Looking for a cheaper alternative to boneless skinless chicken breast, which can often go for more than six dollars a pound? Choose chicken thighs – they are meaty, moist, flavorful and a frugal buy. Best yet, they are quite versatile and easy to prepare.
Why choose chicken thighs?
Apart from costing less money per pound compared to boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs give you more meat for your dollar. As a bonus, because they are on the bone, they stay more moist and flavorful than boneless cuts, which means they are harder to overcook and dry out. Chicken thighs are also quite versatile and easy to prepare – giving you many mouthwatering meals that cost less than dishes based on chicken breasts.
The many things you can do with chicken thighs
Chicken thighs are excellent in slow-cooked braises on the stove, in the oven, or in crock pots. Thighs can be grilled for summer meals, roasted for hearty suppers, fried for down-home cooking, and baked or even boiled. Best yet, chicken thighs make great leftovers – they continue to stay tender and moist after reheating. Though they have more calories and fat compared to chicken breasts, you’ll find chicken thighs to be much more flavorful. If you are worried about the fat, be sure to peel the skin off – but do it after cooking since the skin keeps the meat juicy and moist. Also, the bones in chicken thighs can be used for flavorful stocks and sauces – so essentially, nothing on the chicken thigh goes to waste.
Garlic Chicken Thighs
Makes 6 servings
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 6 chicken thighs, with skin
- Preheat broiler and grease a baking pan with cooking spray.
- Combine butter, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and parsley in a bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute or until butter melts.
- Place chicken on baking pan and drizzle with about half of butter mixture. Broil chicken for 20 minutes, basting occasionally with remaining butter. Thighs are done when the meat is cooked through to the bone.
- Remove thighs from oven and sprinkle with extra dried or fresh minced parsley. Serve warm.
Tequila Braised Chicken Thighs
Makes 4 servings
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 8 skinless chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 pounds)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion (about 1 medium)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dried tropical fruit
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 1 lime, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Combine flour, paprika and garlic powder in a bowl. Season chicken with salt then dredge chicken in flour mixture.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken in pan about 4 minutes per side. Move chicken to a prepared baking dish. Add onion to skillet and saute about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 1 minute.
- Add fruit, juice and tequila to a bowl and cook in microwave for 2 minutes. Pour fruit mixture into skillet with onions and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute. Pour mixture over chicken, top with lime slices, and cook chicken about 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
Crock Pot Chicken
Makes 6 servings
- 4 chicken legs and thighs
- 1 whole chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 6 tablespoons butter
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 can mushroom soup
- Combine chicken, onion, butter and lemon juice in a crock pot. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 3-1/2 hours.
- Add soup to pot and stir to combine liquid. Cook in crock pot until heated through. Serve with rice or pasta.