What thought comes to mind when you think of chicken thighs? I can bet it is nothing short of a mouthwatering, luscious delicacy. Chicken thighs are what can be considered the choice pieces when considering chicken meat. So how do you cook chicken thighs?
Not only are they less costly when compared to chicken breasts, but they are more succulent and also packed with more proteins.
It isn’t really possible to exhaustively describe chicken thighs. Doing so would deny it the justice it deserves. What you can do however, is have a taste and give your verdict.
3 Ways to Cook Chicken Thighs
Below are 3 wonderful ways you can cook your chicken thighs and have them turn out in a way that’ll definitely wow your gustatory senses.
Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe
Baking chicken thighs isn’t just as easy as placing the chicken thighs in an oven; and neither is it rocket science.
- Preheating your oven to 218OC and using a non-stick cooking spray, lightly coat your baking dish
- Placing your chicken thighs skin up on the baking dish for bone-in and with skin meat. If you are using boneless and without skin thighs, the side that faces up won’t matter
- Seasoning your chicken thighs with spices of your choice
- Using sauce to coat your chicken thighs. This step however, is optional
- Baking the chicken thighs for 20 minutes. You can then, using a meat thermometer check the internal temperature of the chicken thighs
- If the internal temperature is less than 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celsius, have the chicken thighs bake for 5 more minutes after which you can check once again the internal temperature
- Once the 165oF internal temperature has been attained for the chicken thighs, remove them from the oven.
- Loosely cover the chicken thighs with foil, and let them cool
For best results, you may want to consider first seasoning your chicken. It is quite common to season the chicken thighs once they are baked and it works fine for some people. However, try seasoning the chicken before putting it in the oven. You will definitely love the difference in flavor. With seasoning, you can use any spice that you love say thyme, rosemary, cumin or garlic powder.
Let the chicken thighs stay at room temperature for a while before you put them in the oven. Doing this will help ensure the meat cooks evenly.
For the connoisseurs, you may try shaking things up a bit and try Italian baked chicken thighs or even Southern baked chicken thighs. It is definitely worth your while.
You can also use sauce on your chicken thighs. Coat them evenly, and for extra flavor if you have time, marinate your chicken thighs in a sauce of your liking for around 30 minutes before you bake them.
Leave the skin on the chicken thighs while they cook, to ensure the meat is tender and does not dry out.
If your concerned about the extra calories and fat, you can remove the skin once the thighs are properly cooked.
Grilled Chicken Thighs Recipe
This is probably the best and fun way to cook chicken thighs.
What with all the aroma, flavor and charring.
The key to the perfect grilled chicken thighs lies on three crucial aspects. A hot grill, perfect marinade and trimmed fat.
- Preparing your marinade and firing up the grill. Preheat the grill to slightly above 410oF
- Trimming all the excess fat on your chicken thighs
- Marinating the chicken thighs in a marinade of your choice
- Brushing the grill grates with some oil preferably olive oil or if it isn’t available, any other vegetable oil will suffice
- Placing the chicken thighs on the grill grates
The cooking time for chicken thighs will vary. Skinless without-bone chicken thighs will require significantly less time to cook compared to chicken thighs with skin and bone.
To check if the chicken thighs have cooked properly, using a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken thigh.
If the internal temperature is at 165oF or more, then the chicken thighs are properly cooked.
To get that extra flavor, it is recommended that you let the chicken thighs marinate for more than the minimum 30 minutes.
Sautéed Chicken Thighs Recipe
Considered to be a bit healthier than other methods of cooking chicken like frying, sautéing chicken thighs is a very fast method to cook your chicken thighs and while using relatively less fat.
The most popular way to sauté chicken thighs is cooking chicken thighs in a pan.
- Heating some butter on a fairly sized frying pan or skillet.
- As your pan heats up, season the chicken thighs with spices of your choice. For starters you can go with salt, pepper, garlic powder or onion powder. You can also choose to marinate your chicken thighs preferably for 30 minutes or more, if you have the luxury or more time
- Placing the chicken thighs on the already heated up pan, with the skin side facing down. This is to get the extra nice crispy skin. With the heat on medium, let each side cook undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Checking the internal temperature of the chicken thighs using a meat thermometer
- Once the internal temperature of the chicken thighs is 165oF, remove the cooked chicken thighs from the pan
You can serve the cooked chicken thighs as they are or serve with sauce.
Chicken thighs are appetizingly delicious no matter which method you choose to cook them. You should definitely try out all the above mentioned methods on how to cook chicken thighs. The results will surely impress you.
A point to note though is that, chicken thighs with bone and skin take more time to cook compared to boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They however cost less than boneless, skinless chicken thighs thus budget friendly, do not easily dry out and have more texture from the crispy skin.
As with the condition of ensuring the internal temperature of the cooked meat is 165oF, this is the recommended safe minimum cooking temperature as prescribed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).