When many go to the grocery store to get chicken, they prefer and automatically grab the white meat, skinless chicken breast. It's versatile and often considered healthier than a chicken thigh. To many, however, chicken thigh is both more flavorful and tender due to the dark meat of the thigh. Some attribute this bias to the ease of cooking something without bone-in. Others relate it to dissociation of the breast to something that used to be alive. Regardless of the reason, chicken thigh is oft…
n unjustly ignored. To the knowledgeable few, however, chicken thigh is a cheaper option for an easy chicken dinner that is both flavorful and simple.
Easy Bone-In Chicken Thigh Recipes
When you buy chicken thigh from a butcher or the meat section of your grocer, one often seen option will be the skin on and bone-in thigh. This cut takes the least amount of work to get off the chicken. This style of chicken thigh is a good one to get because cooking with the skin on will help keep the chicken moist. Removing the skin before eating will help reduce calories and fat for those on calorie diets.
If you're not interested in dealing with the skin at all, they also have options with bone but no skin. These, though touted less in flavor by some are much healthier than having skin at all and for the most part can be cooked in the same way.
Easy Boneless Chicken Thigh Recipes
On the other hand, if you don't want to cook with a bone for any reason, many stores either in the freezer section or the fresh meat section will also have bone free options with either skin or no skin as well meaning you can get exactly what you are looking for to either cook fresh or put into the oven. Using these no bone chicken thighs can make for easier preparation of chicken recipes such as baked Italian style chicken or keto style recipes like Chicken Thighs with many interesting flavors of thick and starchy sauces. However, it's important to look at the health information because preparation and paring of the chicken can change the health facts, check the recipe notes and nutrition facts to ensure that you are happy with what you are eating both taste and nutrition wise.
Methods of cooking chicken thighs
Chicken thighs can be cooked just like any other chicken part via baking, grilling, roasting or frying. In addition, they can also be seasoned, stuffed or coated with breading. All of those methods mentioned, healthy bakers should look at baking, grilling, and roasting as they are considered healthier options. Should a calorie diet be of concern, the best option overall will depend on the seasonings and sides paired with it.
No matter whether you are grilling or frying, when cooking on a stove top, you're going to want to make sure you have a cooking pan as well as a plate and perhaps a small bowl to for mixing the seasoning or sauce. An additional item you might want at your disposal are some paper towels, especially if you are stove-top frying. If you are cooking in the oven, a baking pan, a drip catch as well as bowls and plates, will be vital to creating braised, stuffed or even coated chicken thighs.
One unmentioned method, also the slowest method of cooking is the slow cooker. Cooking via slow cooker has a longer cooking time yet often comes with much simpler recipes that usually advise throwing all ingredients in and check back in a few hours when you're all in one meal will be ready to eat. Fast, easy and simple to cook, these are the best for those that are short on time or don't have tons of history cooking and want to try their hand at something simple first. Also, these dinner recipes are great for the busy family that wants an easy chicken recipe on a budget though they might be harder to cook for one or two depending on the size of the cooker you have and the recipie you choose.
Buying Chicken Thighs
Aside from getting boneless skinless thighs or bone-in thighs, you also have the option to get what's called a leg quarter which contains the drumstick, or the chicken wing, as well as the thigh and a bit of the back muscles. You also have options when it comes to the age of the chicken much like lamb and sheep. Juvenile chicken is less than 28 days of age while an adult chicken is older, both of which you can buy in stores.
For the best-baked chicken thighs, it's going to depend on the dinner recipe that you are using. If you are roasting or grilling then skin-on bone-in our bone-out in any combination will work just fine. If you are looking for something to put in a soup or stew then check with boneless options. When it comes to braising, bone or not doesn't matter but avoid getting skin-on as it will become soggy during the cook time it spends in the oven. On the other hand, if you want to use a glaze, make sure to get skin-on because the glaze will magnetize to the skin, creating a crispy skin that's flavorful and full.
Health Concerns for Chicken Thighs
Chicken has a much lower level of fat than red meats and is often the healthy substitute for fattier meats like beef. In chicken, the meat itself is generally low in fat while the skin has a much higher concentration of fat. When looking between cuts of chicken, the thighs are in general higher in fat than the chicken breast or wing, this can be directly related to the dark meat nature of the thigh.
When looking at the same type of amount of white and dark chicken meat without the skin you will get three times the amount of fat. Though this might not be much for smaller servings, yet it can add up for larger servings. If you are looking at skin-on chicken thighs this number will be even higher in comparison to white meat chicken. In all, if you are looking for very healthy dinner recipes will low fat then thigh might not be the best but if you are looking for something flavorful and cheaper, the thigh is perfect for your next dinner.
Easy Chicken Thigh Recipes
When looking for meals to cook with chicken thighs, you are likely to find many American flavored meals. Likely, you'll also find meals with Italian roots, Keto diet themes, and even gluten-free features. For great ideas, check out the hundreds of recipes that Yummly has on its site! Once you find your favorite, try adding it alongside mashed potatoes with garlic butter, soy sauce infused green beans and a white wine if you are feeling like taking your meal up a notch.
Oil Based Variations for Cooking Chicken Thighs
If you aren't a fan of dry rubs and fried food, chances are you sometimes have a hard time finding good chicken thigh options to cook. Luckily for you, Yummly has options that don't include frying oil or dry rubs and bowls! With olive oil-based recipes, you can still get the dark meat that is a chicken thigh, just in a flavor and texture you love. Try mixing whole garlic cloves and seasonings with a bit of olive oil if you want to go at it on your own. On the other hand, take a look at Yummly's large selection and follow step by step. Make sure that you have your meat as well as some basics like salt, black pepper, garlic cloves, olive oil, and Italian herbs so that you don't have to go to the store before cooking an awesome dinner! Soon, you'll be able to eat a fresh and savory dinner with your choice of wine and side.
Creating Your Own Dinner Using Other Recipes
If you are looking to edit a recipe you found online, try checking the reader interactions and comments for the recipe you are looking at. This will let you see if someone else had made the substitution you are thinking about. It can help with trial and error and produce a better custom chicken dinner recipe. A simple recipe can often have hundreds if not thousands of reader comment. Each comment will often have the changes they made to make the dish unique.