Fried chicken thighs are a classic comfort food that never goes out of style. With the perfect balance of juicy and crispy, it’s no wonder why fried chicken is such a popular dish! Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal or something to serve at your next gathering, this fried chicken recipe is sure to be a hit.
By following just a few simple steps, you can create succulent, flavorful chicken every time. Learn how to unlock the best flavor with our guide on cooking perfectly seasoned fried chicken thighs!
Overview of fried chicken thighs
What is fried chicken thighs?
Fried chicken thighs are a popular dish made by lightly coating chicken thighs with a batter of flour, spices and sometimes breadcrumbs before frying them in oil or fat.
The result is a deliciously crispy fried chicken that is juicy and tender on the inside. It’s often served as an appetizer or main dish, paired with sides like mashed potatoes, coleslaw, or macaroni salad.
Benefits of cooking with chicken thighs
1. Chicken thighs are an economical cut of meat, offering a great option for budget-conscious cooks.
2. They are also very versatile, and can be prepared using a wide range of cooking methods such as roasting, grilling, sautéing, and slow-cooking.
3. Thighs are a good source of protein and various vitamins and minerals including iron, B vitamins, phosphorus, and zinc.
4. They contain more fat than other parts of the bird which adds flavor and helps to keep the meat moist when cooked – perfect for slow-cooked dishes like stews or curries.
5. With their higher fat content compared to chicken breasts, chicken thighs don’t dry out as easily when cooked resulting in succulent, juicy results every time!
Preparing for mouthwatering fried chicken thighs
How to choose high-quality chicken thighs?
1. Check the color of the chicken thighs – they should have a pinkish tone, with no yellow, green or gray spots.
2. Look for chicken that is free-range, organic, or pasture raised as these tend to have fewer antibiotics and hormones.
3. Avoid chicken that has been treated with chemical preservatives, such as sodium bisulfite, which can give the poultry an unpleasant flavor and odor.
4. Inspect the smell of the chicken thighs – it should be mild and not overly pungent or fishy smelling.
5. Feel the meat to make sure it is firm and not slimey or dry.
6. Purchase chicken thighs in packages that are vacuum sealed or are well wrapped in plastic wrap to avoid any airborne contaminants or freezer burn.
7. Make sure there is no discoloration on the surface of the skin; if there is then chances are it’s been frozen too long before you purchased it and may have gone bad already even though it appears fresh on the surface.
8. Look for any bruises on the meat; if there are bruises then chances are it’s not fresh and you should not purchase them unless you plan on consuming them immediately after cooking them thoroughly within a short time frame of purchase.
Essential ingredients for the perfect fried chicken
1. High-quality chicken pieces, such as legs or wings, with the skin still on.
2. A large bowl filled with all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
3. Milk or buttermilk for soaking the chicken in before coating it in the flour mixture.
4. Vegetable oil suitable for deep-frying (canola oil works well).
5. A shallow baking dish to hold the prepared chicken pieces before they are fried up.
6. An appropriate cooking thermometer to ensure that the hot oil remains at a consistent temperature; if the temperature is too low, it will result in greasy chicken, while a higher temperature may cause burnt meat or even a fire hazard!
7. Several paper towels are laid out on a plate to drain any excess grease from the cooked chicken before serving.
8. A wide variety of herbs and spices to bring extra flavor to the fried chicken; some common ones include thyme, oregano, cumin, and sage.
What is the best fried chicken thigh temperature?
Cooking chicken thighs to perfection requires getting the temperature right. The best temperature for fried chicken thighs is 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat can be obtained by preheating the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet or deep fryer and then turning it down to medium-high heat.
Cooking chicken thighs at this temperature provides an optimal golden crust that seals in juices while still providing a nice crisp texture.
What is the best internal temp of fried chicken thighs?
The best internal temperature for fried chicken thighs is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature ensures that the chicken is cooked through and safe to consume. Thighs are typically larger than other kinds of fried chicken, so it takes a bit more cooking time to get them to this temperature.
Time for frying chicken thighs
How long to fry chicken thigh?
Frying chicken thigh is a delicious and simple way to prepare this popular poultry dish. It can be done in as little as 15 minutes or up to 40 minutes depending on the size of the chicken thighs and how crispy you desire them to be.
How long to deep fry chicken thighs?
Deep fried chicken thighs can be a delicious and simple way to prepare dinner. However, it is important to know how long you need to deep fry them in order to ensure they are cooked properly.
Generally speaking, it takes about 10-15 minutes to deep fry chicken thighs. This amount of time will depend on the size of your chicken thighs, so be sure to adjust accordingly if you have larger or smaller pieces.
How long to fry chicken thighs on each side?
Frying chicken thighs can be a delicious, simple way to make dinner. Depending on the size of your chicken thighs and how you want them cooked, there are many different ways to fry them.
The most popular method is to pan-fry them in a moderate amount of oil over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side. To ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly, you should use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh – it should read at least 165°F/74°C.
How long to fry chicken thighs bone in?
Generally speaking, it should take between 12-14 minutes to fry bone-in chicken thighs. If you have smaller pieces of chicken, however, they may be done in under 12 minutes.
A step-by-step guide to making crispy, flavorful fried chicken thighs
1. Begin by preparing the chicken thighs. Rinse and pat dry each one, removing any skin or fat.
2. Prepare a marinade of equal parts melted butter and hot sauce, season with salt and pepper, and place the chicken thighs into the marinade. Let sit for 30 minutes or longer if desired.
3. In a shallow dish, mix together 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
4. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding any remaining liquid, then dredge each thigh in the seasoned flour mixture until fully coated on all sides.
5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom surface of the pan by about an inch in depth.
Once hot (a pinch of flour should sizzle when dropped into it), carefully add several pieces of chicken to the pan without overcrowding it; do not move them around once they are placed in order to ensure even browning on all sides (you may need to cook them in batches).
6. Reduce heat to medium after 5 minutes and let cook for another 7-10 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through (internal temperature should read 165°F).
7. When finished cooking, remove from heat and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil before serving immediately alongside your favorite side dishes!
Ideas for serving and pairing your fried chicken thighs
1. Fried chicken thighs can be served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and a fresh green salad dressed in olive oil, garlic, and lemon for an easy yet elegant meal.
2. Try pairing fried chicken thighs with a unique take on classic coleslaw: mix shredded cabbage and carrots with a flavorful combination of mayonnaise, honey dijon mustard, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and diced jalapeno peppers.
3. Serve fried chicken thighs over a bed of roasted vegetables like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, mushrooms, asparagus spears or sweet potato wedges for an appealing presentation and burst of flavor.
4. For an Asian-inspired dish, pair your fried chicken thighs with soba noodles tossed in sesame oil and tamari sauce or a cool cucumber salad made from sliced cucumbers mixed with rice vinegar and soy sauce.
5. Create an Italian-style meal by serving up your fried chicken thighs alongside Mediterranean roasted vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, artichoke hearts, olives, peppers and onions seasoned with garlic, oregano and fresh basil leaves.
6. Enjoy your fried chicken thighs as part of a truly Southern-style feast when you pair them with cheesy grits or creamed corn along with collard greens cooked in bacon fat or buttery biscuits topped with honey butter.
7. Delight your taste buds by pairing your fried chicken thighs with the perfect condiment: homemade honey mustard dipping sauce made from Dijon mustard blended together with equal parts honey and mayonnaise is sure to satisfy even the pickiest palate!
What is the best way to store fried chicken thighs?
The best way to store fried chicken thighs is by wrapping them in foil and then putting them in an airtight container or bag. This will help to keep the chicken moist and prevent it from drying out. It’s also important to ensure that the container is not too tight, as this can cause the chicken to sweat and become soggy.
Additionally, if you have leftovers, make sure they are cooled completely before storing them away. You may want to line the container with paper towels which can help absorb any extra moisture.
What is the best way to reheat fried chicken thighs?
The best way to reheat fried chicken thighs is to use an oven, or toaster oven if you have one. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a baking dish with olive oil.
Place the thighs on the baking dish and heat in the oven for around 15 minutes. If you want crispier skin, brush some melted butter or oil over them before heating them up.
To check if they are done, cut into one of the pieces and ensure that the meat is hot all the way through and that it’s not pink. Serve immediately once heated up and enjoy!
Fried chicken thighs recipe
Crispy Fried Chicken Thighs
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add the seasoned chicken to the hot skillet and let it fry for 5 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides.
Flip the thighs over and continue cooking them for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165F. Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Baked Fried Chicken Thighs
Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Place chicken thighs in a baking dish in a single layer and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder. In a separate bowl mix together melted butter, honey, and a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce; pour this mixture over the chicken thighs.
Garlic Parmesan Fried Chicken Thighs
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering; add chicken thighs to the pan with skin side down first and fry for about 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown on both sides.
Remove from pan onto a plate lined with a paper towel; season well with salt & pepper on both sides of each thigh.
Place cooked chicken back into the skillet with garlic mixture; flip each piece over so they are completely covered by the herb/garlic mixture in the pan
Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese generously on top of each piece of chicken thigh and cook another 2-3 minutes until cheese has melted completely into the sauce coating each piece nicely! Serve warm with your favorite sides!
Tips and tricks
1. Preheat your skillet or pan to medium-high heat before frying your chicken thighs. This ensures that the chicken will have a nice, crisp exterior.
2. For an even crispier result, lightly coat the chicken with flour or cornstarch before frying instead of using just oil.
3. Make sure all pieces are similar in size so they cook evenly and at the same rate.
4. When frying your chicken, be sure to leave plenty of space between each piece so you get maximum crispiness on all sides, not just one side!
5. To maximize flavor, season your chicken with salt and pepper prior to cooking for an added layer of flavor in every bite!
6. Flip your chicken over after about 5 minutes of cooking to ensure it cooks evenly from both sides.
7. Use a thermometer if you’re unsure when it’s done—it should read an internal temperature of 160°F when cooked through!
8. Let the fried chicken rest for several minutes after cooking before serving, as this allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat for optimal juiciness and flavor!
Should you fry chicken breast or thigh?
Chicken breast is usually the healthier option as it is lower in fat and calories than chicken thighs. It can be cooked more quickly, so it’s great for meals that need to come together quickly.
Why are the chicken thighs not crispy?
1. The chicken thighs might not have been cooked with enough heat or for long enough; insufficient heat and time can prevent the surface of the chicken from becoming crispy.
2. The chicken thighs may not have been adequately seasoned, as a lack of salt and other spices will stop them from achieving the desired crispness.
3. The thighs could have been cooked in oil that was too shallow, which would prevent them from coming out crispy, as they wouldn’t be able to achieve proper contact with the hot oil.
4. If the pan or oven used to cook the chicken had uneven spots of heat or exposure to flames, it could cause some areas to be undercooked while other parts become overcooked and burned on the outside, leading to a lack of crunchy texture.
5. If moisture was added during cooking, such as basting with oil or adding additional liquid ingredients into the pan, this could produce steam within the cooking environment which would lead to a softer instead of crunchier result for the chicken thighs in question.
And there you have it! A delicious recipe for fried chicken thighs that are sure to please. Now that we’ve reached the end, I hope you’ll give this a try and let me know how it goes. As always, thanks for reading and happy cooking!