Nina’s Tips & Techniques: Chicken Thighs

I always buy chicken breast. The thighs scare me and they always come out with creepy pink insides – help!

I love chicken because it is so versatile and each cut lends different flavors and can be cooked in different ways. That makes it such a fun and interesting choice. I love chicken breast, but the chicken thigh may be one of my most favorite things in the world. Thighs are darker meat and pack way more flavor, are juicier, are more forgiving (i.e. they don’t get as dry if you over cook them), and have a wonderful skin to meat ratio! I think people are scared of chicken thighs because there is a bone in the middle and it can be hard to gauge doneness. No one likes to cut into a piece of chicken and find raw, pink meat – gross. But if you give chicken thighs a shot you will find that they are not really any more challenging than a chicken breast. It’s all about technique! First, get yourself a good instant read thermometer – this is the single best tool for learning how to cook chicken properly – not pink and not overdone. Chicken should be cooked to 160 degrees F. Place the probe into the thickest part of the chicken, and next to a bone if there is a bone in it.When it’s done, make sure to let your chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before serving – this will keep it super juicy!

Should I buy bone-in or boneless?

Both are wonderful choices and depend on your own personal preferences. Bone-in meat tends to be juicier and more flavorful because of the collagen that comes out of the bones while cooking. Bone-in meat also takes a bit longer to cook. Boneless is a great choice if you’re in a hurry, or if you just don’t want to deal with cutting the meat off the bone while you’re eating it. Also great for stir fry!


Featured Recipe: Cajun Spiced Chicken Thighs