36 Chicken Thigh Recipes to Love
Chicken thighs offer flavorful, juicy meat, and in this roundup, we’ll show you how to make the most of the cut. That includes using chicken thighs in a (quick!) cassoulet, pairing them with hummus for the ultimate snack dinner, and making them the star of super-crispy fried chicken sandwiches. Craving soup or pasta? You can enjoy chicken thighs in those dishes, too. Read on for more of our favorite chicken thigh recipes.
Indonesian Coconut Rice with Chicken and Zucchini
Luscious is the word for this Indonesian version of chicken and rice. Coconut milk spiced with cumin and coriander cooks into the rice and sauces the whole dish.
Golden Chicken Thighs with Charred-Lemon Salsa Verde
The sauce for this dish is an excellent accompaniment to these crisp-skinned chicken thighs, but it’s also great with roasted fish and vegetables.
Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs
"I grew up on chicken thighs," says Top Chef all-star Tre Wilcox. "These days I season them with crushed red pepper and star anise and braise them in a sauce with tomatoes and red wine."
Chicken Thigh Yakitori
At Hong Kong’s Yardbird, the cooks don’t just cut up chicken thighs to skewer for yakitori: They separate the meat into several different muscles and grill each individually. “This allows each piece to be cooked at the same speed,” says co-owner Lindsay Jang.
Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives and Basil
Though it only cooks for half an hour, this dish has the satisfying, melded flavor of a long–simmered stew. Part of the explanation is that the garlic cloves are cooked whole and then mashed into the sauce. You'll always get a more mellow flavor from whole cloves than from chopped or crushed garlic.
Zesty Braised Chicken with Lemon and Capers
Sauvignon Blanc adds zip to the lemon-and-caper-infused liquid.
Beer-Braised Chicken Stew with Fava Beans and Peas
Paul Kahan is a big fan of chicken thighs because they have so much flavor and are so inexpensive—the best of both worlds. He braises the thighs in beer to make an excellent spring stew that he (naturally) pairs with more beer, such as Pere Jacques from Chicago's Goose Island Beer Company, a Belgian-style ale full of caramelized malt flavors.
Roast Chicken Thighs with Lentil Stew
José Andrés seasons his crisp chicken and rich lentil stew with smoky Spanish paprika called pimentón.
Tarragon Chicken with Spring Greens
This aromatic chicken cooked with arugula, watercress and romaine lettuce makes a great one-skillet meal.
For Roy Choi, these crispy egg-and-panko-coated chicken cutlets, generally made with pork in Japan, represent something major. “People think frying chicken cutlets is simple, but it’s like cooking pasta,” says Choi. “It’s a dish that seems remedial, but when you get it right, it changes the whole ball game. I call it the cult of katsu.”
Tunisian Chicken Kebabs with Currants and Olives
Susan Feniger’s sweet-and-tangy marinated chicken skewers are flavorful enough to eat on their own, but they’re even better with the chunky currant-and-olive relish.
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
These deliciously spiced grilled chicken skewers are perfect with a sweet-and-tangy peanut sauce.
Chicken Tinga Tacos
"The chicken is braised in the oven, but you can make it in a slow cooker or completely on the stove, in a casserole," says Jenn Louis. There are many versions of tinga—the smoky Mexican tomato sauce—and this one is especially easy, calling for only a few simple ingredients.
Jalapeño and Rye Whiskey Chicken Nuggets
To make these crispy bites, chef Zoe Schor employs the French technique for making mousseline. Double-breaded and fried, these are the ultimate homemade chicken nuggets—juicy and insanely crisp.
Popcorn Chicken with Crispy Rice Cakes
Crispy, crunchy popcorn chicken bites paired with fried Korean rice cakes are an even better duo when dipped in gochujang. The rice cakes are almost like mozzarella sticks when fried—perfectly chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside.
Stir-Fried Chicken and Green Pepper with Cumin and Cilantro
The Flavor Matrix author James Briscione encourages cooks to look beyond traditional food and wine pairings. He goes back to very basics: the aromatic compounds that link ingredients (often in unexpected ways). Here he pairs the floral, grassy flavors of this stir-fry with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, also prized for its “greenness.” The wine’s long finish is also well suited to the chile heat in the dish.
Salt-and-Pepper Chicken Thighs with Herby Tomato Salad
Accompanied by an heirloom tomato salad, these super-crispy thighs, inspired by Jess Hereth, Director of Restaurants at Olympia Provisions in Portland, Oregon, are gorgeous paired with orange wines. "Tomatoes are notoriously frustrating with wine, but the balance of acidity, tannin, and tropical flavors in orange wines seems to pair nicely,” Hereth says.
Lazy Chicken-and-Sausage Cassoulet
Molly Stevens’ quick take on cassoulet includes boneless, skinless chicken thighs, smoked sausage, and plenty of white beans.
Slow-Cooker Burnt Honey Barbecue Chicken
When it’s so blazing hot outside that you can’t bear the thought of firing up the grill, this no-fuss slow-cooker barbecue chicken recipe will come to the rescue. A quick sear in a cast-iron skillet awakens the flavors of the herbs and spices and gives the chicken a nice crust that makes the finished barbecue taste even better.
Braised Chicken Thighs with Apricots and Green Olives
“A stovetop chicken braise is in regular rotation on my weeknight dinner table for several good reasons: it's relatively quick, it's nearly foolproof, it's endlessly adaptable, and who doesn't love tender, flavor-drenched chicken thighs bathed in a savory sauce?” Molly Stevens writes.
Crispy Chicken Thighs over Melted Zucchini
This one-pan chicken thigh recipe from Ann Taylor Pittman is simple and quick, coming together in under an hour.
Hearty Chicken Stew with Pancetta Gremolata
Just when you thought the world didn’t need another chicken stew, this recipe came along to prove otherwise. Full of tender chicken and barely sweet parsnips, it’s remarkably hearty and yet light at the same time.
Chicken with Charred-Rosemary Vinaigrette
To amp up oven-roast chicken with artichokes, Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple drizzles it with a bright and mildly smoky charred-rosemary vinaigrette. The vinaigrette was inspired by chef John Manion at El Che Bar in Chicago.
Dinner Hummus with Spiced Chicken and Cauliflower
Leah Koenig’s dinner hummus features homemade hummus, chicken and cauliflower, dried currants, and more—don’t forget to have pita on hand for serving.
Shawarma-Style Chicken and Mushroom Kebabs
Starting over hot coals and finishing over low heat mimics the crispy-juicy results of shawarma, kebab, and al pastor shops around the world. After marinating, some of the chicken pieces may break apart; simply tuck those loose pieces in the center of the skewered stack. Use three skewers to stack and stabilize the shawarma so it’s easy to maneuver on the grill.
Fettuccine with White Chicken Ragù
This creamy chicken ragù is easy to make and boasts remarkable depth thanks to the flavors of an Italian-style sofrito made with onions, carrots, celery, and parsley.
Smoky Paprika Chicken and Crispy Chickpeas Over Escarole Salad
The contrast between cool, lemony greens, warm spice-rubbed chicken and crispy oven-baked chickpeas makes this main-course salad especially satisfying. Any sturdy salad green would be delicious here, from crunchy romaine to torn spinach leaves and thinly sliced cabbage.
Rice Noodle Salad Bowls with Grilled Lemongrass Chicken
To make Vietnamese rice-noodle salad bowls, simply layer the ingredients in a bowl and let diners dress and mix up their own at the table.
Peruvian Chicken Skewers (Anticuchos de Pollo)
These Peruvian skewers are coated in a thick chile marinade that withstands the heat of the grill and clings to the chicken, yielding caramelized, charred bits.
Soupy Rice with Chicken and Vegetables
Asopao de pollo, a Puerto Rican chicken-and-rice stew, is one of New York chef JJ Johnson’s childhood favorites. Just like his grandmother did, Johnson stirs briny, pimiento-stuffed olives into the finished dish.
Stewed Chicken Legs and Thighs with Fresh Herbs and Olives
Break down this recipe into make-ahead steps to yield an easy weeknight meal. Make the marinade on Sunday; add the chicken before you head to work on Monday morning. The wine and anchovies in this recipe form a mellow sauce; make sure you have plenty of bread on hand to sop up all the juices.
Chicken Freekeh Skillet with Warm Feta-Lemon Relish
“Another quick-cooking staple in my kitchen is boneless, skinless chicken thighs,” Ann Taylor Pittman writes. “They’re always meaty and juicy and nearly impossible to overcook. I sear them first, then nestle them into the half-cooked freekeh to finish cooking under a layer of lemon slices to cut through their richness.My favorite part of this dish, though, is the relish. It’s garlicky, a little spicy, herby, and full of surprises.”