temperature indicated above.
- For extra crispiness, you can broil the pieces for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
Can I cook this recipe in the air fryer?
- Yes. Preheat the air fryer to 190 degrees Celsius/ 380 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the meat for 10 minutes. Flip and cook for another 10 minutes or until cooked through. Make sure to check, preferably with the instant-read thermometer.
How to serve?
Serve immediately with any chicken-suitable side, which is most any side dish you can think of. A few suggestions:
- Green Salad with Yogurt Dressing or Raspberry Vinaigrette
- French-Style Green Beans
- Buttered Leeks
- Buttered Vegetables
- Potato Wedges
- Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
- Spicy BBQ Rice
- Carrot Rice
How to store leftovers?
- Cool: Let cool completely before refrigerating or freezing.
- Refrigerate: The bacon-wrapped chicken thighs will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Reheat: in the preheated oven at 175 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-20 or until heated through. I don’t recommend reheating in the microwave; the bacon will turn floppy.
Can you freeze them?
You can freeze the food either uncooked or cooked for up to 3 months. However, keep in mind that you can only freeze the uncooked thighs if you prepared the dish with fresh thighs; you should never freeze raw, thawed meat again.
- Uncooked: place the wrapped thighs on a large plate or a tray. Freeze until solid, then transfer to freezer bags. This way, you can ensure that the pieces will not stick together. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight or cook from frozen until the internal temperature reaches 74 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It will take longer, about 1 hour, but start checking after about 45 minutes.
- Cooked: freeze in airtight containers or freezer bags and defrost in the fridge. Reheat appropriately before serving. If reheating from frozen, it will take about 30 minutes, but check with a meat thermometer.
More chicken thigh recipes:
- How To Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs
- Nando’s Peri Peri Thighs
- Cast-Iron Chicken Thighs
- Baked Chicken Thighs
- Sticky Honey Lime Thighs
Easy Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs
- Roasting tin
- 4 chicken thighs boneless, skinless (large)
- 6-12 bacon slices thinly cut (Note)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Open the thighs on a large cutting board. Season the meat generously on both sides.
- Roll each thigh and wrap each rolled piece in 1 to 3 pieces thinly sliced bacon. The number of strips you need depends on their size.
- Begin wrapping from below the thigh and wrap around it as many times as possible. Or lay 2-3 slices of bacon on the cutting board, place the meat on top and wrap it. Each piece of meat should be covered in bacon. Tuck the ends of the bacon strips underneath the thigh and place the rolls in a shallow roasting tin with these ends facing down.
- Cook for 30-35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 74 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check with a digital meat thermometer. Alternatively, cut one piece in the middle; there is no pink allowed.