20 Chicken Thigh Recipes Your Family Will Love

What can we say about chicken? The ol' standby of the kitchen, readily available and generally affordable, chicken is always there for us, whether we're craving something simple, like moist poached chicken to throw over a salad, or something elaborate, like butter-stuffed, deep-fried chicken Kiev.

If you, like us, love cooking chicken at home, then you probably know that chicken thighs are among the most practical and delicious cuts of poultry. Loaded with natural gelatin in the form of connective tissue that breaks down as the meat cooks, according to America's Test Kitchen, thighs are basically impossible to overcook and tend to remain nice and juicy even if they're not fussed over. 

Perhaps you're already well aware of chicken thighs' many virtues, but you've run out of creativity when it comes to how to prepare them. Never fear! Here are 22 of our very favorite chicken thigh recipes, ready for your perusing — and bookmarking — pleasure.

Mediterranean Braised Chicken Thighs

In this simple recipe from chef Marco Canora, the rich, gamey flavor of dark meat chicken is perfectly complemented by the bright tastes of Mediterranean ingredients: soft onions, lots of garlic, fresh lemon juice, fragrant fresh oregano, and briny Greek olives.

Featuring bone-in, skin-on thighs that are seared on the stovetop in olive oil then braised in the oven with the additional ingredients, the easy, one-pan dish comes together in under an hour and is perfectly accompanied by crusty bread, fluffy steamed rice, or a crisp green salad.

Recipe: Mediterranean Braised Chicken Thighs

Homemade Kung Pao Chicken

Kung pao chicken is a takeout classic for a reason: It's delightfully flavorful and boasts a glossy, soy-based sauce that coats hot white rice as beautifully as it does the chicken. If you've tired of the version at your local Chinese restaurant, Tasting Table recipe developer Ting Dalton's kung pao is simple to make at home — with a big flavor payoff.

All you need to do is mix boneless chicken thighs that have been cut into bite-sized pieces into a marinade made of light and dark soy sauces, Chinese black vinegar, Shaoxing wine, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Let it marinate for 15 minutes, then stir-fry the chicken with chopped garlic, green onions, and dried chiles. You'll add the reserved marinade, let everything cook until thickened, then heap the kung pao over hot rice and garnish it with chopped roasted peanuts.

Recipe: Homemade Kung Pao Chicken

Baked Rice (Tahchin)

This intriguing Persian dish is a showstopper: a golden brown, tender-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside rice casserole stuffed with moist chicken. And making tahchin is less intimidating than it may sound, consisting of cooking pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in butter, then marinating them in whole yogurt flavored with minced orange peel for up to 24 hours. 

When ready to assemble the tahchin, you'll parboil the white rice, grease an ovenproof pot to prevent the rice from sticking (our test kitchen recommends using a nonstick pot), then layer in the rice and chicken and drizzle the whole shebang with plenty of melted butter. Once baked for an hour and a half, then inverted onto a platter, the rice should be gloriously brown and crunchy on the outside, developing the much-loved crust known in Iranian as tahdig or "bottom of the pot."

Recipe: Baked Rice (Tahchin)

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Filipino food isn't as well known around the world as the cuisines of nearby China, Vietnam, and Thailand, but of all the Filipino dishes to go global, adobo has got to be the most recognizable. Consisting of chicken bathed in a glossy sweet-and-sour sauce, adobo is irresistible when served with its traditional accompaniment of hot white rice.

Happily, the dish is super quick and easy to make at home, no flights to Asia required. All you'll have to do is briefly marinate skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs in a puckery bath of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, and brown sugar, then sear the thighs in a skillet. Add the reserved marinade, simmer everything down until the sauce is thick and shiny, sprinkle the finished chicken with sliced green onions, and you're ready to eat.

Recipe: Filipino Chicken Adobo

Easy Chicken Gyro

If you like Greek food, then gyros are probably among your favorite examples of the cuisine, ranking alongside flaky golden treats such as spanakopita and baklava. After all, what could be better than hot, juicy meat folded into warm, fluffy bread?

Gyros, which are essentially a wrap sandwich, can come stuffed with any number of proteins or veggies, but this tasty version features sliced boneless, skinless chicken thighs marinated in a zippy Greek yogurt flavored with lemon, garlic, and dried spices. After marinating for a minimum of one hour and up to overnight, the chicken is baked on a tray in a low oven until golden brown and just tender.

Then, it's time to fold the chicken into warm pitas or flatbreads along with cucumber-and-yogurt tzatziki sauce, lettuce leaves, and chopped vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes. 

Recipe: Easy Chicken Gyro

Simple Banh Mi Sandwich

Universally beloved, the Vietnamese-French fusion sandwich banh mi consists of a baguette stuffed with some kind of char-grilled protein and heaped with quick-pickled vegetables. Hearty, tangy, and often spicy with hot sauce, banh mi is a classic takeout option, especially in cities with a large Vietnamese population, but they're also quick and easy to make at home, as demonstrated by this recipe from Tasting Table developer Susan Olayinka.

In it, boneless, skinless chicken thighs are chopped into pieces and briefly marinated in a mix of garlic, sesame oil, honey, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce, then sautéed until cooked through. The chicken is stuffed into a fresh baguette that's been swiped with mayo and sprinkled with salty Maggi seasoning. Then, the sandwich is mounded with matchsticks of carrot that have been quickly pickled with rice wine vinegar, as well as ribbons of cucumber, fresh cilantro, and sliced green chiles.

Recipe: Simple Banh Mi Sandwich

Smoky Chicken Chili

If you like chicken, tomatoes, and beans, this smoky chicken chili from Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye just might hit the spot for dinner tonight.

To make it, you'll sauté sliced onions, bell peppers, and fresh cilantro with the ground spices that will lend the chili its signature smokiness: paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Next, chopped canned tomatoes and tomato purée get tipped in, along with chicken stock and a cinnamon stick. Four bone-in chicken thighs are added, to be simmered until tender — about 45 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked, use two forks to shred the meat, removing the bones as you go. Black beans, kidney beans, and a square of dark chocolate go in, the chili is simmered for 45 more minutes, and voilà! Your deep, rich chili is ready to be served with hot rice, sliced avocado, and cooling sour cream.

Recipe: Smoky Chicken Chili

Italian Baked Chicken Thighs

If you're looking for a simple but flavor-packed preparation of chicken thighs that you can throw together on any given weeknight, here it is. These bone-in, skin-on thighs are tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then smeared with a mix of chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, and garlic.

The chicken is broiled for half an hour, optionally served with fresh basil and slices of lemon, and makes the perfect juicy, tasty accompaniment to a huge variety of sides, from baked potatoes to rice pilaf to sautéed green veggies.

Recipe: Italian Baked Chicken Thighs

Satay-Style Chicken Stir Fry

If you've ever tried chicken satay, a flavorful Indonesian dish of chicken marinated in punchy ingredients such as lemongrass, lime juice, coconut milk, peanut butter, and soy sauce, then you're probably used to it coming on a stick. This typically charcoal-grilled snack is a staple Southeast Asian street food, and its skewer makes it eminently portable.

But if you're at home, there's really no reason to make satay to-go. This version created by Tasting Table recipe developer Ting Dalton reimagines chicken satay as a stir fry, tossing chopped thighs in the wok with garlic, green onions, and a rich, smooth sauce made from curry powder, peanut butter, lime juice, honey, Sriracha hot sauce, coconut milk, chicken broth, and soy sauce. After the sauce thickens and goes glossy, peas and mushrooms go in, creating a one-pot meal full of satay flavors that's ready to spoon over hot rice or noodles.

Recipe: Satay-Style Chicken Stir Fry

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs

Tender and juicy thanks to their generous fat content, chicken thighs truly don't need much fussing over to turn out absolutely delicious, as this recipe from Tasting Table recipe developer Susan Olayinka ably demonstrates.

Bone-in, skin-on thighs are seasoned with salt, onion and garlic powders, and oregano, then seared in butter for 5 minutes per side. Chicken broth is added, the pan is covered, and the thighs braise briefly in a pan full of yummy butter and chicken juices. After 20 minutes, the saucy chicken is ready to be spooned over rice, quinoa, or potatoes, or sopped up with a crusty chunk of bread.

Recipe: Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs

Thai Chicken Curry

Chicken curry might seem like one of those dishes that's out of reach for the average home cook, but bottled prepared curry pastes actually make it quite simple. Prepared green curry paste is called upon for this zingy, perfumed chicken curry. It's combined with additional ginger and garlic, plus canned coconut milk, fish sauce, chicken broth, and a little brown sugar.

Once four chopped chicken thighs are added to the curry and simmered away, veggies — namely eggplant, snow peas, and green onions – join the party. Finished with fresh lime juice and a bit more fish sauce, the deeply fragrant, flavor-packed curry is ready to team up with steamed rice for a complete, better-than-takeout meal at home.

Recipe: Thai Chicken Curry

Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs

Garlic. Butter. Chicken thighs. What else do you need to know to want to dig into a dish of that name, ASAP? These delectable bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are generously seasoned, seared on both sides in hot butter, and then more butter and plenty of fresh garlic — we're talking 20 cloves, sliced — go into the pan.

The chicken is then transferred to a hot oven to cook through. As it does, its flavorful juices run into the butter below, creating a dead-simple and truly delicious pan sauce. At the end of cooking, the slices of garlic will go all crispy, perfect for heaping atop crusty bread for a garlic bread accompaniment to your meal.

Recipe: Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs

Simple One-Pot Chicken And Rice

Chicken and rice is a culinary combination enjoyed the world over, from Hainanese chicken rice glistening with fat to Caribbean arroz con pollo brimming with spices. Chicken and rice just go together like peanut butter and jelly, like Champagne and orange juice, and this one-pot recipe makes the dynamic duo quick, easy, and weeknight-appropriate.

To make the chicken and rice, you'll start by sprinkling boneless thighs with a mix of smoked paprika, garlic and onion powders, salt, and pepper. Then, sear the chicken in olive oil on both sides and remove it from the pan. Next, white rice and chicken broth go into the pan, soaking up all that tasty fond. The chicken goes back in, the pan is covered, and when the rice is perfectly fluffy and the chicken is cooked through, the dish is ready to serve with some chopped fresh cilantro on top.

Recipe: Simple One-Pot Chicken And Rice

Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

If you loved chicken tenders dipped in honey-mustard sauce as a kid, then we think you'll enjoy this grown-up offering from Tasting Table recipe developer Catherine Brookes. The simple, comforting dish is made by coating bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with a mix of Dijon mustard, honey, and olive oil, then seasoning them generously with salt and pepper.

Placed in a baking dish skin-up and roasted for about 40 minutes, the thighs emerge golden brown, surrounded by a tasty honey mustard glaze. Brookes suggests serving the chicken with homey sides such as mashed potatoes, broccoli, and salad.

Recipe: Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

Easy Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki is a thick, sweet-salty sauce hailing from Japan that seems to make anything it coats — from steamed broccoli to white rice to potstickers — absolutely irresistible to children and adults alike. And if teriyaki chicken's your bag, why not make it at home from scratch instead of grabbing a bottle at the supermarket?

To do so, you'll brown pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a pan, set them aside, then add a simple mix of brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and mirin. As the sauce simmers, it will thicken up nicely, and you'll add the chicken back in to get coated and cook through. Once topped with sliced green onions, the chicken is ready to tuck into alongside hot rice and green veggies.

Recipe: Easy Teriyaki Chicken

Homemade General Tso's Chicken

Takeout classic General Tso's is a delectable dish of crispy chunks of fried chicken tossed in a sticky, sweet sauce based on soy and brown sugar, then showered in sesame seeds. And while making the dish at home requires some diligence and a few steps, it's not complicated and is a great way to assure the quality of all the ingredients.

You'll start by taking bite-sized pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and "velveting" them in a mix of egg white, soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine or mirin. Then, you'll toss the chunks in cornstarch and fry them in your wok in hot vegetable oil. After you drain the chicken and most of the oil from the pan, sauté garlic and ginger, add in your homemade sauce of dark and light soy sauces, brown sugar, hoisin, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil and simmer it, allowing it to reduce. The crunchy chicken goes back in for a quick toss in the sauce and is garnished with sliced scallions and sesame seeds before being served over hot rice.

Recipe: Homemade General Tso's Chicken

Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken

Who doesn't love BBQ chicken? This summertime staple is a must-have feature of backyard cookouts, but the craving for moist, sauce-slathered chicken doesn't end when temperatures cool. What to do?

If you've shut down your grill for the season but have BBQ chicken on your mind, preheat your oven, instead, to whip up these juicy BBQ chicken thighs. For the simple dish, bone-in, skin-on thighs are seasoned with salt, smoked paprika, onion and garlic powders, and dried oregano. They're then baked skin-side down, flipped, brushed with your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce, and broiled for a few minutes, until the sauce thickens and the skin crisps. Served with coleslaw and potato salad, this BBQ chicken will bring summer to your table — no matter the temperature outside.

Recipe: Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken

Classic Arroz Con Pollo

A staple of home cooking in areas such as the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, arroz con pollo — that's rice with chicken, naturally — is a spice-packed, flavor-jammed one-pot meal that the whole family is sure to love.

This version developed by Tasting Table's Catherine Brookes features spiced skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs that are seared in olive oil before being set aside. Onion, garlic, and red pepper then go in the pan to soften, followed by white rice, which gets briefly toasted in all those accumulated flavors. Next, chicken stock, chopped canned tomatoes, olives (and their juice) are added to the pan, the chicken goes back in, and everything is simmered (covered) until the rice is fluffy and the chicken is fully cooked. Served with chopped fresh parsley, this complete meal is ready to go.

Recipe: Classic Arroz Con Pollo

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken can be imbued with any number of flavors, and in this case, recipe developer Ting Dalton chose the Mediterranean tastes of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, fresh parsley, paprika, and dried oregano. Those are stirred up into a marinade for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which should soak in all that goodness for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

Post-marination, the thighs are grilled or pan-seared for 4-5 minutes per side, until juicy, tender, and nicely browned on the outside. With their Greek flavors, the thighs would be delicious folded into a wrap, gyro-style, or enjoyed alongside roasted potatoes and a green salad.

Recipe: Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

Crispy Breaded Chicken Katsu

Chicken cutlets form a part of many cuisines worldwide, from Austrian schnitzel to Latin American milanesa. It's not hard to understand why: When prepared correctly, chicken cutlets are deliciously juicy on the inside and nicely crispy on the outside.

Japan's answer to fried chicken cutlets is katsu. Katsu is super simple to make at home, as this recipe demonstrates: All you do is pound out boneless, skinless chicken thighs to ½-inch thickness, pass them through an egg wash, and bread them with those famous Japanese panko crumbs.

You'll want to bust out your deep fryer if you have one, or else heat 1½ cups of oil in a large frying pan. After the oil is nice and hot, fry the cutlets one at a time until cooked through and super crispy, drain them on paper towels, and then serve them with a quick homemade tonkatsu sauce and some nice fresh veggies, such as an Asian slaw.

Recipe: Crispy Breaded Chicken Katsu