40+ Chicken Thigh Recipes That Prove It’s the Best Part of the Bird

updated Aug 16, 2023
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Life-Changing Butter Chicken Thighs with green beans in skillet
Credit: Yossy Arefi

Chicken thighs have finally gotten their due in the kitchen, and for good reason. They are, in our estimation, the best option for most cooks (and we really love chicken dinners). They are inexpensive, juicy enough that they are hard to mess up, and lend themselves to all sorts of cooking methods from pan-frying to braising.

If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to make those chicken thighs your next dinner, don’t worry — we have plenty of ideas. Here are over 40 of our favorite ways to make juicy chicken thighs the star of your meal — on or off the bone.

Boneless Chicken Thigh Recipes

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Boneless, Skinless Oven Chicken Thighs

These roasted thighs are a true weeknight meal. You can come in the door with a package of meat, throw off your coat, and pop these right in the oven. You’ll have just enough time to open a bottle of wine and toss together a salad before they’re done.

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Gai Pad Khing (Thai Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry)
A quick and easy recipe for a Thai-inspired chicken stir-fry that's flavored with ginger and garlic.
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Freezer-Friendly Coconut Chicken Thighs Recipe
Chicken thighs baked with noodles and a full can of coconut milk, then hit with crunchy quick pickles.
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Indian Chili Chicken

This is a classic example of South Indian Chinese cooking, with a soy sauce marinade adding the “Chinese” element, and bursts of hot green chilies and tangy vinegar making it uniquely South Indian.

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Spicy Roasted Chicken Thighs with Miso and Ginger

Spicy, piquant chicken thighs coated with a mix of miso, ginger, and chili paste have a tangy, slightly sweet and salty flavor with a pleasant kick of heat from the chili sauce.

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Crispy Chicken Thighs and Warm Bread Salad

Inspired by the Zuni Cookbook warm bread salad, this recipe adds chicken to create a weeknight-friendly meal.

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Fake Fried Chicken

Panko breadcrumbs are the secret to these crispy oven-roasted "fried" chicken thighs.

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Spring Vegetable and Chicken Braise

Gorgeous spring vegetables work beautifully in a quicker, lighter braise — one where you can still taste the unique flavors of each vegetable.

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Braised Chicken Thighs with Bell Peppers and Onions

There is nothing revolutionary about this easy, breezy braise. It’s just good, classic comfort food. And comfort food, as well all know, is always in season.

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Grilled Chicken Thighs with Apricot-Miso Glaze

Glazed with an addictive mixture of apricot jam and miso paste, these thighs are a foolproof win for first-time grillers or a tasty addition to the repertoire of veteran grill-masters.

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Tangy, Spicy Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

On the grill these little morsels of chicken, cloaked in a mixture of ginger, peppers, and other piquant ingredient, stay juicy and tender; they practically melt apart in your mouth.

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Bone-in Chicken Thigh Recipes

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Harissa Orange Chicken Thighs
A mix of orange zest, harissa, and honey make these chicken thighs super flavorful.
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Life-Changing Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs
These chicken thighs are impossibly juicy, thanks to a garlic butter drizzle and stovetop-to-oven cooking method, and boast the crispiest, crackliest skin.
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Sweet Chili-Glazed Chicken Thighs
Glaze juicy chicken thighs with sweet chili sauce, ginger, and fresh lime.
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Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs
The key to burnished, golden chicken thighs? Strawberry jam.
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Garlic-Lime Chicken Thighs
Fresh lime and garlic give these chicken thighs so much flavor.
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Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Lemon

Roasting chicken thighs in a light bath of lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic, with thick wedges of fennel bulb, lets them crisp up around the edges and become infused with flavor.

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Gregory Gourdet's Glazed Chicken Thighs with Garlic, Ginger, and Scallions
These sweet and tangy chicken thighs are perfectly tender.
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10-Shallot Braised Chicken Thighs
Generous amount of shallots, white wine, and bacon are paired with Chicken thights to create rich flavor with some slight sweetness.
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Arnold Palmer Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

The flavors of the drink — bitter, sweet, and sour — are a perfect match for roast chicken. Here the drink is transformed into a brine for the thights; then they’re pan-roasted along with lemon slices that release their juices and caramelize while the chicken skin gets dangerously crispy.

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Spicy Chili Crisp Chicken Thighs
Laquared with honey, vinegar, and garlic chili crisp, these sheet pan thighs and vegetables are a weeknight knock out.
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Herby Lemony Chicken Thighs with Potatoes
Lemon adds acidity, brightness, and freshness to this easy skillet meal.
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Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs with Acorn Squash and Sage
This easy sheet pan dinner is full of fall flavors, thanks to thick wedges of acorn squash, crispy sage leaves, and a honey-mustard balsamic glaze.
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One-Skillet Chicken Thighs with Pearl Couscous and Eggplant
This one-skillet dish features crispy chicken thighs, pearl couscous, and eggplant simmered in a flavorful tomato base. A complete dinner with minimal dishes to wash? Yes, please!
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Mustard and Wine-Braised Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms and Shallots
Thanks to ample hands-off cook time and a totally luxurious result, this braised chicken is the ultimate dinner party main.
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One-Skillet Chicken Thighs with Curried Cabbage and Chickpeas
Golden brown chicken thighs, leeks, cabbage, and chickpeas are simmered with curry powder and coconut milk all in one skillet.
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Pan Fried Stovetop Chicken Thighs
These chicken thighs get pan fried on the stovetop to tender bliss and become flavorful thanks to cumin, chili powder, and paprika.
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Mustard-Braised Potatoes with Chicken Thighs
This one-pan meal is easy to make and clean up. Serve it with a green salad on the side or fold greens right into the dish.
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French Onion Dip Chicken Thighs
Rub skin-on chicken thighs in a combination of mayonnaise and onion soup mix for a simple chicken dinner full of crunch and tangy flavor.
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Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs
A quick and easy recipe for crispy, skillet-cooked chicken thighs seasoned simply with fresh lemon and thyme.
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Grilled Chicken Thighs
Thanks to a soy-lime marinade flacked with punchy bits of garlic and ginger, each piece of crispy-edged, juicy chicken is packed with a ton of flavor.
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Apple Cider-Glazed Chicken Thighs
Apple cider gives chicken thighs a caramel-spiced sheen in this one-skillet dinner you won't want to miss.
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Firecracker Chicken Thighs
Just like the takeout favorite, these firecracker chicken thighs are coated in a bright, sticky sauce that's sweet, tangy, and a little bit spicy.
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Crispy Chicken Thighs with Fresh Cherry Salsa
An easy summer recipe for skillet-cooked chicken thighs topped with sweet and spicy fresh cherry salsa.
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Spicy Korean Grilled Chicken

Hot off the grill, this spicy Korean chicken will not disappoint. Using chicken drumsticks and chicken thigh meat doused in a spicy, flavorful marinade, this grilled chicken needs to make an appearance on your dinner table soon.

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Zhoug-Roasted Chicken Thighs
Trader Joe's Zhoug Sauce is the key to the ultimate weeknight chicken dinner.
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Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
Cooking chicken thighs in the Instant Pot is fast not to mention fervent with flavor.
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Crisped and Dipped Chicken Thighs

What do you get when a Southern staple like dipped fried chicken and a Chinese American takeout favorite like orange chicken join forces? The best of both poultry worlds: extra-crispy skin and a sticky, citrusy glaze.

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Balsamic and Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs and Figs

Pair fresh figs with rich, extra-crispy-skinned chicken thighs and you’ve got a seasonal dinner that’s just a little sweet but exceptionally savory, thanks to zippy Dijon, plenty of garlic, and fresh sage.

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Pan-Seared Crispy Chicken Thighs with Blistered Tomatoes and Basil

With just five ingredients and about half an hour, you can be feasting on crispy-skinned, tender chicken piled high with beautiful tomatoes and herbs. This is a simple summer dinner, the best kind.

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Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs

Drumsticks and thighs are baked until crispy, then they get brushed with the pantry-friendly glaze. It’s a simple mixture of tamari, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar that you can customize to make as sweet or savory as you like.

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Crispy Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Spinach

Warming thighs in hot oil in a skillet turns the skin spectacularly crispy — just the way it should be. Paired with rice and garlicky, lemony sautéed spinach, it’s a simple meal that never fails to satisfy my family.

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Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chimichurri

Chimichurri, a sauce from Argentina, is made up of a mix of herbs like parsley, cilantro, and mint that are blended with garlic, olive oil, and vinegar. The result is herby with just the right amount of tang to cut through rich meat.

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Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs

If you want to get a head start on this simple but rich dish, you can mix the sauce together up to a day ahead. If that’s your plan, I also recommend mixing it together with the chicken to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

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Lemony Celery-Salted Buttermilk Chicken Thighs
This weeknight chicken dinner is marinated in tangy buttermilk, lots of lemon, and celery salt for a unique, yet easy twist.
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Crispy, Juicy Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
Slow-cooking chicken thighs without any cooking liquid on low heat, crisps the chicken’s skin while slowly braising the thighs until juicy and tender.
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Honey and Chili Chicken Thighs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

These chicken thighs have it all. They’re tossed with honey, chili powder, and a splash of amber ale and then quickly roasted in the oven, where the honey and beer bake down to a sticky glaze.

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