Chicken thighs in a pan being glazed
Your Recipe's Temperature Times Might Be Ruining Your Chicken Thighs
While the standard internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees F, the dark meat in chicken thighs benefits from cooking to a slightly higher temperature for better texture.
Loaded with connective tissue, dark meat just begins tenderizing at 165 degrees F. It gets juicy and succulent at higher temperatures, from 170 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The extra heat melts the collagen in the tough parts of the meat into gelatin, which gives dark meat its signature moist texture.
This temperature guideline gives you flexibility when cooking your chicken thighs, unlike chicken breast, which can dry out quickly when the temperature goes too high.