Say goodbye to bland chicken and hello to this flavorful and hassle-free recipe for Easy Skillet Chicken Thighs. Using just a handful of staple spices and a quick stovetop cook, you can whip up juicy chicken thighs in no time to pair with your favorite side dishes!
Chicken thighs are a gem in the culinary world due to their rich flavor and succulent texture, making them a versatile protein for so many recipes. Unlike chicken breasts, which are lean and can easily dry out if overcooked, chicken thighs have a slightly higher fat content. This not only infuses them with flavor but also offers more forgiveness during cooking, ensuring a moist and tender result that absorbs any flavor.
This recipe for chicken thighs made in a skillet uses boneless skinless chicken thighs along with a very simple blend of seasonings you can find anywhere. And they’re a breeze to make! First, you'll mix up the spices and sprinkle them generously over the chicken thighs. Next, melt some butter in a skillet and let those thighs sizzle on one side. Flip them over, pour in a splash of chicken broth, and let them finish cooking until they're beautifully golden before resting and serving. That’s it!
Skillet chicken thighs can be served in a variety of different ways with lots of side dish options! Whether you're craving a pesto orzo pasta salad, twice baked potatoes, or bacon wrapped asparagus, these chicken thighs play well with them all. Mix and match your favorite sides, and you'll find that this dish can fit perfectly into any meal!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- These skillet chicken thighs are a flavor-packed protein, using everyday spices to elevate the dish to something that tastes amazing.
- With just one pan, you're looking at minimal cleanup, making weeknight dinners fuss-free.
- The perfect sear seals in juiciness, ensuring every bite is moist and tender.
- It's a versatile main course that pairs beautifully with many different sides, offering endless meal possibilities.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Seasonings - Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper come together in a perfect blend of flavors. The Italian seasoning brings a Mediterranean touch with its blend of herbs, while paprika offers a subtle smokiness and vibrant color. Garlic and onion powders introduce a savory depth, and the classic combo of salt and pepper ensures every bite is seasoned to perfection.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs - The star of the dish, they bring rich flavor and a tender texture, absorbing the seasonings beautifully.
- Butter - Introduces a creamy richness and aids in achieving that delicious golden sear on the chicken.
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth - Provides moisture during cooking, ensuring the chicken remains juicy while also adding a subtle, savory chicken flavor to the overall dish.
How To Cook Chicken Thighs In A Skillet
Prepare the chicken thighs: Trim any excess fat off of the chicken thighs. Pat dry on both sides with a paper towel.
Season the chicken thighs: Add Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together and sprinkle over both sides of the chicken thighs.
Sear the chicken in butter: Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add seasoned chicken, cook for 5-6 minutes on one side, then turn. Add chicken broth and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes until golden brown and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°.
Rest and serve: Remove chicken thighs, rest on a plate for 3-5 minutes before serving, and enjoy!
- Before seasoning, pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. This ensures a better sear and helps the spices adhere more effectively.
- When sprinkling the seasonings, ensure an even coat on both sides of the chicken to guarantee consistent flavor in each bite.
- Allow your chicken thighs to sit out for about 15-20 minutes before cooking. Starting with room-temperature meat promotes even cooking.
- Wait until the butter is fully melted and slightly foamy before adding the chicken. This prevents sticking and promotes a beautiful golden crust.
- Cook the chicken thighs in batches if necessary. Overcrowding the skillet can cause steaming instead of searing.
- Invest in a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F without overcooking.
- Allowing the cooked chicken to rest helps in retaining its juices, ensuring a moist and flavorful bite every time.
- Using a heavy-bottomed skillet, like cast iron, distributes heat evenly and retains temperature well, making it perfect for this dish.
- Instead of Italian seasoning, try a mix of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage for a fragrant, garden-fresh twist.
- For a kick of heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red chili flakes to the seasoning blend.
- Introduce a zesty freshness by sprinkling some lemon zest over the chicken thighs just before they're done cooking.
- Before adding chicken, sauté a mix of your favorite mushrooms in the butter for an earthy depth and additional texture.
- Replace paprika with a splash of soy sauce and a touch of ginger powder for an Asian-inspired flavor profile.
- Opt for bone-in chicken thighs for added flavor; just remember to adjust the cooking time, as they might take a bit longer.
- Instead of chicken broth, deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine for a sophisticated, aromatic sauce.
- Add a handful of cherry tomatoes to the skillet during the last few minutes of cooking for a pop of color and a juicy tang.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once your skillet chicken thighs have cooled to room temperature, place them in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the chicken in a skillet or oven until it's warmed through.
Freezing: Allow the chicken thighs to cool to room temperature. Place the thighs in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 1-2 hours. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag, pressing out as much air as possible before sealing. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to enjoy them, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and reheat them gently in a skillet or oven.
Chicken breasts can be used as a substitute for thighs, but be mindful of the cooking time, as breasts can dry out faster. Adjust accordingly and ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
While a cast-iron skillet retains heat well and provides an even sear, you can use any heavy-bottomed skillet or pan. Just ensure it's large enough to avoid overcrowding the chicken.
For thicker chicken thighs, after searing, you might want to lower the heat and cover the skillet, letting them cook gently. You can also finish cooking them in a preheated oven at 375°F until they reach the recommended internal temperature.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
- Creamy Ranch Chicken
- Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies
- Garlic Butter Chicken Bites
- White Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream
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Easy Skillet Chicken Thighs
- Add Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together and sprinkle over both sides of the chicken thighs.
- Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken, cook for 5-6 minutes on one side, then turn. Add chicken broth and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes until golden brown and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°.
- Remove chicken thighs, rest on a plate for 3-5 minutes before serving, and enjoy!
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.