Americans eat a lot of chicken, and most of it comes in the form of chicken breast. While there’s a time and place for
chicken breast, we generally prefer the thigh—a juicier, more flavorful piece of the bird. Chicken thighs lend themselves beautifully to almost any preparation. From curry to kebabs to tacos, we’ve rounded up our favorite chicken thigh recipes.
Skewered and grilled, chicken thighs stay tender and get a smoky, charred flavor. For a taste of the Middle East, try our
with a marinade of garlic, cumin, and mint. Or skip the grill and use the stove and oven to make these shish taouk shawarma-inspired chicken thighs.
When it comes to traditional
Southern fried chicken, we recommend using the whole bird. But there are other fried chicken dishes where you just need the thighs. To make our chicken schnitzel sandwich, chicken thighs are pounded thin, crusted in panko, fried, and served on toasted challah with applesauce, radicchio, and horseradish cream.
The rich flavor of chicken thighs also stands up well to spicy curries. For a traditional Indian version, try our fiery
chicken vindaloo. Or cook your way to the Caribbean with our Jamaican curried chicken, a popular breakfast stew of chicken thighs bathed in a curry- and ginger-infused coconut milk. Find all of these dishes and more in our collection of best chicken thigh recipes.
A riot of colors and flavors, this banh mi pairs smoky grilled chicken with creamy, cooling avocado.
In this American Chinese classic, lightly battered chicken is tossed in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce. Though not traditional, apricot jam adds a welcome note of acidity and pop of color. Get the recipe for
General Tso’s Chicken
Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad
Philippine Barbecue Chicken Skewers
A generous blend of allspice, sumac, and ground cumin gives this communal chicken dish warming, citrusy, and smoky flavors.
Get the recipe for Palestinian Roast Chicken with Sumac and Red Onions (Mussakhan) »
Fragrant with spices and soft from overcooked rice, this Middle Eastern porridge is perfect comfort food.
Get the recipe for Omani Chicken and Rice Porridge (Madrouba) »
The chicken for this Japanese homestyle dish is traditionally coated in mochiko, sweet rice flour, before frying, but cooks at Ethel’s Grill in Honolulu, Hawaii, use Japanese potato starch to yield an extra-crispy crust.
Get the recipe for Hawaiian Fried Chicken (Mochiko Chicken with Ponzu) »
Get the recipe for Sri Lankan Chicken Buriyani »
Is there ever a bad time for soba noodles? Definitely not.
This party snack from Eric W. Bolyard of
Compagnie NYC keeps all the best parts of buffalo chicken—juicy meat, hot sauce, and crisp fried bits—in a neat and tidy package.
Adobo with Chicken Livers
Bake this tahcheen, a saffron rice with chicken, in a clear glass baking dish so you can check on the crisping of the rice’s bottom layer. Get the recipe for Baked Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken (Tahcheen-e Morgh) » Zachary Zavislak
Sesame oil and cilantro soup up this Russian classic with an eye on Japan.
Get the recipe for Russian Chicken and Dumplings Soup »
Paella Valenciana Recipe
Chicken Pilaf in a Lavash Crust (Khan Plov)
This richly spiced chicken dish is adapted from a recipe in Madhur Jaffrey’s classic
Flavors of India (West 175 Publishing, 1995). According to Jaffrey, “What gives this a very special southern flavor is the use of fennel seeds, curry leaves, and, of course, the pulse (legume) urad dal. This is definitely a dish you will want to make very frequently.” We couldn’t agree more. Get the recipe for Chettinad Pepper Chicken »
This recipe for puffy tacos filled with spicy chicken and guacamole comes from Rolando’s Super Tacos in San Antonio. Get the recipe for
Puffy Chicken Tacos
Carved out of ten former districts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangan officially became India’s 29th state in June 2014. For this eponymous dish from Telangana home cook Padma Reddy, the skin is removed from the chicken to allow the flavors of the marinade—coconut, lime, garlic, ginger, cardamom, mace and more—to penetrate.
Get the recipe for Telangana-Style Curried Chicken Stew »
This over-the-top Americanized paella gets its smoky kick from paprika and chorizo. Why “Americanized”? Traditional paella valenciana, as documented by David Rosengarten in
The Art of Paella, usually contains rabbit, snails, and chicken. Get the recipe for Paella with Chorizo, Chicken, and Shrimp (Paella Mixta) »
This tangy, spicy curry from Goa, India, has roots in vinh d’alho, a stew brought to the region by Portuguese colonists.
Get the recipe for Chicken Vindaloo »
Bathed in fragrant curry- and ginger-infused coconut milk, this stew is a popular breakfast dish at Kingston cafes.
A thick, aromatic walnut sauce adds luscious body and earthy flavor to this spiced chicken dish.
Redolent of garlic, cumin, and mint, these Middle eastern chicken kebabs can be served with basmati rice or flatbread.
Get the recipe for Spiced Chicken Kebabs with Garlic Yogurt Sauce (Shish Taouk) »
Dashi, an enhanced kelp stock with rich umami flavor, is a staple component of Japanese cooking; it has the remarkable effect of accentuating the flavors of anything cooked in it. At the Los Angeles restaurant
n/naka, chef Niki Nakayama uses it to braise chicken thighs and root vegetables for a hearty, comforting dish. Get the recipe for Dashi-Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables »
“This dish is a fun take on the fried chicken sandwich; the horseradish cream offsets the bitterness of the radicchio and the richness of the schnitzel nicely. I love to eat this as a late night snack at the end of service.” —
Eli Sussman, executive chef at New York’s Mile End Deli Get the recipe for Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich with Horseradish Cream and Radicchio »
Pigeon is traditionally used to make this slightly sweet, savory Moroccan pie, but chicken thighs, quail, or Cornish game hens make excellent substitutes.
Get the recipe for Moroccan Pigeon Pie (B’stilla) »