Chicken Thighs Are Having a Moment

Versatile, affordable and packed with flavor, chicken thighs are gaining popularity and we don’t hate it.

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Photo by: Ben Fink ©Ben Fink Photography. All Rights Reserved

Ben Fink, Ben Fink Photography. All Rights Reserved

Marinated, slow-cooked, grilled, braised or broiled – chicken thighs can stand up to (and thrive) under almost any cooking method. Plus, they’re usually a bit cheaper than chicken breasts and leaps and bounds more flavorful. Bonus: They often come in bulk packaging, which is music to our meal-prepping ears.

So which kind to pick? We tend towards bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs—the bones lend a ton of flavor as you cook and, when seared, the skin crisps up to crunchy perfection. If you want a little less maintenance, the skinless, boneless variety are also super flavorful, just reduce the cooking time by a few minutes for recipes that call for bone-in, skin on and utilize quick-cooking methods like grilling or broiling.

Pile all the ingredients into a slow cooker in the morning and you’ll come home to a hearty, healthful soup that requires almost zero prep. If she has any on hand, Melissa d’Arabian likes to add a spoonful of leftover cooked rice right before serving, along with diced up avocado and sour cream.

Weeknight Cooking_ Instant Pot

Weeknight Cooking_ Instant Pot

Photo by: RYAN DAUSCH

RYAN DAUSCH

The oven does heavy lifting on achieving crispy, flavorful chicken thighs. Normally bitter, escarole gets brightened up with a maple-dijon dressing and sweet butternut squash.

A quick sear crisps up the skin, but the real flavor happens as the chicken thighs simmer in the tomato-beer sauce. Make sure the braising liquid only comes halfway up the sides of the chicken to ensure the skin stays crispy right until serving time.

Food Network Kitchen's 20-Minute Chicken Thighs And Couscous with Feta And Dill As seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

If you have 20 minutes, you have time to make a full (healthy) dinner. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs stay moist and flavorful, even under the heat of the broiler.

Got the taste for takeout but want to skip the crazy calories? A simple marinade imparts huge flavor, and a trip to the broiler ensures a lighter outcome than the fried fare you normally get when ordering in.

FN_Maple-Mustard-Chicken-Thighs

FN_Maple-Mustard-Chicken-Thighs

Photo by: Marshall Troy ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Marshall Troy, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

More than 100 five-star reviews can’t be wrong. Brush maple syrup and two types of mustard over the top of the chicken thighs to create a crispy crust as they bake.

Ree Drummond Rigatoni with Chicken Thighs as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Ree Drummond feeds a crowd with this quick tomato sauce, flavored with the bits at the bottom of the pan after searing the chicken.

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