Ever find yourself in the poultry section at the grocery store, wondering to yourself which cut of chicken you should buy for your chicken recipes? Most likely, you’re choosing between chicken thighs and chicken breasts, two of the most inexpensive cuts (and two of the most versatile). Here’s the differences between the two.
Chicken thighs have a reputation for being very flavorful and great for dishes with longer cooking times, like slow-cooker meals. This is because chicken thighs have a higher fat content than chicken breasts. Chicken thighs will sometimes come with the skin on, and this adds to the rich flavor. (Keep the skin on while cooking—the fat doesn’t soak into the meat, but keeps the good juices in. Discard after cooking if you don’t want the extra calories.) Chicken thighs also sometimes come with the bone in. Bone-in thighs are a little thicker and take a bit longer to cook than boneless chicken thighs.
Chicken breasts are leaner than chicken thighs, and are sold boneless and skinless. Because they are so lean, chicken breasts cook much quicker than chicken thighs, so they are great for cooking in a skillet or in a quick casserole.
Don’t have much time at all? Buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the store and throw shredded chicken into soups, casseroles, salads and more of our best chicken dinner ideas.