I recently made a YouTube video for 3 ways to make the perfect chicken breast, and you guys loved it. So I thought I would follow that up with the ultimate guide on how to make chicken thighs. I have 3 techniques that are sure to render the most juicy, tender chicken thighs you have ever made. The first technique is my favorite.The chicken thighs start out on the stove-top and finish in the pan to make the crispiest skin ever! Make sure to check out my guide for making chicken breasts.
How To Make Chicken Thighs With Crispy Skin
This could be the best way to make chicken thighs ever! The skin gets insanely crispy and the meat juicy as can be. This method for coking chicken thighs involves a cast iron pan, the stove-top, and the oven. Here are the steps for making the chicken thighs.
Allow the chicken thighs to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Cold meat in a hot oven or hot pan will cook unevenly and be tough. Make sure to pat the skin dry with paper towels, moisture will prevent the skin from getting crispy.
- Season the chicken all over with salt and a good amount of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper only on the skin side. Rub the spices into the skin with your hands.
- Preheat a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes with 2 tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add the chicken thighs skin side down and allow them to cook for 8 minutes undisturbed. No need to move the chicken around, just let them do their thing and get nice and crusty. Move the pan to the oven and let them continue to cook skin side down for 9 minutes. Flip and cook another 3 minutes.
- Once the chicken is out of the oven, move to a clean plate and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. If you cut into the chicken thighs now, the juices will spill out and the meat will get dry.
You will be amazed at just how crispy the skin is and the way the spices have seared into the crust. This is the next best thing to fried chicken, and much healthier. If you need a side dish for these chicken thighs, try my low carb golden cauliflower rice or roasted spaghetti squash.
How To Cook Boneless Chicken Thighs In The Pan
Boneless and skinless chicken thighs cook very quickly and have much more flavor than chicken breasts. The first thing is to apply the spice rub to both sides of the thigh along with a generous pinch of salt. The spice rub is a great way to add big flavor without adding any fat or calories. Spices like smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and thyme will make the most flavorful spice rub for your chicken, so make sure to always have your pantry stocked with some spices.
Preheat a cast iron or non-stick pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes with 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs and let them cook for 4 minutes. Once again, don’t touch the chicken thighs once they go in the pan, let them get nice and crusty. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes. Allow the chicken thighs to rest 3-5 minutes and enjoy.
I have some yummy chicken thigh recipes, like this chicken saltimbocca with low carb mash and fennel spiced chicken thighs with roasted cauliflower salad for lunch.
How To Bake Chicken Thighs In The Oven
To bake juicy chicken thighs in the oven that have crispy skin you first need to let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Cold chicken in a hot oven will cook unevenly and the meat will be tough. To help the skin get crispy, pat the moisture off the skin with paper towels. Season the chicken thighs with the same spice rub above, or use some sweet paprika, salt, and black pepper.
The key is to cook the chicken thighs in a 400 degree F oven for 50 minutes. This will allow for the skin to get crispy and the meat to be juicy. If you are not sure the chicken is ready, just poke it wit a knife. If the juices run clear it’s done.
How Long Will Chicken Thighs Last In The Fridge?
Cooked chicken thighs will last in the fridge for 5 days, or can be frozen for 3 months. When time to reheat, thaw and place in a 350F oven for 7-10 minutes. Drizzle a shot of olive oil over the chicken before warming to help keep it moist. If reheating in the microwave, cover the chicken with a wet paper towel and make sure not to overheat, as the chicken will dry out.
Make sure to check out my recipes featuring chicken thighs: