Indian Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs cook up really quickly for a fast weeknight meal. Indian spices are rubbed onto chicken thighs, cooked on the stovetop then roasted until brown and crispy.

2 chicken thighs on a pewter plate garnished with cilantro

I have a great collection of Indian spices because they can be used in so many combinations to create different flavors, so I use them a lot.  One of my favorite ways to use the spices is in a rub like on these Indian spice rubbed chicken thighs.

When it comes to the simple spice rub, you can mix up any different combinations to create different flavors.

An overhead image of the chicken thighs

Can I use chicken breast?

I used to be a chicken breast only girl, it was white meat all the way for me. It was only when I perfected my chicken soup and started using thighs for the soup, that is when I fell in love with them. 

Not only are chicken thighs less expensive than chicken breasts, but they don’t dry out they way breasts do so you can cook them low and slow, just like in the soup. If you do not like thighs, you can make this recipe just the same with skin on, bone in chicken breast. 

A closeup showing the spiced browned and the skin crispy
The chicken is started on the stove top by cooking the thighs skin-side down to start the skin crisping. The pan in transferred to the oven to finish so the thighs are cooked all the way through. You can see how brown the skin gets from the spices and crispy too.
The dish is done from start to finish in under 30 minutes so they make for a quick meal that I served along with curry vegetable basmati rice.

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Yield: 4

Indian Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs on a grey serving platter with a side of rice

Indian spices are rubbed onto chicken thighs and roasted until brown and crispy for a quick and easy meal.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons mild yellow curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on, bone-in
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
  2. To a small bowl add all of the spices and salt, mix well.
  3. If the skin is wrapped to the under-side of the thigh, trim this off.
  4. Coat the thighs with the 2 teaspoons oil. Rub the spice rub onto the chicken thighs on all sides, lift the skin a little and put some under the skin, but be careful you don't peel too much back.
  5. Add the 1 tablespoon oil to an oven-proof sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil starts to ripple, add the thighs skin side down and cook for about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Turn the thighs over and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 180°F/82 °C, depending on the size of your chicken thighs.
  8. Serve warm with your favorite side dish.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 thigh

Amount Per Serving Calories 288Saturated Fat 7gCholesterol 110mgSodium 670mgCarbohydrates 2gProtein 18g