How to Cook Delicious Chicken Thighs

If you are looking for a simple, affordable and delicious cut of chicken, then chicken thighs are an excellent choice. Chicken thighs are more flavorful and juicier than chicken breasts, and are a versatile ingredient that you can use for a variety of recipes. In this article, we will guide you through the steps on how to cook chicken thighs to perfection.

Choosing the Right Chicken Thighs

The first step in making delicious chicken thighs is choosing the right ones. You can buy chicken thighs with the skin on or off. If you want crispy skin, go for skin-on chicken thighs, but if you want a healthier option, go for skinless chicken thighs. When buying chicken thighs, avoid those with bruises, discolorations, or an unusual smell.

Preparing the Chicken Thighs

Before you start cooking the chicken, you need to prepare them first. Remove the chicken thighs from the packaging and pat them dry with paper towels. This ensures that the chicken is dry and the seasoning sticks to the meat. If you have skin-on chicken thighs, score the skin with a sharp knife to prevent it from shrinking during cooking.

Cooking Methods for Chicken Thighs

There are several cooking methods to choose from when it comes to making chicken thighs. Here are the most common methods:


Grilling is one of the best ways to cook chicken thighs as it gives them a slightly charred flavor, and it’s an easy way to cook chicken in the summertime. Preheat the grill to high heat and reduce the heat to medium. Brush the chicken thighs with oil, season them with spices and place them on the grill. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side, turning once. Check the internal temperature, and if it’s 165°F, your chicken is ready to eat.


Baking is another popular cooking method for chicken thighs. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season your chicken with spices, herbs, or marinade of your choice. Place the chicken on a baking sheet, and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Check the internal temperature and if it’s 165°F, your chicken is ready to serve.


If you don’t feel like grilling or baking, you can sauté your chicken. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add some oil, and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Place the chicken thighs in the pan, and cook for about 6-8 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.


Slow-cooking is another way to cook chicken thighs to create soft, juicy meat. Add chicken thighs, seasonings, vegetables, and broth or water to a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. Once done, you’ll have perfectly tender, flavorful chicken thighs.

Seasoning and Spices for Chicken Thighs

Seasoning is the key to make your chicken thighs taste amazing. You can use a variety of spices and herbs, depending on the recipe you’re making. Classic chicken seasoning usually includes salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. You can also add smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, thyme, rosemary, and oregano to give more depth to the flavor.

Serving Chicken Thighs

Once your chicken thighs are cooked and seasoned, you’re ready to serve. You can serve them as they are or with various side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, salad, rice, potato, or pasta. Chicken thighs also make great options for meal prep. You can store cooked chicken thighs in the refrigerator for up to four days.


1. Can I use frozen chicken thighs?

Yes, you can cook chicken thighs from frozen. However, you should thaw them first before cooking to ensure even cooking.

2. How do I know if the chicken thighs are cooked?

The best way to know if your chicken thighs are cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Stick the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken, and if it reads to 165°F, your chicken is cooked.

3. How do I make my chicken thighs crispy?

If you want crispy chicken thighs, cooking them with the skin on helps create a crispy texture. Searing them in a pan or oven at high heat can also help create crispy skin.

4. How do I store cooked chicken thighs?

You can store cooked chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze them for up to two months.

5. Can I use boneless chicken thighs instead of bone-in?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken thighs instead of bone-in. However, boneless chicken thighs tend to cook faster than bone-in. So adjust the cooking time accordingly.

In conclusion, cooking chicken thighs is easy and versatile. Whether you grill, bake, sauté or slow-cook your chicken thighs, the key is to choose the right type of chicken, season it well, and use the right cooking method. By following these simple steps, you’re guaranteed to make delicious chicken thighs every time!