10 Surprising Things to Do with Chicken Thighs

It's true: Chicken thighs are the unsung heroes of chicken dinners everywhere. From classic chicken casseroles to fantastic global dishes, dark, flavorful chicken thighs are the new go-to. Our clever chicken recipes will have you thinking twice about that pickle jar in your fridge and completely forgetting the takeout menus in your drawer.

Not-So-Basic Chicken Thigh Recipes

The next time there's a sale on chicken thighs, you'll know what to do. Read on for 10 ways to use chicken thighs to answer that nagging question, "What's for dinner?".

#1: Flavor with Brine

The pickle jar chillin' in your fridge is perfect for brining dark chicken thighs to salty, tangy perfection. Balance the flavor with lightly fruity wine sauce and chopped sweet peppers.

#2: Grind into Grill-Worthy Burgers

Bye-bye, beef burger. Use your food processor to make ground chicken thighs -- perfect for chicken burgers. The thigh meat stays moist, even on the grill.

#3: Tuck into Tamales

Ready to impress? Make tamales tonight. Sauced with salsa and folded into soft corn dough, regular chicken thighs look like the work of a classic Mexican chef. And you get the bragging rights.

#4: Make Over a Classic Chicken Recipe

Baking chicken thighs into a casserole just makes sense thanks to their rich flavor. In this case, we made chicken noodle soup even more comforting with gooey sour cream sauce and a turn in the oven.

#5: Make Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are all grown up, and we couldn't be prouder. The first step to adulthood is choosing juicy chicken thighs as the meat. Next up, nutty sesame seeds form the crispy coating you love, and a tangy honey vinaigrette replaces that packaged dipping sauce.

#6: Slow-Cook with Rice

Take your chicken dinner global. Congee is a classic Chinese rice dish that's perfect for chicken thighs. Where white meat might get lost amid spicy ginger, garlic, and sesame flavors, dark meat chicken thighs take a lead role.

#7: Add Serious Spice

Dunk your chicken thighs in our tantalizing Moroccan spice blend, and chicken dinner will never be the same. After the bold, seven-spice marinade, it’s off to the stove for a simmer in tangy tomato juice.

#8: Replace Chinese Takeout

Doused in sesame oil and plenty of garlic, this chicken recipe has the trademark flavors of moo shu pork but with hearty chicken thighs stepping in as the meat. Best of all, the restaurant-worthy dish cooks in your slow cooker.

#9: Roast with Fries

You want comfort food but preferably disguised as sophisticated French fare. Enter our Dijon-laced chicken thighs served with crispy, buttery, and oh-so-chic sweet potato fries.

#10: Dress Up Chicken Pot Pie

Fridge check: chicken thighs, veggies, and ... not much else. Why not uncork that bottle of barbecue sauce for a sultry Southern dinner worthy of celebration? Pick up a pie crust from the store to make this bold chicken casserole.

Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.