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How can I transform my thighs?

Do you any of my fellow Hounds have any really tasty recipes for chicken thighs? Sure you do!

I love them when I roast a chicken (or when they are fried, which I’m not going to do); but, when I have a pack of them, neither my husband nor I seem to like anything I’ve done with them. There is something about the way they seem almost slimy. Yes, I know that is the much touted 'moistness' that is supposed to make them so much better than breast meat, but it just doesn't feel right in the mouth. And then there is the way they taste like chicken. REALLY like chicken. Chicken that's dined all its life on chicken. Whatever I've made always tastes like a bunch of ingredients and CHICKEN THIGHS, not something to ooh and ahh over.

I need something that isn't overly complicated, with little or no garlic (unless it's powdered garlic). We are fairly adventurous when it comes to flavorings and different cooking styles, but I don't want to spend hours working on thighs. Mine or the chickens'.

Hopeless optimist that I am, I know for a fact that I have at least 2 packs buried in the freezer, and one of those may be the family-size type…YIKES...there's only two of us! And I'm pretty sure at least one is skinless. Rather than take my usual route of Yankee thrift by waiting until they are so badly freezer burned they are inedible and can safely be tossed, I am begging for help. HELP! (Please?)

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  1. James Beard has a version is so easy and good that I OD'd on it:
    -- In 375 oven melt a little butter in a baking dish
    --Add thighs, rub s&p and drizzle soy sauce into the skin
    --Bake 35-40 minutes

    2 Replies
      1. re: SocksManly

        No, skin-side-up. Usually I baste it halfway through and add a little water to the bottom so the soy doesn't burn on the bottom of dish.

    1. Lots of people asking the same question. You can adjust the garlic in most recipes to suit your taste, but it sure does help to add flavor to many dishes.

      A search will bring up many more ideas.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/369048

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/296271

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/821123

      5 Replies
      1. re: bear

        Thanks, Bear. I know there have been other threads that involve chicken thighs, directly or indirectly. Of those you mentioned, one started back in 2004 and the other not much later, and none were specifically based on not really LIKING chicken thighs to start with. Times change, cooking styles change. Lots of the posts were just mentions of a dish to use them in rather than a recipe; many were too involved, required marinade (which will make them even wetter, which isn't my goal), and only a few people mentioned not being fond of thighs. I didn't find more than a couple of real recipes that sounded like something workable for my request. It never hurts to put out a new request and generate some new comments. It's all good!

        1. re: MaineCook

          Oh, sorry MaineCook. I meant no criticism and should have chosen my words more carefully. I wasn't sure how familiar you are with the search function and was just trying to help direct you to other threads. I'm always up for new ideas and inspiration. That's what this board is all about!

          1. re: bear

            No problem, bear! :)

            And do YOU have a great thigh master recipe? (You can put the master with either word depending on your offering...)

            1. re: MaineCook

              My thighs get more problematic the more I read this board and cook!

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bil...

              Seriously, I recently made Bill Granger's Caramel Chicken and really liked it served with steamed white rice and some broccoli. You could sub garlic powder for the fresh, and skip the fish sauce (go easy if you use it. It can overpower.) I don't usually like sweet and savory dishes, but it works here.

              I also really like boneless chicken thighs, cut in pieces, in chicken and sausage jambalaya. They may actually be more palatable to you if they're cut up in a casserole as opposed to whole.

              Giada DiLaurentiis' Roman Chicken (I use thighs) and Mario Batali's Chicken Cacciatore are both tasty dishes.

              The other thing I like to do is to take the bone out of a whole thigh but keep the skin on, and then stuff with jarred roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and feta and then brown so the skin gets crispy and finish them in a hot oven for a few minutes.

              Now, about fitting into those skinny jeans...

        2. re: bear

          LOL I thought all the people asking this question were writing to Self Magazine! I have a number of body parts I'd like to transform myself!
          Seriously I made a lovely version of the famous Chicken Marbella using boneless thighs - so juicy.

        3. If you have a pack that is skin on, my favorite way to do is basically an indoor chicken under a brick. I salt and pepper and place on a grill pan, with a weight on top. Skin becomes nice and crispy, and is cooked perfectly throughout.

          2 Replies
          1. re: andieb

            I just bought a grill pan and weight so you are right on target with your suggestion. Thanks!

            1. re: MaineCook

              I love it this way. And with just the simple seasonings it is so flavorful. I find myself using my grill pan all the time now..

          2. I love this recipe for Chicken Chili Verde: http://www.chow.com/recipes/10680-chi...

            Last week I used a boneless, skinless chicken thigh pounded very thin in sort of a "Chicken Piccata" with capers, white wine, mushrooms & lemon zest.

            1. Crockpot Chicken Chili
              (my own concoction)

              1.5-2lbs chicken thighs, cubed
              1 medium to large onion, diced
              3 tbsp olive oil
              2 cans black eyed peas- one drained and rinsed, the other mashed up, with liquid
              1 can hominy, drained and rinsed
              1 7 oz. can of green chiles
              1 tablespoon ground cumin
              1 tablespoon ground coriander
              1 cup chicken broth
              shredded cheese (optional)

              1) Heat the olive oil and saute the chicken and onion until chicken is opaque and onion is translucent, but not browned (about 10 minutes)
              2) Mix the chicken&onion and all other ingredients in the crockpot.
              3) Cook for about 4-5 hours on low, or for 2 hours on low and 1 hour on high.

              I made a vegetarian version of this subbing quartered mushrooms for the chicken thighs. It freezes really well.