Chicken thighs have become the darlings of the food world, and no wonder: They’re tender, juicy and flavorful, and economical too, the perfect option for a budget dinner. Learning how to cook chicken thighs is easy when you follow simple tips from the KRAFT KITCHENS Experts. They can be part of a comfort food menu, as well as a star in the summer when grilled chicken is on the menu. So read on and learn how to cook chicken thighs.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs Safely
The general rules for how to cook chicken apply to chicken thighs. For proper food safety, always wash your hands before and after handling raw chicken. Also, be sure to use clean knives, cutting boards and counters when working with chicken. Wash all cutting boards and utensils with hot soapy water after using them with chicken and take extra care to wash everything before prepping other ingredients. One of the best ways to avoid cross-contamination is to prep all vegetables first and use boards for chicken last. A meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer is the best way to check for the doneness of cooked chicken. The internal temperature should be at least 165°F when tested at the thickest part of the chicken.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs: Baking
Baking chicken thighs can be as simple as seasoning and placing in a lightly oiled baking dish and baking in a 425°F oven. You want to be sure the internal temp of the chicken is 165°F, guaranteeing it is fully cooked. That’s the simple way to bake chicken. For some much tastier options, our baked chicken recipes can give you all sorts of ideas, like One-Pan Chicken and Potato Bake, a seriously tasty dish that has a cooking video to show you how simple it can be.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs: Skillet
This recipe for Tuscan Garlic Chicken Skillet exemplifies skillet cooking. To be sure your chicken has maximum flavor, pat the thighs dry with a paper towel before browning. Keep the browning chicken juicy by using tongs instead of a fork when turning the chicken over. This will help prevent the juices from running out, resulting in a juicier, yummier chicken dish, filled with flavor.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs: Braising
Braising is a low, slow, moist-heat cooking method, and chicken thighs are perfect for it. Braising can take place in a skillet on the stove, in a baking pan or in a Dutch oven in the oven. Oven Chicken Cacciatore is a great example of a recipe that uses the oven-braising method.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs: Slow Cooking
Slow cooking chicken is an easy, on the counter way to braise. For added flavor when cooking in a slow cooker you can brown your chicken thighs (however, that does add time and another step). Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Thighs are loaded with Asian flavor from ginger, soy sauce, KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing and PLANTERS Creamy Peanut Butter. Cooked in a slow cooker without browning, it’s a great example of how much flavor you can get from a slow cooker without browning. We have many slow cooker chicken recipes that can make your weeknights so much easier.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs: Frying
There are few dishes more delicious than crispy fried chicken. When recipes like this amazing Fried Chicken call for 2½ pounds of chicken, there’s no reason that you can’t make just thighs. Tips for perfection include patting the chicken dry before seasoning, and being sure the oil is between 325°F and 350°F. Canola, corn, peanut, safflower and soybean oils are excellent choices for frying. Be sure to shake excess coating from chicken before placing in oil.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs: Oven Frying
We like to call our oven-fried chicken “unfried,” and this Simple Southern-Style "Unfried" Chicken recipe with a cooking video shows you how crazy-simple it is to make. The oven frying technique in this recipe is a Healthy Living recipe that saves 90 calories and 9 g of fat per serving, compared to the same amount of fried chicken.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs: Grilling
Chicken thighs, being dark meat, cook beautifully on the grill without drying out. Like all grilled chicken, some marinating adds a layer of yumminess. To keep it safe, discard the marinating liquid after you remove the chicken to grill it. When grilling thighs with skin on, use a low-flame heat; you want to keep the fat from flaring up and burning the chicken.