Chicken thighs are a favourite in the kitchen. Moist, tender and exceptionally versatile, they can steal the spotlight in any recipe.
With a quick cook time, chicken thighs are great to have on hand for an easy weeknight meal and can often be ready on the table in 45 minutes or less. We recommend freezing them individually so you can conveniently take out the amount you need. Thighs work well for a range of cooking styles, from roasted to braised, slow cooker to barbecue.
In addition to their versatility in the kitchen, chicken thighs have a noteworthy nutritional value. Many write off dark meat as unhealthy, especially when compared to white meat. But chicken thighs are rich in essential nutrients like thiamine, biotin, niacin, and magnesium and contain more iron, zinc, and B vitamins than white meat, all of which are part of a healthy diet. They are also an excellent source of protein, with 26 g of protein per 100 g portion. For more information on your favourite cuts of chicken, check out this Nutrition Cheat Sheet.
If calories are your concern, there are ways to minimize the fat content of your meal without compromising all the benefits of cooking with chicken thighs. The biggest culprit in this case is the skin. Cooking with the skin on has its advantages: it helps the piece retain its moisture and increases the richness of flavour, and of course, who can resist delicious, golden, crispy chicken skin. But the skin is quite high in calories, so many prefer to avoid it. Fortunately, it’s very easy to have the best of both worlds. Cook your chicken thighs with the skin on, and then simply remove the skin before eating. Cooking with the skin on does not actually raise the calories of the meat, but it does make it wonderfully moist and flavourful.
Have we piqued your interest? Here are eleven of our favourite chicken thigh recipes to try at home!
1. Braised Apple Balsamic Chicken Thighs
Using basic ingredients from the fridge, this recipe turns chicken thighs into a sweet, caramelized dish that satisfies a craving for both sweet and savoury.
2. Quick Chicken Paprikash
A Hungarian classic, this dish comes together surprisingly quickly. Serve on a bed of delicious egg noodles for the full effect.
3. Braised Chicken Thighs with Lentils
This recipe packs in the nutrients with iron-rich lentils. Hearty like a stew, this dish makes a satisfying comfort food.
4. Bacon Garlic Chicken Skillet
This is a one pan meal that looks like you spent an afternoon in the kitchen. Full of smoky bacon and savoury garlic, this recipe will have everyone coming back for seconds.
5. Chicken Cacciatore
Also called "Hunter's Stew", this dish uses plenty of fresh veggies like zucchini, red pepper, spinach and onions.
6. Mango Chutney Chicken
Tender chicken thighs smothered in sweet sauce and paired with mango chutney make the perfect dish for summer evenings.
7. Chicken and Carrot Tagine
This aromatic Moroccan dish is loaded with protein and fibre. It also has tons of rich flavour from seasonings like turmeric, saffron, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon.
8. Easy Herb Baked Chicken
This easy-to-prepare recipe is flavourful and will surely be enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Thyme, oregano, paprika, and tarragon are called for here, but you can substitute with whichever seasonings you prefer or have on hand.
9. Slow Cooker Asian Chicken & Greens
Just toss these ingredients into the slow cooker and you'll have yourself an Asian-inspired meal in no time.
10. Prosciutto & Basil Wrapped Chicken over Greens
Chicken thighs work just as well as breasts when it comes to making stuffed chicken bundles. These bundles combine complementary flavours and textures into a single bite.