There’s a reason we consider chicken a winner dinner. It’s an affordable, filling option with tons of variety. And if you’re going to break it down by cost, there’s a cut we’re flocking to: those thighs.
The average price of a pound of chicken thighs is about $1.00. But budget-friendly doesn’t have to mean boring. Chicken thighs shine in all sorts of dishes, from roasting and grilling to braises and sheet pans. Sure, they have bones, but they’re easy to eat around—and add tons of flavor. (Plus, I sincerely hope you choose to keep that crispy, tasty skin!)
Looking for ways to dress up a chicken thigh dinner? We’ve grabbed some of the most-loved recipes from our site. You’re sure to find a winner, or many, among them:
A quick-as-can-be lemon rosemary brine not only adds flavor, it also keeps the thighs moist before they get a thick (crispy, crackly!) buttermilk crust. There’s no way you can mess this up.
Easy enough to be your weeknight go-to, this braise makes use of canned tomatoes and a healthy dose of garlic.
“Vinegar and soy sauce work together in harmony to bring out the best in garlic and soften whole black peppercorns just enough to where when you bite down on one, it yields easily, filling your mouth with a welcome cheek-numbing spice that cuts through vinegar’s tang,” says recipe developer Jackie Varriano. If that doesn’t have you salivating, I don’t know what will.
This astonishingly flavorful recipe comes from Charles Phan, owner and executive chef of the Slanted Door restaurant in San Francisco, and stars a sauce you’ll absolutely want to make an extra batch of.
One-pot roasted chicken is great. But one-pot roasted chicken with crispy chickpeas and soft, marinade-soaked potatoes? Heaven.
You’ll want to tell everyone you love about this jaw-dropping technique from our Genius guru: “You don’t sear, and you don’t roast, and you don’t grill—you don’t do any of the things we’re taught to do to chicken. Instead, you lay the chicken, skin side down, in a barely hot pan. Then you leave it mostly alone for about 30 minutes, flipping only once. The skin becomes impossibly crisp, enough so to satisfy your darkest fried chicken cravings.”
Save the golden schmaltz from the crispy skillet chicken thighs to make a fried rice you’ll love so much, you’ll want to keep it in your rotation at least once a week.
You can stuff these thighs any which way you like—with anything from garlic to dried fruit—but the refrigerator-door mustard is a must.
This dish won’t just make you “salivate upon first look,” writes cookbook author and blogger Mandy Lee, “but the combination of soft poached chicken sitting in a spicy and numbing puddle of sesame sauce and chile oil is dangerously addictive.”
10. Mochiko Chicken
“I think it’s safe to say that most places have their own version, and Hawaii is no exception,” writes Alana Kysar in her cookbook Aloha Kitchen. Here, tender chicken thighs are battered in mochiko flour (aka sweet rice flour), wrapped in nori, and fried until crispy.
This exceptionally comforting chicken is a cinch to make thanks to the Instant Pot, which does most of the work for you.
This chicken satay from Yi Jun Loh hits all the marks with “flavorful, succulent meat, a good char, and a great peanut dipping sauce.”
This weeknight-friendly dinner nails the balance between simple and luxuriant—once you cook the pasta, the whole thing comes together in a single pan in under 30 minutes.
What’s your favorite way to cook chicken thighs? Any recipes on our site you love?