If chicken wings had a cooler, older sibling—it’d be buffalo chicken thighs. More flavor, more meat, more crispy skin. Everything you love about a wing, just more of it.
We’re all cool in our own way! Check out my full collection of keto chicken recipes here.
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Don’t Just Wing It
You know we love wings around here. I have ZERO problems with passing a plate of wings off as dinner. And that’s great. Chicken thighs are for when you crave something with a little more…well, meat on the bones.
I’ll say it. Chicken thighs are my favorite piece of chicken. They have more flavor than chicken breast. It’s easy to use the same technique for crispy wings to get crispy thighs—and a little more skin adds up to a lot more crunch.
After using the wing technique for crispy skin, it only made sense to follow it up with my favorite buffalo sauce. The thighs turn out tender and juicy. More crunch. More sauce.
All the same effort, with even more reward. I think that’s pretty cool. Enjoy! – Linds x
- Chicken thighs – bone in, skin on. Bone-in thighs are always juicer, and the skin is how we get these nice and crisp.
- Baking powder is the secret ingredient behind crisp and delicious skin. No flour necessary! Baking soda and powder are alkaline — when sprinkled on the skin, they raise its pH level, which enables them to brown/crisp quicker than they would on their own.
- Frank’s Red Hot – You can substitute for other hot sauces, however, Frank’s is what makes this sauce so addicting — it’s mild and has a strong vinegar base.
- Sweetener – honey is traditional. For keto buffalo chicken thighs, feel free to skip or use keto sweeteners such as confectioners erythritol.
Don’t forget a side of carrots and celery sticks!
And to Dip…
These baked buffalo chicken thighs are begging to be dipped in ranch or blue cheese dressing. Make sure you get a quality product here, I love making my own keto ranch dressing. Bob’s is my go-to store-bought option.
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Thighs
- In a small bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt, and pepper.
- Pat thighs completely dry and place in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle baking powder on top and toss to fully coat.
- Place thighs on a wire rack nestled inside a rimmed sheet pan.
- Meanwhile, melt butter (either in the microwave at 50% power, or in a small saucepan), and combine with hot sauce. Add sweetener if using. Taste and adjust to your liking (tips below).
- Thighs are done once their internal temperature reaches 165 F. Place cooked thighs in a large bowl and toss with half the sauce.
- Place on a platter and spoon the remaining sauce on top. Enjoy!
Alternatives to Baking
Buffalo chicken thighs baked are my favorite, feel free to use your preferred cooking method:
- Grill. Swap the baking powder with oil. Buffalo chicken thighs grill won’t be as crisp, but will still be delicious!
- Air fry. Preheat to 380 F for 5 minutes, then spray with cooking spray. Cook skin side down for 12 minutes. Flip and cook for 10-14 more, until the skin is nice and crisp — check internal temp for doneness.
Reheat this buffalo chicken thighs recipe in the oven to re-crisp the skin as much as possible. Serve with additional sauce spooned on top.
Homemade Buffalo Sauce Variations
This recipe is based on the buffalo wing sauce I use for my buffalo chicken wings. Just like that recipe, you can add your own spin:
- Spicier. Use a spicier jar of Franks.
- Smokier. You can also add a bit of liquid smoke to the sauce for smoked buffalo chicken thighs.
- Zestier. I let Frank’s do all the work here, but you can always add some garlic powder, onion powder, or even paprika to the sauce.
- Sweeter. Add more/less honey or sweetener depending on preference.
- Less Vinegar. Frank’s has a delicious vinegar base, if that’s not your thing, use a different hot sauce.
More Spicy Chicken Recipes
- Mexican Chicken Salad
- Salsa Verde Stuffed Peppers Without Rice
- Green Chili Chicken Soup
- Keto Chicken Enchilada Soup
Buffalo Chicken ThighsPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 6 Chicken Thighs bone in, skin on
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper freshly ground
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 Cup Frank's Red Hot (Note 2)
- 1-2 Tablespoons Honey or confectioners erythritol (Note 3)
To Serve Dips:
- green onions sliced
- blue cheese crumbled
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Prep. Preheat oven the 425F and prep the oven so that a rack is positioned in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dab chicken thighs (6) completely dry with paper towels and place them in a large bowl.
- Toss. Combine the baking powder (1 tablespoon), salt (1 teaspoon), and pepper (1/2 teaspoon) together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the chicken thighs and toss to coat.
- Bake. Place thighs skin side up on the prepared baking sheet and toss in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes - you'll know they're done once the internal temp reaches 165F. Crank the oven to broil and broil for a few minutes longer to get the skin a tad more crispy. (watch carefully here, depending on your oven this may only take 1 minute).
- Sauce. Meanwhile, toss the butter (2 tablespoons) in the microwave and cook at 50% power using 30 second intervals until it has completely melted. Add the hot sauce (1/4 cup) and honey (1-2 tablespoons) (or erythritol) and stir to combine.
- Serve. Once the thighs have finished cooking, place them in a large bowl and toss them in half the sauce. Place them on a platter and spoon the other half of the sauce on top. Serve with green onions, blue cheese, and blue cheese dressing. Enjoy!