Chicken Thighs

Juicier, cheaper and easier to cook than any other part of the bird, chicken thighs deserve much more attention. Instead of drying out like lean chicken breasts do, chicken thighs can stand up to high heat and reheating—making them great for leftovers or make-ahead meals. Plus, they're usually sold with the skin on, which makes for extra crispy flavor in your meal. Food & Wine helps you embrace this underappreciated ingredient with delicious recipes that will convert even the staunchest dark meat haters.

Most Recent

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Maple-Mustard Marinade
Rating: Unrated 2
A pinch of ground allspice adds interest to a not-too-sweet maple and mustard concoction inspired by chef Brendan Collins. The simple sauce does double duty as a dressing for salad and as a marinade for chicken thighs — just reserve a little bit of the sauce for adding effortless pizzazz to a quick salad, and use the rest of it as a marinade to give chicken thighs a lacquered shine and deep flavor. The recipe is for grilled chicken thighs — see the note at the end of the recipe for how to prepare them in the oven.
Pepper Jelly–Glazed Chicken Thighs with Grilled Peppers
Rating: Unrated 1
Sweet, spicy, and sticky pepper jelly–glazed chicken thighs pair perfectly with grilled shishito peppers, Anaheim chiles, and scallions. Grilled limes squeezed over the cooked chicken add smoky acidity to the dish. Serve the chicken and vegetables with rice for a simple dinner.
Chicken, Mango, and Piña Skewers
Rating: Unrated 1
These colorful and flavorful skewers by Paola Velez feature seasoned chicken, mango, pineapple, red and green bell peppers, and onion. If you use bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in warm water so they don't burn in the oven. If you're in the market for metal skewers, look for flat ones, not round. They'll hold the food in place when you turn them over.
Chicken Tikka Kebabs
The Kashmiri red chile powder used to season the chicken in these kebabs from chef Chintan Pandya gives them a mild, warm heat. The yogurt marinade ensures that the chicken thighs are juicy and tender when they emerge from the oven, and a quick baste with melted butter makes the dish especially rich. If you can't find ginger-garlic paste in the market, combine equal parts garlic cloves and chopped ginger in a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water so the mixture forms a paste.
Chicken Lule Kebab
The ground beef lule kebab recipe at Mini Kabob is a Martirosyan family secret, but they were willing to share their equally delicious chicken version. Freshly grinding chicken thighs with lamb fat gives these kebabs a rich, savory flavor and juicy, tender texture. The restaurant grinds all the meat in-house, and you can, too, with a grinder. (We like the KitchenAid meat grinder attachment.) Or ask your butcher. If you don't have a meat grinder, no problem: The F&W test kitchen developed an alternative (and less rich) version you can make using pre-ground meat (see Note). See How to Make Kebabs on the Grill to see the Martirosyan family's detailed step by step instructions for making the Chicken Lule Kebabs and other kebabs.
Charred Chile–Marinated Grilled Chicken Tacos
Rating: Unrated 4
To help build deep layers of flavor in these tacos, Fermín Núñez begins his marinade by toasting and charring aromatics: dried chiles, cinnamon, allspice, and onions all hit the heat before soaking with juicy chicken thighs for an hour, imparting smoky flavor before they cook quickly on the grill or in the oven (see Note). Pair them with fresh tomatillo salsa cruda for a next-level taco night.

More Chicken Thighs

Chicken, Potatoes, and Leeks with Pine Nut Gremolata
For the crispiest skin and most flavorful meat, roast bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and legs over a bed of leeks and potatoes, where they render fat and absorb flavor. A quick turn under the broiler imparts a golden finish to the chicken before they're basted in pan juices and dressed with a zippy gremolata made from toasted pine nuts, garlic, and parsley. Cookbook author Leah Koenig loves to serve these during the Passover holiday, but they're a special dinner any night of the year.
Tori No Karaage (Chicken Karaage)
Karaage, named after its cooking method (frying), is traditionally made with small, boneless pieces of chicken, usually thigh meat. In this recipe, the chicken is marinated in fresh ginger, garlic, sake, and soy sauce to add flavor and juiciness. It's then dredged in flour and potato starch, and finally twice-fried to create a light and perfectly crisp coating. If you like, wrap the chicken in green perilla leaves and lettuce leaves before eating it.
Sheet Pan Baked Chicken, Feta, Tomatoes, and Kale with Pasta
Rating: 5 stars 2

Tangy feta and juicy tomatoes roast together in the oven, creating a creamy sauce that clings to ruffly campanelle or corkscrew-shaped cavatappi pasta in this easy bake sheet pan dinner. The whole dish comes together in under an hour as the chicken, cheese, and aromatics bake in the oven while the pasta and kale quickly cook on the stove. Serve hot, room temperature, or as a chilled pasta salad.