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Nov 19, 2011 01:54 PM

Chicken thighs

I bought chicken thighs the past week because I realized they're so much cheaper than breasts
I cooked them on a pan like breasts, and they took a whole lot longer and by the end they were smoking up the kitchen
They were delicious with a crispy skin and they were cooked perfectly, but that obviously wasn't the best method
What would be - roasting? And could I roast say only one or two thighs at a time?

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  1. were they on the bone? roasting is definitely the way to go.

    you could roast one or two, but i do the whole package and eat the thighs over the course of a few days. (would you turn on your oven to cook one sausage?) they have far more flavor than tasteless white meat and yes, are way cheaper.

    for everyday chicken, i roast at 450, after sprinkling the skin with plenty of salt and dried thyme. takes about 40 minutes or so for 6-8 pieces.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      I've braised thighs successfully. You brown, then lower heat and add a little liquid. I've done this for 4 thighs, which is 2 servings for us. I usually skin them, because we are fat conscious, but I coat with a little olive oil before browning. I also bake them over rice successfully. This is very easy to do. Put your rice in a baking dish (greased or sprayed) and layer in other things like chopped onion, chopped green pepper, mushrooms. And lay the skinned thighs on top. Fill the baking dish with chicken broth after you have placed it on the oven rack. When the thighs are done, the rice will be too. I usually add more liquid about halfway through about a 40 min bake at 400 deg.

    2. I buy them all the time, & pan-cooking really isn't the way to go with the bone-in skin-on ones except for an initial browning. Then transfer them to a baking dish & bake or roast until done. They're also TERRIFIC for braised dishes like Coq au Vin or Chicken Cacciatore for those times when you don't want to use a whole cut-up chicken. I also LOVE boneless, skinless chicken thighs to cut up for casseroles, stir-fry dishes, etc., etc. Good stuff. Yes, they take a bit longer to cook because they're dark meat, but they also maintain more juices, are less likely to dry out, & have more flavor.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Breezychow

        I second all these remarks, and those by others who think thighs are about the best thing going with chicken. Like hotoynoodle, I tend to buy them on sale around here (anything at or close to $1 per pound) bone-in and skin-on. But more often than not, I strip the skin, liberally season them with spice rub, and roast them in a foil-lined broiler pan, poking holes in the foil to aid drainage. 375-400 degrees for about 15 minutes per side and then test for progress.

        Usually I do a sort of BBQ/Southwest seasoning--featuring chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, cayenne, and garlic and onion powders, along with S/P. Then, as they are close to done, I baste them in BBQ sauce and flip them a few times, broiling if need be to get some color and browning. People flip over these things, although they're really cheap and easy to make.

        1. re: Bada Bing

          i'll come to your house for the skin you don't want, lol. sometimes i make them just for the crispy skin.

          sometimes i braise them also, especially to finish with a creamy mushroom sauce, but, oh, that skin!

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Or, . . . remove the skin as Bada Bing suggests, but just put it aside. Then, while the dish is in the oven, fry the skins up to "tide yourself over" until dinner is ready to plate. A just reward to the chef for the effort of making a "healthy" meal.

            1. re: MGZ

              oh, my b/f would get to those long before i was finished cooking, lol.

            2. re: hotoynoodle

              Actually, I like chicken skin a lot. But I strip the skins in this case mainly because I like the way the spice rub (I use a LOT) and the BBQ sauce adhere to the meat itself. Maybe I'll try skin-on again to refresh my memory about the two approaches.

              I do think it's much better to leave the bones in, I might add. Better flavor, and I think it keeps the interior moister.

        2. In my opinion, thighs are the best part of the chicken. Roasted or braised is awesome. I've done coq au vin with them, for example.

          Interesting factoid: Most expensive part of the chicken in N. America - breast. Most expensive part of the chicken in Asia and Russia - thigh. There's a huge market in shipping thighs to Asia and breasts to America. No joke.

          1. Your mistake was using too high a temp. Start skin side down over no higher then medium heat and be patient. Once the skin is brown and well-rendered, flip over to the bone side to finish. It does take more time. I like thighs for Chicken Marbella. The Silver Palate recipe is done entirely in the oven but I prefer using an oven-safe sautee pan to first brown the skin side of the marinated thighs (wipe off the solids and pat the skin dry) slowly to render the fat. Then flip, add the reserved marinade, wine, and sugar and follow the oven baking directions. Leaving ample room around the pieces (transfer to a larger baking dish if need be) allows the skin to cook thoroughly. While it is not crisp, it is delicious and not rubbery.

            1 Reply
            1. re: greygarious

              gerndel -- I totally agree with greygarious on Chicken Marbella. A classic -- beautiful, complex flavors, crowd-pleaser, even special enough for a holiday. Consistent wow factor.

              greygarious -- I've made Marbella many times, but I've never browned the meat first. What motivated you to do it that way? I may try that. I cook chicken (mostly thighs) all the time, and actually Marbella is one of the only chicken dishes that I make in which I don't brown the meat first. With Marbella, the meat roasts to beautiful golden perfection and of course, I do like pulling the ziploc out of the fridge and tossing it right into the oven.

            2. I love chicken thighs, and can't make a paella without them. I like to brown them in s&p, ground mexican oregano, paprika & cayenne for the paella.

              I guess you can start by browning them, and then finish them in a variety of sauces depending on the cuisine.