Did you happen to find a great deal on family size chicken thighs? And now are wondering what to make with chicken thighs. Don't worry, we have searched the internet and found mouthwatering, delicious looking recipes for you to try. Here are our top recipe suggestions for what to make with chicken thighs. The hero ingredient truly shines in all of the recipes that made it to our 10 Best Recipes with Chicken Thighs. In fact, we want to make them all and you may too. So, get in the kitchen and start cooking.
Want to learn more about chicken thighs? Keep reading! Or...
What Are Chicken Thighs?
Chicken thighs are popular and affordable dark meat from a chicken. They have a richer, more intense meatier flavor than chicken breasts. However, they are milder in flavor when compared to a gamier bird, such as duck meat. The thigh is cut from the top section of the chicken. They are very popular with restaurant chefs and home cooks. Many cooks prefer chicken thighs over chicken breast because of their deeper flavor, tenderness, and juiciness. They are more tender because the thighs contain more fat than chicken breast, this fat releases juice and flavor when cooked.
Chicken thighs are sold at your local grocery store or butcher shop, and most often they are bone-in with the skin on. Some grocery stores carry bone-in and skinless or boneless and skinless chicken thighs. There are numerous ways to cook chicken thighs, such as roasting, braising, frying or grilling. Grilling chicken thighs is probably the most popular way to cook them, especially in the warmer summer months.
How to Prepare Them
Once you are ready to make a delicious meal with the thighs, there really isn’t much to do but follow the recipe you chose to make. They can be used right of the package. You can de-bone them if you wish or remove the skin if you prefer but other than that they really don’t require any special preparation unless the recipe you are using indicates a specific preparation step.
How to Cook Them
To get the deepest flavor out of chicken thighs we recommend cooking them with bone-in and skin-on. Fat is released from the skin and cartilage is released from the bone during the cooking process. Both add extra flavor and moisture to the meat regardless of the cooking method you choose. If you watch cooking shows, any chef will tell you that fat equals flavor.
Chicken thighs are a popular choice among home cooks because of their forgiveness during cooking. Due to their higher fat content, they don’t overcook and dry out as easily as chicken breast. For example, if you are baking the thighs and you leave them in for five minutes longer than the recipe calls for, they will still be tasty and juicy, whereas with chicken breast, that extra five minutes will dry out your chicken, and you will notice the difference.
The thighs can be marinated as well. A well-balanced marinade will add another enhanced layer of flavor. They can be roasted, grilled, fried in a deep fryer or pan fried. They are delicious when air fried as well and perfect for slow cooker recipes. The various cooking methods allow for versatility when deciding what to make with chicken thighs.
* Please note that all chicken products must be cooked thoroughly. Raw chicken should never be consumed. Best way to know when chicken is thoroughly cooked is by using a meat thermometer.
Buying and Storing Tips
When shopping for chicken thighs make sure to look at the dates and try to get the freshest ones.
Plan out your recipes ahead of time and purchase accordingly. Use them within three days of purchase, or as the package “use by date” indicates.
If you are buying a family-sized package and will not cook the entire package at once, we recommend freezing some of the thighs. They freeze very well. Make sure to wrap each thigh individually in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. They can remain frozen for a few months.
Since the thighs of the chicken contain more fat, especially when cooked with the skin on they contain a higher calorie count compared to leaner, skinless chicken breast. The size of the thigh matters as well. The package will contain various sizes of thighs, similar but some will be larger or smaller than others. The source of the nutritional chart below is from myfooddata.com and USDA. It is meant to be used as a guide not an absolute source, since certain variables can vary. If you have special dietary needs, please consult a professional in the health care and nutrition profession. We are neither.
10 Best Chicken Thigh Recipes
Every single one of these recipes looks amazing! We think this list will give you some inspiration and ideas. Thank you to all the recipe developers for creating these delicious recipes.
Buffalo Chicken Thighs
Kelsey Smith from by Kelsey Smith describes her dish as "Buffalo chicken thighs are a meatier take on a traditional Buffalo chicken wing. These bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are baked until the skin is crisp then covered in wing sauce made from cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter". View Full Recipe.
Creamy Garlic Chicken
Kathi and Rachel Kirk from the Laughing Spatula describe this dish as "Creamy Garlic Chicken is made with tender chicken thighs, potatoes and a light cream sauce. All tossed in a baking dish for the easiest and most delicious meal!" View Full Recipe.
Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs
Henrie Marie (that's ME) from Thyme of Season (This Site) suggests making this easy and delicious lemon pepper chicken thighs made with juicy thighs that are marinated in an easy homemade citrus and peppery spice marinade. Chicken thighs are oven baked and finished with vibrant fresh squeezed lemon to add a refreshing pop of zest. Simple and delicious chicken dinner for a later summer evening! View Full Recipe.
One-Pan Chicken Puttanesca with Creamy Orzo
Dana from Killing Thyme created this "One-Pan Chicken Puttanesca with Creamy Orzo is a beautiful meal, and it’s simple enough for your weeknights." View Full Recipe.
More Delicious Chicken Thigh Recipes
Cast Iron Chicken Thighs with Cherries
Sasha from Eat Love Eats created this "Cast iron chicken thighs with cherries is the perfect one-pan dinner. It's easy to make and perfectly balanced in flavour - and you’ll LOVE the extra crispy chicken skin! A great dish to use fresh cherries at the height of the season!" View Full Recipe.
Quick Chicken Cacciatore
Quick Chicken Cacciatore photo by: Michelle nowcookthis.com
Michelle from Now Cook This offers "This Quick Chicken Cacciatore has tender boneless chicken thighs in a flavorful homemade tomato sauce that’s full of onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, herbs, and red wine. It’s so easy to make and ready in less than an hour!" View Full Recipe.
Low FODMAP Creamy Bacon Mushroom Chicken Thighs (Paleo, Whole30)
Low FODMAP Creamy Bacon Mushroom Chicken Thighs (Paleo, Whole30) photo by: Gail goodnomshoney.com
Gail from Good Noms, Honey! created "These low FODMAP Creamy Bacon Mushroom Chicken Thighs taste so delectable, you'll completely forget you're on a restricted diet! Made with low FODMAP quantities of canned mushrooms and coconut milk to make a rich, decadent sauce, this chicken thighs recipe adapted for low FODMAP from 40 Aprons will become your go-to guilty-pleasure comfort food dish." View Full Recipe.
Harissa Chicken photo by: Ingrid Beer thecozyapron.com
Ingrid Beer from The Cozy Apron describes this recipe as "Zesty and beautifully rustic, my harissa chicken is a mouthwatering one-pan chicken recipe scented with bright, aromatic spices and rich, earthy flavor. Prepared with an accompaniment of yellow baby potatoes and a delicious sauce made with aromatic onions and garlic, this easy harissa chicken recipe is comfort food with a delicious North African slant!" View Full Recipe.
Stovetop BBQ Chicken
Stovetop BBQ Chicken photo by: Kristen theendlessmeal.com
Kristen from The Endless Meal crated this easy recipe for "Stovetop BBQ chicken is a quick and easy recipe that you can make year-round whenever you're craving BBQ flavor. No need to fire up the grill!" View Full Recipe.
And, last but not least
Balsamic Cranberry Chicken Thighs With Mushrooms
Sarah from A Saucy Kitchen says "Make the most of seasonal ingredients with this balsamic cranberry chicken dish the entire family will love! Marinated chicken thighs, sautéed mushrooms and juicy cranberries cooked and coated in a bright and savory balsamic sauce. Dairy Free + Paleo Friendly." View Full Recipe.