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Chicken Thighs

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What is it?

Chicken thighs are the top part of the chicken leg where it connects to the body (as opposed to the drumstick, which is the bottom half).

Because they are dark meat, chicken thighs cook up moist and tender. They offer all the benefits of chicken breasts—convenience and fast cooking—without the tendency to turn tasteless and dry, thanks to their slightly higher fat content.

Bone-in and skin-on, they’re great for roasting and braising. More markets are also featuring boneless, skinless thighs, which cook up quickly making them great the for grill or the saute pan.

How to choose:

Thighs from mass-produced chickens tend to be larger than those from their free-range kin, so be sure to check the weight on the package so you buy the right amount; you may need more of the smaller thighs.

How to prep:

Remove any large pockets of fat, but don’t worry about getting every bit, as it’s the fat that will help keep the thigh moist during cooking. Even if you’re leaving the skin on, trim any skin that extends farther than the edges of the chicken thigh.

If you’re used to cooking chicken breast, bear in mind that thighs cook darker. Breast meat clearly changes color (from pink to white) when fully cooked, but thighs look pinkish-brown even when thoroughly cooked.

How to store:

Refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.

Cross Reference

chicken legs; chicken leg quarters

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