So many (boneless, skinless) chicken thighs!
May 24, 2020 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Because we have a fondness for Country Captain Soup and Fire Chicken, we always keep boneless, skinless chicken thighs on hand. But now, for Reasons, we have far more packages of them than we can use in a reasonable period of time making just these two dishes. Please share your favorite recipes for boneless, skinless, chicken thighs!
posted by DrGail to Food & Drink (37 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
I just made this last night, it's very flexible and way more than the sum of its parts:

Sear 4 thighs in oil, then add to an oiled crock pot and top with a mixture of 1c salsa (any), 1-2 T honey, 1/2 t each cumin and cinnamon, and 2 T chopped dried fruit (I used golden raisins and cranberries). Cook on low for 2.5 hours, then serve over rice or couscous topped with any/all of toasted almonds, cilantro, and capers. (Imo capers elevate it to the stratosphere, but they're not in the original recipe I used and it's still good without!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:56 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]

Mix equal parts soy sauce and hoisin. For stretch goals, add grated ginger, minced garlic or garlic powder, a little balsamic or Chinese black vinegar, and a hint of citrus.

Coat chicken and grill or bake.
posted by Candleman at 1:01 PM on May 24

My most favorite meal in the world is chicken thighs in bbq sauce in the grill. Just a touch burned. With corn on the cob and potato salad in the side.

That’s hardly a recipe but that’s what I would do.
posted by lyssabee at 1:10 PM on May 24 [4 favorites]

Do you eat curries? They're very good in Indian and Thai curries.

Even though boneless and skinless, it still works just fine for roasting. I either use a spice rub OR marinated with loads of fresh garlic, then bake with beer (any kind). The acidity of the beer really helps the flavor of the chicken.
posted by Neekee at 1:12 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]

Martha Stewart’s Broiled Spicy Peanut Chicken is yummy and also super quick and easy to make.
posted by Weeping_angel at 1:15 PM on May 24 [3 favorites]

Chicken adobo! Lots of recipes online, but the gist is to simmer it in vinegar and soy sauce with garlic, black pepper, and bay leaves. I like to run it under the broiler at the end to crisp up the skin. Dark meat is better than white because it stays tender when you cook it long and slow instead of getting dry.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:23 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]

If they're air chilled and not previously frozen, chicken thighs freeze very well. I just wrap two portions well in plastic wrap and stack in the freezer. Thaw by taking out the night before/ morning of, place on a plate, leave in fridge.

(I go with skin-on, bone in - but I'm handy with a knife - I used to save the bones for stock)

I either cut them into chunks for all kinds of stir fries, or fry up to add to a pasta (base seasoning; light soy sauce, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder - sometimes sesame oil, sometimes cayenne). Otherwise, butterfly, various seasonings, grill (then either consume as a "chicken steak" or subsequently cut into chunks to top salads).

Depending on how they were deboned, there's a thicker end which I butterfly open so it grills more evenly. All kinds of different seasonings from lemongrass+fish sauce, to base seasoning, to bbq sauce from a jar, to a little hoisin and ground ginger with a splash of Chinese cooking wine.
posted by porpoise at 1:25 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]

Trust me on this one:

Mix red wine vinegar with as much Tabasco sauce as you can enjoy; marinate chicken for at least 6 hrs, or up to 24 hrs. Cook on an outdoor grill or indoor skillet.
posted by mightshould at 1:40 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]

Chicken satay with a peanut sauce is a crowd pleaser. The kids have asked us to forego to skewers and roast them on a tray when grilling isn’t an option. They can marinate overnight if you want to prep it alongside a recipe for tonight.
posted by childofTethys at 1:40 PM on May 24 [5 favorites]

Butter chicken! This excellent and easy recipe is for an instant pot, but it'd work fine stovetop, just allow plenty of time. This recipe also requires an immersion blender. (NB this recipe does make a lot of sauce, and I suppose you could freeze half like she says, but it's never been a "problem" in my world. Serve it with a bunch of broiled cauliflower or rice or whatever could use some delicious sauce on it. It'll get eaten.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:43 PM on May 24 [4 favorites]

Thai green curry works well with chicken thighs. It's forgiving in terms of ingredients. Here's my approximate "recipe":

1 can coconut milk
1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
2 tbs fish sauce
1 to 4 tbs green curry paste
1 tbs brown sugar
2 inches lemongrass
1 inch ginger root (chopped or grated)
clove garlic
1 makrut lime leaf

put all the above together & cook 10 mins
(if I don't have any of the last 4 I just skip them)

add ~1 lbs chicken, cook 10-20 mins

add veggies: red bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant, ancho pepper
plus 1 more tsp fish sauce
cook 5-15 min
posted by anadem at 1:48 PM on May 24

If you like Greek food there is chicken gyros and chicken souvlaki. He also has recipes for the breads and sauces on his channel.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:50 PM on May 24

Tandoori chicken works best with bone-in chicken thighs, but boneless would work too. This recipe is EXTREMELY worth the hassle, and I don't say that about anything else. :)

Marinate 3-4 chicken thighs overnight in a yogurt-based marinade: salt, 1 tsp ginger, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2tbsp cilantro, 1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin, and 1/4 tsp turmeric mixed in with 4 tbsps plain yogurt.

Caramelize a metric fuckton of onions. All the baking trays you have -- spread them with a single layer of thin sliced onions, spray with oil, stick em in the oven on low heat, and forget about them for hours.

About 6 hours before serving, rinse 2 cups of basmati rice in cold water three times to wash off excess starch, and soak for three hours in (initially-) hot water. Drain.

Three hours before serving, get a good sized pot or slow cooker,

- spread about half your caramelized onions on the bottom,
- lay out your marinated chicken thighs in a single layer on top of the onions,
- drizzle the chicken with 2 tbsps oil,
- spread half the soaked rice over the chicken thighs,
- sprinkle whole garam masala spices over the rice: a couple of bay leaves, a stick of cinnamon, 4-5 cloves, 4-5 cardamom pods, 6-8 black peppercorns, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander seeds. A couple of pinches of salt.
- spread the remaining rice on top
- swish no more than 2 cups of water in the bowl with the chicken marinade in it, and pour this water gently over the top of the rice
- Dot the top of the rice with 2 tbsps of ghee

Cover and cook on very low heat for 2.5 hours. Slow cooker works great here, as do pressure cookers, InstaPots, etc. If using a regular pot, use a rope of plain flour dough to seal the lid onto the pot. The whole entire point of biryani is for the aromas to stay inside.

Uncover, fluff the rice a bit, and top with the remaining caramelized onions. Serve immediately by digging out vertical scoops of rice + chicken + spices.
posted by MiraK at 2:04 PM on May 24 [9 favorites]

This harissa chicken with potatoes, leeks, and herbs recipe is one of my all-time favorites. It calls for bone-in and skin-on but my husband doesn’t like those and I think it’s just as delicious with boneless and skinless thighs.

And here’s another sheet pan dinner I love! The cilantro rice really brings it all together.
posted by cakelite at 2:07 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]

Sometimes, I butterfly the thick third and then beat the thighs with a meat tenderizer, which tenderizes it and thins it. Then I bread and fry, like schnitzel. It's very tender and more flavorful than chicken breast.
posted by tmdonahue at 2:47 PM on May 24

Shawarma omg.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:51 PM on May 24

Chicken Tikka Masala
posted by COD at 3:01 PM on May 24

My baked chicken thigh recipes - sauce in a baking dish with thighs, bake 350 or so for 45 minutes:

Lots of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and maybe some oregano.

Pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger and garlic.

Coat thighs in dijon mustard and then roll in bread crumbs - seasoned are good, panko is better. Bake as above.

Shutterbean's Apricot Chicken (abridged here): 13 oz jar apricot preserves, 1 TBL honey, 1 TBL chniese mustard, 2 TBL soy sauce, 2 cloves garlic minced - boil sauce for 10 mins, pour over thighs, bake as above.
posted by sarajane at 3:15 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]

If your chicken thighs are already boned, then I'd say straight away: try stuffing them. My favourite is a recipe which stuffs them with breadcrumbs and raisins, wraps them in bacon, then bakes them with vegetables in a bath of white wine and oil. Absolutely delicious, it's one of my party-pieces:
posted by vincebowdren at 3:16 PM on May 24

I use the marinade from this recipe and roast the thighs on a sheet pan with veggies. I’ve never planned ahead enough to make the pitas in the recipe, but I’m sure they’re delicious. Works on the grill well too.
posted by Maeve at 3:29 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]

We made braised chicken thighs with caramelized fennel last night and it was delicious! The recipe called for boneless, but worked just fine for bone-in thighs.
posted by monotreme at 4:20 PM on May 24

My most favorite preparation is tandoori-style on the grill, but since others have already mentioned that, I'll go with my second favorite: a delicate spring soup with flexible timings, in which you can easily sub out the vegetables for whatever you have on hand.

We might be a little past the optimal time of year to eat this dish as written, in some parts of the world. In my opinion, that optimal time is the last cold snap at the tail end of spring, right when the chives first get big enough to harvest. To take it into early summer, I like to add a little heat --- sliced green chiles or crushed red pepper added as you saute the aromatics, some hot sauce mixed in at the end, etc.

This recipe originated with David Tanis at the New York Times.


• 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 teaspoons grated ginger
• 1 tablespoon mirin or sherry
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon tamari or light soy sauce
• 8 ounces soba (buckwheat noodles)
• 8 ounces sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed (or other tender spring vegetable such as asparagus, although peas support the mild character of the dish the best)
• 8 cups water
• 2 medium leeks, white and tender green part, diced, about 2 cups (or scallions, or spring onions)
• ¼ cup white miso, or more to taste
• 5 ounces baby spinach, about 4 cups
• A few basil or shiso leaves or other soft herbs to garnish (chives, cilantro, dill), julienned

1. Season chicken thighs on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large soup pot, cook chicken thighs in oil over medium-high (or medium, if your stove is powerful) for 3 to 4 minutes, reducing heat as needed to keep meat from browning. Turn and cook other side for about 2 minutes.

2. Add garlic and ginger and let sizzle without browning. Add mirin, sugar, tamari and 8 cups water, then bring mixture to boil. Lower heat and simmer gently, uncovered, 20 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove chicken, cool slightly, then chop to bite-size. Return meat to pot. Taste broth and adjust salt if necessary.

3. In a separate pot, cook soba a minute or two less than package directions (just shy of done). Drain and rinse noodles in cold tap water, then leave at room temperature.

4. Blanch the tender vegetables (peas and leeks, or whatever you're using instead) in salted water for 1 minute, then drain and shock. Leave at room temperature.

5. To serve, reheat broth to just under a boil. Dilute miso with a little hot broth and whisk into soup. Add spinach and let wilt slightly, then add leeks and snap peas and let them warm for 1 minute. Divide the noodles among 6 warmed bowls and ladle soup over. Top each bowl with a little chopped herbs.
posted by slenderloris at 4:51 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]

I just made these maple-mustard thighs and they were very good and so simple.
I also like thighs for tacos or enchiladas. Just cook on med on the stovetop in salsa verde, then shred with a fork.
posted by evilmomlady at 4:51 PM on May 24

I really like this oven-fried panko chicken. The last few times I made it, I didn't have any panko around so I dried out some old stale bread in the oven and ground it up in the food processor to make bread crumbs, and it was good that way too.
posted by moonmilk at 5:49 PM on May 24

Paella if you're feeling ambitious. On the plus side, it uses a lot of chicken thighs (5lbs). This is my personal recipe which is based on an old America's Test Kitchen recipe and my time in Spain. It's a bit long, apologies!
Totally Not Vegan Paella

5 lb chicken thighs, cubed
8 oz Spanish chorizo, sliced into ½ inch pieces (note: this is a dry chorizo - not moist like Mexican chorizo)
4 cups Bomba, Valenciana, or Arborio rice
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
½-1 cup water, as needed
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
10 oz green beans, sliced into 1’’ pieces
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped finely
1 head of garlic (8-10 cloves), peeled and minced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pinch saffron threads, crumbled
1 tsp Spanish (smoked) paprika
2 bay leaves
Pinch salt, to taste
Pinch dried rosemary, to taste optional
Pinch dried thyme, to taste optional
1 whole lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

Coat paella pan (or Dutch oven) with 1 TBSP olive oil and place on medium-high heat. Once oil is hot but not smoking, add cubed chicken in a single layer and cook until browned on both sides. Add strips of red pepper and green beans to pan, cooking until peppers are blackened and green beans are fully cooked. Add onions and cook until translucent. Reduce heat to medium and add sliced chorizo. Add minced garlic, taking care not to overcook. Add additional olive oil if needed.

Once all items are cooked - add rice, chicken broth, white wine, saffron, paprika, bay leaves, salt, rosemary (if using), and thyme (if using). The paella pan should nearly be full (if using Dutch oven, look for liquids to be at least 1’’ above solids); add water as needed to increase fluid level. Bring pan to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. If using smaller burners, stir occasionally to ensure all rice is cooked consistently. Check on the mixture at one hour. Cook for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour on low until all liquid has been absorbed, rice is al dente, and a nice soccarat (crust) has formed at the bottom of the pan. Remove pan from heat and allow it to stand for 5 minutes. Serve with slices of lemon (or lemon juice) on the side.
Shredded crockpot chicken (in salsa verde) if you're feeling, uh, less ambitious. It's truly the simplest thing I've made in years: dump all the ingredients in the crockpot and walk away for 4 hours. My slight modification is to rub extra cumin on the chicken so it sears a little and adds flavor. I've done all thighs and all breasts and both taste the same in the end.
posted by librarylis at 7:26 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]

We just made David Lebovitz's Chicken Marsala tonight and I loved it so much that it is my new religion so I am here to evangelize it. He uses chicken breasts but thighs would work perfectly also.
posted by urbanlenny at 7:55 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]

My favourite recipe involves just a dry brine. They can be roasted too, and the flavour is quintessentially chicken.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 10:36 PM on May 24

Oven-Roasted Shawarma is on regular rotation here.
There are also many recipes online for variations on Arroz con Pollo, where the thighs are cut up into bite-size pieces. Indeed, look for any recipe that calls for boneless, skinless breasts that end up getting cut up, and use the thighs instead.
posted by wisekaren at 5:34 AM on May 25

Recently, I made chicken schnitzel for the first time. Much easier than i expected and delicious.

Jacques Pepin's Supreme of Chicken with mushrooms, shallots, and balsamic is in regular rotation as well.
posted by jindc at 6:29 AM on May 25

Cut thighs up in smaller pieces and marinate in a big ziplock bag overnight in teriyaki sauce. Put in pan and add more sauce to cook until done. Serve over rice.

Roast seasoned or not at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes in a sauce of your choosing (I like sweet and sour) and serve with mashed potatoes.
posted by annieb at 12:39 PM on May 25

A slightly unusual chicken dish I like a lot: Skillet Chicken With Couscous, Lemon and Halloumi

You might note that the first comment there suggests feta if you can't find halloumi. This is wrong. Feta is very different, crumbly and breaks down, whereas halloumi is the opposite — sort of "rubbery" and withstands high heat (just lovely for grilling or frying on its own, and wonderful on kebabs). Suggested substitutions include some of the Mexican cheeses that don’t melt when heated, such as Queso Blanco or Asadero, or if you have a cheese expert, ask for a good substitution. Online sources say you can get halloumi at Whole Foods.

Also, I can't usually find actual shallots easily, and use frozen pearl onions plus a bit of garlic, which seems to work great.
posted by taz at 1:14 AM on May 26

Ah, forgot to say that the recipe asks for skin-on, but I've made it both with and without.
posted by taz at 1:19 AM on May 26

Bake with sliced new potatoes, garlic, thyme, olive oil and white wine vinegar for 30mins, then add tomatoes, peppers, feta cheese and olives, and bake for another 30mins. For 10oz of chicken we use about 10oz potato, 1 pepper, handful of tomatoes and 4oz cheese. Would work with goats cheese instead of feta. Use plenty of thyme.
posted by plonkee at 11:23 AM on May 26

Lee Bailey’s marinated chicken! From Good Parties.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:31 PM on May 31

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