Simply delicious, juicy and luscious. There’s no way you can ever go wrong with chicken thighs (or even hate them for that matter).
Among other things, apart from being a delectable source of lean protein, chicken thighs are very budget friendly and so much easy to cook.
So what’s to stop you from trying these amazingly simple chicken thigh recipes and cooking tips?
Read on to find out more about how to cook:
- Skinless chicken thighs in the oven
- Chicken thigh casserole
Before we get started, here is what to keep in mind as you cook chicken thighs.
The cooking time for boneless skinless chicken thighs and bone-in, skin-on thighs vary. Keep this in mind to avoid overcooking the chicken thighs.
Skinless chicken thighs in oven
Skinless chicken thighs are the easiest variety to cook, with the cook time being nearly half, as the time it takes to cook skin-on, bone-on thighs.
- The first thing you’ll want to do is start by seasoning the chicken thighs. For starters, you can go for the basic salt and pepper, but if you want to keep interesting; then go ahead and use whatever you have/wish to have. Garlic powder, ginger should do just fine with any other spice you have.
- With the seasoning, mix the various spices in a mixing bowl, before then sprinkling and rubbing in the spices on the chicken thighs. A dry rub is fine, but for best results, brush some olive oil on the thighs before rubbing the seasoning on the thighs. This’ll help the spices stick on the chicken.
- Once you’ve seasoned the thighs, turn to the oven. Place the baking tray in the middle rack, then set the oven to preheat 425oF.
- Shake off the extra seasoning from the thighs and place them on the baking tray. Try not to overcrowd the baking tray. For this reason, if you’re cooking more thighs, do this in batches.
- Let the chicken thighs bake for 10-15 minutes, but this might vary. To check whether the chicken thighs are properly cooked, insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thighs. An internal temperature reading of 165oF signifies the meat is properly cooked. If it is less than this, return the thighs back to the oven, and let it bake some more, until it attains the 165oF temperature mark.
- In between the cooking time (halfway) flip the chicken. This is not necessary, but it’s worth the effort.
- Once the thighs are properly cooked, remove the baking tray/dish from the oven. Cover the tray/dish with aluminum foil, and let the meat rest for 10 minutes. This lets juices redistribute in the chicken, giving it a tender, juicy taste.
So what if you have skin-on chicken thighs?
It’s no biggie, you can try removing the skin before cooking, or even after cooking the thighs.
If you decide to go with the former (removing the skin after cooking is much easier actually), then you can do this using kitchen scissors, snipping at the edges, before proceeding to tug at the skin gently, tearing the skin away from the chicken thigh.
If you’re to remove the skin after cooking, you can wait until the chicken has cooled before gently pulling at the skin. This should be very simple and easy, as the skin is already loose.
Chicken thigh casserole
This is one recipe you should definitely try. And forget the naysayers, this meal isn’t just reserved for winter.
With this recipe, you get your chicken thighs well seared and browned, giving you that timeless flavor while being ever crispy and crunchy.
Dig in, you just might find a couple simple chicken thigh recipe variations you can try, to keep things interesting (and tasty)
- Start off by mildly seasoning the chicken thighs using salt and pepper. (You can always use more pepper) You can also add whichever spice you might have, say garlic powder or ginger.
- Heat up the oven to around 190oC.
- As the oven heats up, place a fairly sized skillet on medium high heat.
- Add some vegetable oil, or canola oil on the skillet. Swirl the skillet to ensure the oil distributes evenly.
- Add the chicken thighs, this time with the skin down first. Let the chicken cook for 8 minutes, flipping the thighs half way. Ensure the chicken is properly browned, but don’t overdo it to the point of charring.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and place it in a serving plate or bowl.
- Return the skillet to the pan.
- This time, depending on what you want on your casserole, you can add bacon, fish or mushrooms with the onions. Cook these in the skillet for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once properly seared, transfer to a casserole then add the sliced carrots and flour (plain 2 tablespoons).
- Add the thyme and chicken stock, if you prefer; stirring as you add the two ingredients.
- Heat the casserole on medium heat, then add the thighs to the casserole.
- Simmer for a few minutes, until the mixture is properly combined.
- Cover the casserole with a lid, then put the casserole in the oven.
- Let the food bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes.
- At this point the chicken thighs casserole is ready. However, you can add vegetables you like say broccoli, or leeks (sliced/chopped), stirring them in.
- Return the casserole to the oven, cooking for some 12 more minutes, or until when the chicken and the vegetables are tender
- Serve the meal hot. Enjoy!
If you’re using bone-in, skin-on thighs, you can cook in the oven for 40-45 minutes. However, with boneless, without skin chicken thighs, the cook time is 30-35 minutes.
Browning the chicken thighs before putting them in the oven, gives the best results. However, this is completely optional.
Aside from golden brown visual appeal, and making the chicken crunchy; searing the thighs in oil before cooking in the oven, seals in the juices in the chicken ensuring once the chicken is baked, it is tender and juicy, just how you like it.
Don’t have a casserole? No problem, an oven safe dish or pan would still do the job perfectly.
Here are some chicken thigh casserole recipe variations you should try:
- Chicken and chorizo ragu
- Grilled chicken thighs.
That wraps it up for simple recipes for chicken thighs.
In case you were wondering whether you can use sauce, in the skinless chicken thighs oven recipe; well you can do that. It wasn’t included as an option in the recipe above, but you can totally use it and have spectacular results.
Generally, casserole dishes mostly cook while uncovered. In this recipe, the casserole was covered.
However, if you are after a crispier, crunchy dish, you should cook the casserole while it’s uncovered.