Thighs are totally the BEST part of a chicken! With today’s top 10 chicken thigh recipes, I am absolutely sure that you can transform the fabulous chicken thighs into five-star delicacies right in your home kitchen!
First, let’s get to know the chicken thighs better. These pieces are the top part of the chicken leg where it connects to the body, just above the leg (the drumstick). Also known as “dark meat”, this portion of the bird has a deeper hue with extra fat. Because of this, chicken thighs cook up super juicy and flavorful.
What’s even better about these fantastic thighs? Let’s find out!
Chicken Thighs: 5 Reasons Why
1. Sufficient “good fat” supply
No, you didn’t hear it wrong! Fat can be good!
Chicken thighs, the dark meat, contain more fat than its white-meat companion: the breasts. But don’t panic: this kind of fat is healthy because it is monounsaturated, which researchers say can help you big time in weight control, lower your LDL – the “bad” cholesterol level, and even reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, according to Medline Plus.
2. Wonderfully flavorful
In a competition of flavor between chicken pieces, the thighs win even without the help of seasoning or marinating. Since fat is the primary source of flavor, these cuts of the bird, which contain a higher fat content than white meat, tend to be juicier and are packed with succulent flavor.
Plus, if you want to make great chicken stock, the thigh bone, being a flavor-making powerhouse, is exactly what you are looking for. It doesn’t matter whether you debone your chicken thighs before cooking or keep them as leftovers after meals, these cuts will absolutely contribute a richer, deeper flavor to your homemade chicken stock, which will beat any of its boxed versions.
Chicken breasts and wings are so popular that they are often in high demand, thus the high price. On the contrary, chicken thighs usually cost only half the price of chicken breasts. Not only being the most flavorful parts of the bird but also having the best price-value, chicken thighs are truly the best of both worlds!
Plus, you can find the thighs at almost all supermarkets and butcher shops. Nifty!
4. Ridiculously easy
I’m going to put this straight: Chicken thighs are almost impossible to mess up! They can stand up to long cooking times, even in the crockpot, and still remain tender and juicy. Therefore, I find it difficult to dry the thighs out or overcook them. Even if you’re a beginner cook, you can still make them taste wonderful!
5. Amazingly versatile
In my humble opinion, there is no other cut of poultry easier to work with than chicken thighs. They lend themselves to all kinds of cooking methods: baked in the oven, roasted on a grill or a stovetop, simmered, pan-seared, braised – just to name a few.
3 Types Of Chicken Thigh
Unlike the breast counterpart, chicken thighs come in three types: bone-in, skin-on; boneless, skinless; and bone-in, skinless. Are you feeling confused? Well don’t be, ‘cause I’m here to help!
1. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
These are the most popular, least expensive and definitely my favorite kind. Bone-in chicken thighs with skin are perfect for searing, grilling, roasting, etc. During the cooking process, the skin acts as a shield that protects the meat from having direct contact with the heat, thus helping the thighs cook gently and retain their moisture.
In addition, if you are a fan of chicken with crispy skin, I’m 100% sure you’ll be pleased to enjoy the savory, cracker-like crunch of the thigh skin after it’s cooked down and crisped up. The sensation is to die for!
2. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Because the butcher has to do extra work to remove the bone and the skin, these popular cuts are a little more expensive than bone-in thighs, but still cheaper and easier to cook than chicken breasts. One good thing about boneless, skinless chicken thighs is that they cook through very quickly, which is ideal if you’re in a hurry but still want a high protein meal.
3. Bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
These cuts are the least popular of the three, so they are not always available at the butcher or supermarket. If you don’t like chicken skin, I suggest you buy the bone-in thighs with skin and remove the skin yourself AFTER cooking. As I said above, the skin helps retain moisture and lends a wonderful flavor to the meat, so save the skin for that purpose, and you won’t regret it.
And now, it’s time for our top 10 stars to shine! I hope you’ll have unlimited fun cooking up these wonderful chicken dishes!
Top 10 Chicken Thigh Recipes
1. One pan chicken and potatoes
If you are not into washing a whole lotta dishes after every dinner party, this one pan chicken and potatoes recipe is for you. What makes this dish unforgettable is the signature flavor of garlic added to the chicken and potatoes. Plus, it takes little effort to make. All you’ve got to do is toss chicken thighs, potatoes and carrots in the baking dish with seasoning & roast them together!
2. Three herb chicken and mushrooms
Your friends will probably think it took you all day to get this wonderful dish done. But only you will know that 35 minutes is all you needed to pull together such a satisfying meal. With a perfect combination of the three aromatic herbs, every bite of this three herb chicken and mushrooms is indeed flavorful and simply irresistible. Besides, it’s delicious no matter what, whether served on its own, with pasta or with rice.
3. Paprika chicken & rice
With just a few ingredients, paprika chicken & rice comes bursting with great color and flavor. This stunning dish has been our dinner favorite for years because chicken paprika can go absolutely wonderfully with almost anything and not just white rice – from cauliflower rice, pasta to roasted potatoes and even your favorite steamed vegetables! Be sure to drizzle the extra pan sauce on top to add the final touch.
4. Skillet chicken with bacon and white wine sauce
Chicken and sausage, a perfect match! The tender, juicy chicken thighs go so well with the creamy bacon sauce in this recipe that will leave your friends in utter awe after their first bite! Plus, you can make the whole dish with just one skillet. Be sure to try this skillet chicken with bacon and white wine sauce out the next time you’re throwing a party dinner.
5. Creamy bacon mushroom thyme chicken
This recipe for creamy bacon mushroom thyme chicken is simply extraordinary. If chicken thighs smeared in creamy delicious bacon mushroom sauce is wrong, then trust me – you won’t want to be right! Additionally, with the addition of thyme, this dish is filled with wonderful flavors that will make your family and friends ask for seconds.
6. Creamy parmesan herb chicken mushroom
A great dish where chicken thighs, mushrooms, creamy sauce and herbs mingle in happy harmony. A wonderful, mouth-watering treat that looks and tastes creamy, but actually needs no heavy cream or any kind of cream at all! This creamy parmesan herb chicken mushroom can be completed within 1 hour and is ideal for any potluck or party.
7. Slow cooker jerk chicken
Slow cooker jerk chicken is a wonderful dish of Jamaican origin, in which chicken thighs, onion, jalapeno and aromatic herbs are combined to provide an authentic, delicious taste. Alongside some hot rice, I’m pretty sure this dish will absolutely be included in your dinner rotation from the moment you taste.
8. Lemon butter chicken
I’d be surprised if this lemon butter chicken doesn’t become a firm favorite, because it is simply delicious. The chicken thighs are enveloped in creamy and rich sauce made with chicken broth, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and thyme. Attention: There will probably be no leftovers left to freeze!
9. Rustic chicken with garlic gravy
If you are longing for chicken with gravy, you’re in the right place. This rustic chicken with garlic gravy should definitely be served with mashed potato, pasta or rice to make the most of the delicious gravy. You have to try it out! The moment it melts in your mouth, you’ll know what heaven tastes like!
10. Honey soy baked chicken thighs
Perfect for an easy weekday or weekend dinner, these honey soy baked chicken thighs are not only easy but also quick to make. Moreover, preparing the chicken thighs ahead of time is totally possible. Once you’ve mixed up all the ingredients, just pour it over the chicken cuts that have been placed in a zip-lock bag and let them marinate in the fridge until ready to cook.