👨‍🍳 Crispy Fried Chicken Thighs Recipe | Easy & Delicious

by | Jul 1, 2024 | Chicken Recipes, Fried Chicken Recipes

Who doesn’t love the irresistible crunch of perfectly fried chicken? But have you ever wondered why some thighs are golden and crispy while others are not?

This recipe will show you how to get that perfect crunch and amazing flavor at home. With just 15 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook, you’ll make super crispy fried chicken thighs. They’re simple to make and incredibly tasty.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Recipe calls for 3 lb of chicken drumsticks or thighs.
  • Utilize 4 cups of whole milk or water for the brine.
  • Recommended internal temperature for fried chicken is 165°F.
  • Marinate chicken thighs in buttermilk for up to 24 hours for optimal tenderness.
  • The mixture of flour and cornstarch ensures a crispy coating.
  • Total calorie content per serving is approximately 515kcal.
  • The recipe serves one person according to the serving size provided.

Introduction to Crispy Fried Chicken Thighs

Fried chicken thighs are loved for their crispy skin and juicy meat. They’re perfect for family get-togethers or a simple meal. Learn the right way to cook them, and you can make a dish everyone will enjoy.

Why Choose Chicken Thighs?

Chicken thighs have more flavor and tenderness because they have more fat. This fat keeps them moist inside while getting crispy outside. Thighs stay juicy, unlike chicken breasts which can dry out.

  • More flavorful and juicier than other cuts
  • Retain moisture well, making them perfect for frying
  • Cost-effective and versatile in various recipes

Benefits of Homemade Fried Chicken

Making fried chicken at home is better than buying it. You can choose the best ingredients and control how healthy the meal is. It’s also a fun way to spend time in the kitchen.

  1. Customization: Adjust seasonings to suit your taste preferences.
  2. Quality Control: Use fresh, high-quality ingredients.
  3. Healthier Option: Avoid excessive use of unhealthy fats and preservatives.
  4. Cost-Effective: Save money by preparing at home.
  5. Homemade Cooking Advantages: Enjoy the satisfaction of crafting a meal from scratch.

Making your fried chicken means you get to enjoy all these benefits. It’s about taking joy in cooking and savoring delicious, homemade meals.

Ingredients Needed for Your Fried Chicken Thighs

The key to the best fried chicken thighs is using top-notch ingredients and seasonings. Quality items make your dish flavorful and crunchy.

Essential Seasonings

Seasonings are key for tasty, crispy fried chicken thighs. You’ll need seasoning for fried chicken such as Salt, Black Pepper, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Cayenne Pepper.

All-purpose flour and these spices create a tasty, crispy outer layer. You can also add dry rosemary, cardamom powder, and more for a special taste.

Recommended Oils

Selecting the best oil for frying is critical for a perfect crust. Choose oils with high smoking points to handle the needed high frying temperatures without losing quality.

Oil Type Smoking Point Benefits
Corn Oil 450°F (232°C) Neutral flavor, high smoking point
Light Olive Oil 465°F (240°C) Stable at high temperatures, mild taste
Peanut Oil 450°F (232°C) High smoke point, adds rich flavor

Choose the right oils to keep your chicken crispy outside and juicy inside. Use a thermometer to keep the oil at 180°C (355°F) for perfect frying.

Gather the best ingredients and perfect your cooking to make a delicious fried chicken meal. It’s guaranteed to be tasty with every bite.

Step-by-Step Fried Chicken Thighs Recipe

This section shows you how to make crispy, flavorful chicken thighs step by step. It includes preparation, brining, and frying steps for the best results. Just follow these directions for perfect fried chicken.

Preparation and Brining

First get your ingredients ready. You’ll need 10 chicken thighs, without bone or skin. They should be about 3.5 to 4 pounds. Brining the chicken makes it juicy. Soak the thighs in buttermilk mixed with spices for 2 hours. This makes the meat tender and tasty.

Coating and Seasoning

After brining, take out the chicken thighs and dry them off. Mix some flour for coating them. You can use different kinds like semolina, rice, or all-purpose. But flour is what makes the chicken crispy. Add salt, pepper, and any spices you like to the flour. Then, coat each thigh with this seasoned flour.

step-by-step fried chicken thighs

Frying Techniques and Tips

To fry chicken right, follow these steps. Heat your frying oil to 375°F in a fryer or skillet. Then carefully put the coated thighs in the oil. Make sure not to put too many at once. It should take 10 to 12 minutes to fry each batch. Cook them about 7 to 8 minutes on each side until they reach 165°F inside. You can cook them a bit longer for extra juiciness to hit 185°F inside.

Keep the fried pieces warm in a low oven at 200°F as you finish frying the rest. This step helps your chicken stay crispy and tasty. By carefully following these step-by-step fried chicken thighs instructions, you will have delicious, crunchy chicken. Enjoy!

Choosing the Best Chicken Thighs

Choosing high-quality chicken thighs is key for great fried chicken. They are very versatile and offer a delicious, juicy taste.

  • Freshness: Pick fresh thighs when you can. They hold more moisture and flavor, making your dish juicier.
  • Organic and Free-Range: Go for organic or free-range if possible. They’re tastier and have less additives that can affect the food’s quality.
  • Color and Texture: Choose thighs that are pink and firm. Stay away from grey or sticky-looking meat.
  • Fat Content: The right amount of fat is crucial for flavor and juiciness, something thighs have plenty of.
  • Size: Make sure your thighs are all the same size. This ensures they cook evenly.

Chef Thomas Keller says great fried chicken starts with top quality chicken. His recipe involves brining the thighs for eight hours to make them even juicier and tastier.

Knowing how long to cook your chicken is also key. This table will help you get it just right:

Chicken Cut Recommended Cooking Time
Drumsticks 10-12 minutes per side
Thighs 7 minutes per side
Breasts 8-10 minutes per side
Wings 8-10 minutes total

For frying, tallow (beef fat) is best for juicy and crispy chicken. Chef Keller prefers tallow over vegetable oils because of its cooking properties.

By focusing on the chicken thighs and how you fry them, you can make outstanding fried chicken that will impress everyone.

Secrets to Achieving Crispy Skinned Chicken

Nothing beats the crunch of crispy skin on fried chicken. Achieving that perfect crispy layer involves specific methods and ingredients. For example, using cornstarch and flour, and watching the frying heat are key.

Using Cornstarch and Flour

Combine cornstarch and flour for a secret to crispiness. Flour gives a light cover, while cornstarch for crunch adds a super crisp texture. It’s best to use 50% flour and 50% cornstarch. This mix helps hold moisture and makes a beautiful crispy shell.

Don’t forget seasoning for taste and extra crunch. Mix salt, pepper, and paprika with your flour and cornstarch. This seasoned mix will give your fried chicken a delicious flavor and a satisfying crunch.

Optimal Frying Temperature

Frying chicken at the right temperature is critical. The best range is between 325°F to 350°F. Keeping the heat within this range ensures your chicken is cooked inside and crispy outside.

Start by heating your oil to 350°F. When you add the chicken, the temperature will drop, aiming for 325°F. A good thermometer is your best friend here. This way, you avoid burning or greasy chicken.

These strategies—right flour-cornstarch mix and careful heat control—will make your chicken thighs crispy every time. By using these tips, you ensure your chicken is crispy, juicy, and tasty. Each bite promises a delicious experience.

Southern Fried Chicken Thighs: A Classic Twist

Dive into a classic with the Southern fried chicken thighs recipe. It’s all about the rich flavors and cooking secrets from the South. These recipes have been treasured for years.

Traditional Seasonings

To make genuine Southern fried chicken thighs, key seasonings are garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Don’t forget seasoned salt, smoked paprika, and black pepper for a full taste.

Seasoning Quantity
Garlic Powder 1/2 tsp
Onion Powder 1/2 tsp
Cayenne Pepper 1-2 tsp
Smoked Paprika 1-2 tsp
Salt & Black Pepper Pinch

Cooking Methods

Deep frying in a deep fryer or cast-iron skillet is a must for crispy, juicy chicken. Keep the oil hot between 170C-180C (340°F-360°F). Also, cook chicken to 165°F (74°C) inside.

Southern fried chicken thighs recipe

After cooking, let the chicken settle for 10 minutes. This makes it even better. Or, try an air fryer for a healthier option. Mix and match Southern flavors and methods for the ideal meal anytime.

Oven Fried Chicken Thighs: A Healthier Alternative

Oven frying is a healthier choice than deep frying. It cuts down on oily mess but keeps the crunch. This method lets you make yummy, crispy thighs at home without lots of oil.

Oven Preparation Techniques

First, heat your oven to 400 degrees F for crispy skin and juicy meat. For the coating, gather flour, season salt, onion & garlic powder, paprika, eggs, milk, and cornflakes. Buttermilk and panko breadcrumbs are good alternates.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix flour, season salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.
  4. Dip each chicken thigh in the egg mixture, then coat with the flour mixture.
  5. Press crushed cornflakes onto the coated chicken for a crispy texture.

Recommended Baking Times

The right bake time is key for delicious oven fried chicken. Grease a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until 165 degrees F inside. Broil for extra crunch for 2-3 minutes. Let it sit 5 minutes before digging in.

Here are the baking steps and times you need:

Step Action Time
Preheat Oven Preheat to 400 degrees F 5 minutes
Bake Chicken Bake until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F 45 minutes
Broil Broil for extra crispiness 2-3 minutes
Rest Let chicken rest before serving 5 minutes

Follow these directions and times for crispy, healthy fried chicken. It’s tasty, satisfying, and good for you.

Skillet Fried Chicken Thighs: Quick and Easy

Skillet fried chicken thighs are a fast, tasty dinner choice. With simple ingredients and a cast-iron skillet, you get a crisp meal in no time. This method is quick and perfect for hectic nights.

Using Cast-Iron Skillets

Nothing beats the crispy skin of chicken thighs cooked in a cast-iron skillet. It keeps an even heat, cooking the chicken throughout. A 12″ skillet fits eight thighs perfectly, which is about two pounds.

Shallow Pan Frying Tips

Shallow pan frying is the key to an easy and tasty meal. It lets you cook the thighs in oil halfway up, keeping them juicy inside. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Preheat your skillet to make sure the oil is at the right temp, typically 165-170°F.
  • Using a splatter guard helps keep your kitchen clean and you safe from hot oil.
  • Turn the thighs over after 6-8 minutes for an even, golden color.
  • Keep the oil hot throughout to avoid soggy chicken.

Follow these steps for a crispy yet moist dish. It’s ready in under 25 minutes, perfect for a quick and tasty family meal.

Cooking Time Details
Preparation Time 5 minutes
Cooking Time 11 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Servings 6 People

Brining: The Secret to Juicy Fried Chicken Thighs

Brining chicken thighs changes the game for juicy, flavorful meat. The key is soaking the chicken in seasoned brine. This method uses water or a milk brine, which adds acid. The acid makes the chicken more tender and keeps it moist when you cook it.

brining chicken thighs

Brining can boost the moisture in chicken by up to 20%. A basic brine includes 8 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, and 4 tablespoons of sugar. You can also add flavor with garlic, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. This mix not only tastes great but also keeps the chicken juicy.

It also helps the chicken keep 25% more flavor. Ideally, the chicken sits in the brine in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours. Make sure the brine is at room temperature. This helps the chicken absorb the flavors well.

Here’s a look at a standard brine’s main ingredients:

Ingredients Quantity
Cold Water 8 cups
Kosher Salt 2 tbsp
Sugar 4 tbsp
Garlic 4 cloves
Black Peppercorns 1 tbsp
Bay Leaves 3 leaves

Milk brine recipes are perfect for extra flavor. They make the chicken super tender and juicy. Piercing the chicken helps the seasoning get in better.

After brining, always rinse the chicken. This removes excess salt. It keeps the dish from being too salty, and makes the flavor perfect.

Brining takes about 4 hours more, but it’s totally worth it. This method gets a lot of love for always turning out juicy, tasty chicken thighs.

Fried Chicken Thighs Recipe: A Simple and Delicious Meal

Want a tasty and fulfilling dinner? Try this fried chicken thighs recipe. It’s easy and quick to make. You’ll only need a few simple ingredients from your kitchen.

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll need for this meal, from MelanieCooks.com:

  • Prep time: 3 minutes
  • Cook time: 12 minutes
  • Total time: 15 minutes
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Calories 278kcal
Protein 18g
Fat 22g
Saturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 110mg
Sodium 87mg
Potassium 231mg
Vitamin A 90IU
Calcium 9mg
Iron 0.8mg

This recipe is simple and nutritious. It’s packed with 21 grams of protein per serving. So, it’s tasty and healthy too.

Make a quick and delicious chicken meal for your next dinner. It’s easy and perfect for weeknights.

Many people love this recipe, with 855 Pins and 933 Shares. It shows that home cooks really like it.

Serving Suggestions for Fried Chicken Thighs

Crispy fried chicken thighs work well with many sides and drinks. Try these fried chicken thighs serving suggestions for a better meal.

Complementary Side Dishes

Many side dishes go great with chicken, enhancing its flavors. Here are some top picks to go with your fried chicken:

  • Mandarin Broccoli Salad: This salad brings a tangy touch to your meal.
  • Creamy Pasta Salad: A popular choice that complements the chicken’s texture.
  • Panera Mac and Cheese: It’s creamy goodness sits well with fried chicken.
  • Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes: Their sweet and salty flavor is a perfect match for chicken.

Pairing with Beverages

Finding the right drink can really lift your chicken meal. Check out these great options:

  • Chardonnay: Its smooth finish pairs nicely with the chicken’s crispiness.
  • IPA Beer: It’s bitterness contrasts well with the fried chicken’s richness.
  • Iced Tea: A Southern favorite that refreshes as you eat.
  • Lemonade: Offers a cooling, sweet, and zesty complement to the dish.

For more ideas on serving fried chicken thighs, head to this recipe guide. You can also find more chicken side dish options there.

Whether it’s a family dinner or a big party, picking the right sides and drinks makes the meal great. Learn more about making fried chicken stand out with this detailed guide on chicken thigh recipes.

Storing and Reheating Fried Chicken Thighs

Want to keep that fried chicken flavor just right? Just store it well. Storing fried chicken means chilling it within two hours. Put it in an airtight container or wrap it in foil. This keeps it fresh in the fridge for three to four days or frozen for up to four months.

Proper Storage Techniques

Good chicken storage tips keep your food safe and tasty. Use flat, airtight containers for even cooling and to prevent bacteria. When freezing, first wrap each piece in foil or paper, then put them in a bag.

Storage Method Duration Tips
Refrigeration 3-4 days Use shallow airtight containers
Freezing Up to 4 months Wrap individually, use freezer bags

Maintaining Crispy Texture

To reheat and keep that chicken crispy, don’t make it soggy. Use the oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. Use a rack or foil for a crispy outside. Or try an air fryer at 375°F for 2-3 minutes each side. It brings back the crunch.

Here are some good reheating methods:

  1. Oven Reheating: Preheat to 400°F, let the chicken warm up at room temp (10-30 minutes), then bake it on a rack or foil for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Air Fryer: Set to 375°F. Reheat for 2-3 minutes per side.
  3. Skillet Frying: Warm the oil to 300°F. Fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Don’t use the microwave; it makes the chicken soggy and uneven. If you must, put a paper towel under the chicken. This soaks up the moisture. Heat it in short times, and turn it often.

For safety, make sure the inside of the chicken is 165°F when you’re done reheating. This ensures it’s tasty and safe to eat.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Fried Chicken Thighs

Frying chicken thighs just right can be tricky. But, steering clear of mistakes can help you nail that perfect, crunchy bite. This guide is for anyone, whether you’re new to cooking or an old pro.

Overcrowding the Pan

Don’t pack too many chicken thighs in your pan. If you do, the temperature will drop, and they’ll turn out steamed, not fried. This leads to soggy skin and meat that’s cooked all wrong. For the best outcome, go for a heavy-bottomed pan and space your chicken out well.

Incorrect Oil Temperature

Getting the oil temperature wrong is a big mistake. Aim for 350 degrees Fahrenheit to get a perfect crust without over or undercooking. Steer clear of using extra-virgin olive oil. It has a low smoke point, which can make your chicken taste bad and too greasy. Stick to high smoke point oils like peanut or vegetable.

Frying Element Recommended Practice
Pan Overcrowding Use a heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven, and do not crowd the pieces.
Oil Temperature Maintain constant 350 degrees Fahrenheit; avoid extra-virgin olive oil.

By understanding these small details, you can skip common mistakes. This way, your fried chicken thighs will turn out just how you want them. Golden, crispy, and oh-so-delicious every single time.

Nutrition Facts and Health Considerations

Knowing the nutrition and health facts of fried chicken thighs is key. It’s crucial for a healthy diet. Looking at the nutrition info can guide smart dietary choices.

Calorie and Fat Content

Fried chicken thighs vary in calories and fats, depending on how they’re cooked. Below is a breakdown of their nutritional values:

Chicken Cut Calories Fat (g) Protein (g) Sodium (mg) Selenium (mcg) Niacin (mg)
Rotisserie Chicken Thigh (70g, skinless) 135 7.5 16.9 234 16.2 3.8
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (100g) 158 3.24 32.1 47 1.58
Roasted Chicken Wing with Skin (85g) 216 14.4 20.2 83.3 21.7 5.4
Roasted Chicken Leg with Skin (258g) 475 23.2 61.9 253 66.3 15.6

Balancing with a Healthy Diet

Health considerations when adding fried chicken to your diet are important. Fried chicken thighs offer protein, selenium, and niacin. Yet, remember their high calorie and fat content.

Picking fried chicken thighs wisely enhances muscle, brain, and bone health. Adding nutrient-rich sides and watching portion sizes is smart. Knowing the nutrition details helps enjoy fried chicken while watching health.

  • Protein in chicken aids muscle growth and maintenance.
  • Moderate intake can help avoid excess calorie consumption.
  • Include vegetables and whole grains to balance the meal.


Making the perfect homemade chicken thighs is both fun and tasty. It brings back memories of classic comfort food. Every step is crucial, from brining to choosing the right cuts of thigh. The 7-7-7 method and other techniques make the chicken crispy and juicy. Doing this brings convenience and joy to cooking.

You can choose different flavors like Southern Fried or spicy kinds. Or you can go for garlic and herbs. Making sure the chicken is fully cooked, at 165°F, is important for safety. Cooking for 12 to 15 minutes on each side makes the chicken turn out great, no matter its size.

When it comes to fried chicken, the preparation is key. Whether you fry it in a classic skillet or use modern ways, how you do it matters. We’ve learned a lot, like brining in buttermilk and picking high-quality chicken. These insights make the meal not just delicious but also a way to honor a cooking tradition.


What makes chicken thighs ideal for frying?

Chicken thighs are more juicy and tasty than other parts, which is great for frying. They keep their moisture, giving a full flavor.

How long does it take to cook crispy fried chicken thighs?

Preparation takes about 15 minutes, while cooking needs 20 more. So, you’ll spend around 35 minutes to enjoy crispy chicken thighs.

What are the essential seasonings for fried chicken thighs?

Salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder are key. Adding cornstarch to the flour boosts the skin’s crispiness.

What oils are recommended for frying chicken thighs?

Use oils like corn or light olive with high smoke points. These oils make the chicken crispy outside and moist inside.

How do you ensure the chicken thighs get crispy?

Use a mix of cornstarch and flour for a crispy crust. Keep the oil at the right temperature. Don’t crowd the pan.

Can I make a healthier version of fried chicken thighs?

Yes, you can make them healthier by oven frying. Prepare and bake at the right temperature for a crispy, even result.

What is the best way to store and reheat leftover fried chicken thighs?

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in an oven or air fryer to keep them crispy. Avoid the microwave.

What are traditional Southern seasonings for fried chicken thighs?

Southern flavors include garlic and onion powder, and cayenne. They add a rich, classic taste to the chicken.

What is the secret to frying chicken thighs so they are juicy inside?

Brine them in seasoned milk or water. Use ingredients like garlic and bay leaves for flavor. This step makes them juicy and delicious.

How do you avoid common mistakes when frying chicken thighs?

Avoid overcrowding the pan for even cooking. Make sure the oil temperature is right. This prevents greasy or undercooked chicken.

What are some good side dishes to serve with fried chicken thighs?

Mandarin Broccoli Salad, Creamy Pasta Salad, and Panera Mac and Cheese are great choices. Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes also go well with fried chicken.

Are there nutritional considerations when eating fried chicken thighs?

Yes, they are high in calories and fat. Enjoy them in moderation with light sides for a balanced meal.

What are the benefits of making homemade fried chicken thighs?

Making them at home lets you control the seasoning and quality. It’s rewarding and ensures a fresh, tasty meal.

What are the key techniques for skillet frying chicken thighs?

For skillet frying, use a cast-iron pan and shallow fry. This method results in chicken that’s evenly cooked and crispy.