The One Rule I Always Follow When Seasoning Chicken Thighs

published May 4, 2023
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Credit: Yossy Arefi

Chicken thighs are perhaps the undisputed hero ingredient for weeknight dinners. They’re flavorful, versatile, and, most importantly, budget-friendly!

But you’re likely missing out on the hard-working protein’s full potential. Read on to learn some simple but effective tips and tricks for making consistently tasty chicken thighs, including the one step you shouldn’t be skipping.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Tips for Better Chicken Thighs

  • Use bone-in, skin-on thighs. I almost always recommend bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. They not only deliver the most flavor, but they’re also typically much cheaper than boneless, skinless chicken thighs. While it might take a little extra work, you can always remove the bone yourself later.
  • Don’t forget to season under the skin. First loosen the chicken skin — this can be done by carefully sliding a paring knife underneath the skin, or by hand — and then thoroughly incorporate both your seasoning and a layer of fat under the skin. Next coat the chicken generously with salt, pepper, spices, or a dry rub. This extra little step maximizes flavor and allows the skin’s fat to better render and provides a crispier texture in cooking. 

Our Favorite Chicken Thigh Recipes