When I’m in the mood for chicken thighs, I want them to be juicy, tender and delicious. There are many different ways to cook chicken thighs, but one of my favorites is to simply sear them on both sides over medium heat until they develop a nice crust. This method takes about 10 minutes total, including two 5 minute resting periods after cooking each side and before serving or transferring them to another dish (if serving hot).
The best way to determine the exact cooking time for chicken thighs is to test them as you go.
The best way to determine the exact cooking time for chicken thighs is to test them as you go. As with any meat, cooking times will depend on the size of the chicken thighs, their thickness, and how hot your burner is set to. You can also test the chicken by cutting into one of the larger pieces to see if it’s done.
Choose a pan that is large enough to hold all of the chicken pieces.
You will need a large pan to cook the chicken in. If the pan is too big, the chicken will steam instead of browning. If it’s too small, you’ll have to cook your chicken in batches.
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel before cooking it (unless you want extra crispy skin).
- If you’re going to cook the thighs in a slow cooker, pat them dry before putting them in the slow cooker.
- Patting the chicken dry helps it to brown better and creates a crispy skin. This is especially important if you want extra crispy skin.
Coat the chicken with a small amount of oil or butter.
- Coat the chicken with a small amount of oil or butter. Oil helps keep the skin from sticking to the pan, while butter adds flavor and moisture. If you’re using a dry rub on your chicken thighs, however, skip this step–the seasoning will stick better without any fat added.
- Don’t use too much oil or butter! A little bit goes a long way here: too much will create pools of grease in your skillet that can burn easily once heated up, leaving behind an unpleasant taste in your final dish.
Season both sides of each thigh with your favorite spice rubs and/or herbs.
Seasoning rubs can be as simple as salt and pepper, or you can use your favorite herbs and spices. If using a dry rub (the most common method), simply season both sides of each thigh with it before cooking. If using a wet marinade instead of or in addition to a dry rub, marinate for at least 30 minutes but preferably overnight–this will help tenderize meat while adding flavor.
Place the chicken skin side down in a large skillet over medium heat.
Place the chicken skin side down in a large skillet over medium heat. Do not place the chicken on a cold pan, or you will have trouble getting it to seal properly. If you’re cooking more than one piece of chicken, be sure to leave plenty of room between pieces so that each gets its own heat source and cooks evenly.
Cook until there are seared brown spots on both sides, about 10 minutes total depending on how hot you have your burner set on.
This is the point where you should test the chicken. If it’s done, it will be firm and the juices that run out from the chicken will be clear. If not, continue cooking until done.
Turn off the heat after 10 minutes and let the chicken sit in the pan off heat for at least 5 minutes before serving or transferring to another dish to cool down (if serving hot).
- Turn off the heat after 10 minutes and let the chicken sit in the pan off heat for at least 5 minutes before serving or transferring to another dish to cool down (if serving hot).
- This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, which makes it juicier and more flavorful.
Using these guidelines will help you cook up some tasty and juicy chicken thighs!
- The size of the chicken thigh will affect cooking time. Smaller thighs will cook faster than larger ones, so you may need to adjust your cooking time accordingly.
- Your stovetop’s heat setting will also affect how long it takes for your chicken to cook through and brown on both sides. If your burner is set higher than medium-high (around 5 or 6), then add about 5 minutes onto each side for every inch of thickness in the meat (e.g., 1/2″ thick = 10 minutes per side). If it’s set lower than medium-high (around 3 or 4), then subtract about 5 minutes from each side for every inch of thickness in the meat (egs., 1/2″ thick = 15 minutes per side).
- “Hot pan” means preheated well before adding oil or butter; “hot pan + cold oil/butter = splatters everywhere!” Be sure not to crowd too many pieces into one pan at once–this could cause them all to steam rather than sear properly on both sides–and keep them moving around so they don’t stick together!
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be able to cook up some tasty and juicy chicken thighs.