Perfectly Cooked Chicken Thighs

Love the simplicity of herbs, salt and slow growth chicken thighs

Active time: 10 minutes • Total time: 20 minutes

Posted on Oct 29, 2016 by Jack McCann
Tags: handbook recipes newsletter article chicken thighs

If at first you don't succeed...

Perhaps my favorite story of chicken thighs was from about 5 years ago.  A member LOVED everything about our chicken, but just couldn't get the thighs to work well for her.  She had a favorite recipe that had always turned out great until she started using our slow growth chicken thighs.  

And she was DETERMINED to figure it out.  Every month we'd send her a new set of thighs and she'd report back that it still just didn't have the right texture. I admired her perseverance.  

We went back and forth, asking questions and collaborating on her recipe and technique.  

Then one day, she called SO excited to report that she had just made the best meal ever; she was a fan of our chicken ever since. 

The difference

The thing about the 6-week old chickens available in the store is they are really forgiving but usually turn out a bit mushy without much flavor (besides whatever sauce you might make).  

Our chicken really takes a little more care to get the texture right.  That's why really experienced cooks often have a hard time changing to our chicken -- they are used to their favorite recipes that work well with factory chickens, but not with heritage birds.

The easy secret

It really is easy to make sure our chicken's texture turns out great.  

All you need is a  good thermometer

Check that every part of the thigh is 175-180 degrees before allowing them to rest for 5 min.

Simple Recipe

I actually hadn't cooked a chicken thigh for maybe a year or two!.  I've been a little obsessed over testing and then enjoying our  Chicken Sous Vide.  

So I decided I should do some updated tests to get a little better recipe to follow:

  1. Thaw the thighs overnight on a plate (in a fridge!) 
  2. Sprinkle with sea salt on both sides
  3. Heat up a heavy pan over medium-high heat, we prefer  cast iron (or cook on a hot grill)
  4. Add some sort of saturated fat to the pan (bacon, butter, coconut)
  5. Place the thighs into the pan skin down and cook until the skin is a deep golden brown (~7-10 minutes)
  6. Flip the thighs over to cook the other side
  7. Sprinkle some Herbs de Provence (or other dried herb like thyme or rosemary) 
  8. Cook until all parts of the thigh are 175-180 degrees. You may want to flip back over to prevent the bottom side from burning.... also sprinkle the herbs on the underside as well one you turn over again.
  9. It may take another 5-10 min to get fully up to temp, or longer if your thighs were not fully thawed. Sometimes I need to turn the heat down to med-low so I don't burn the outside of the meat 

Always allow meat to rest for 3-5 min before cutting.  Larger pieces 10-15 min. 

Other tips

I previously wrote this article with other tips for our dark meat chicken... Check that out too!  

Comments (0)

 Add a Comment

Add a Comment

Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment:

Featured Posts

Recent Posts