How Long To Boil Chicken Thighs?

How Long To Boil Chicken ThighsWhen it comes to chicken, I prefer the dark meat! Thighs are my preferred cut of chicken. They are juicy, tender, and have a full-bodied fatty flavor!

Chicken thighs are often baked, but what most people don’t know is that you can actually boil them! And they will taste just as great Sometimes I don’t have the time to slave over an oven or prepare fancy meals, so I boil chicken thighs and my family never knows the difference.

Today, I’m going to share with you MY method that will allow you to boil chicken thighs in a fraction of the time without compromising taste, flavor, or texture!

Read on to learn more!

So, How Long Should You Boil Chicken Thighs?

A small to medium sized chicken thigh can be boiled in about 5 to 7 minutes. You’ll want to add an additional 5 minutes for each extra thigh. So, if you’re feeding a family of 4, like me, I will boil chicken thighs for approximately 20 minutes!

Boiling Boneless versus Bone in Chicken Thighs

Of course, boiling time will vary depending on whether you have boneless or bone in chicken thighs.

  • For boneless chicken thighs, boil for 5 minutes
  • For bone-in chicken thighs, boil for 7 minutes

Boiling bone in chicken thighs longer allows the nutrients from the bone to seep through the chicken meat and even into the water. I will often use the water after boiling chicken to make a delicious healthy soup, adding in vegetables and other ingredients. Or you can use the broth for other recipes that call for standard chicken broth.

Boiling Frozen Chicken Thighs

Whether your chicken thighs are boneless or bone-in, add 2 minutes boil time to frozen chicken thighs.

Quick Reference Chart on Boiling Chicken Thighs

I’ve just given you a lot of numbers! So here is a quick chart you can reference if needed.

  • 1 Fresh Boneless Chicken Thigh – 5 minutes
  • 1 Fresh Bone-In Chicken Thigh – 7 minutes
  • 1 Frozen Boneless Chicken Thigh – 7 minutes
  • 1 Frozen Bone-In Chicken Thigh – 10 minutes
  • 4 Fresh Boneless Chicken Thighs – 20 minutes
  • 4 Fresh Bone-In Chicken Thighs – 28 minutes
  • 4 Frozen Boneless Chicken Thighs – 28 minutes
  • 4 Frozen Bone-In Chicken Thighs – 36 minutes
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If you need to boil more or less chicken thighs, just add or subtract as needed to figure up the boiling times!

How to Boil Chicken Thighs: Step by Step

Here is my step-by step guide on boiling chicken thighs, so you always end up with the juiciest and flavorful chicken!

Step 1: Prepare the water.

The first step is to grab a pot large enough for the amount of chicken thighs you want to boil. Bring the water to a boil first. I have learned that keeping the chicken thighs in the water for only the amount of time they need to be results in better quality meat when boiling! Add some salt to the water to increase the time it takes the water to boil.

Step 2 (optional): Prepare the Chicken.

While you are waiting for the water to boil, if you’re using frozen chicken now is a good time to rinse off any ice that might be on it!

Step 3: Add the chicken thighs to the water.

Now that the water is boiling, add in your chicken thighs. Make sure the water covers the thighs by at least an inch on top. Reduce the heat to medium and cover. Using the reference guide I provided above, boil for the appropriate amount of time!

Step 4: Take the chicken’s temperature.

If you have a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the chicken. If it has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is safe to eat. This is according to the USDA guidelines. (AskUSDA). If you don’t have one handy, I have tested the above boiling times and they have never failed me!

Step 5: Take the chicken out and let rest.

Place the chicken thighs in a medium sized bowl and let them sit for about one minute. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in juicier and tender chicken!

Step 5: Season if preferred.

Just because you boil chicken thighs doesn’t mean you can’t season them! After letting them sit for a minute, sprinkle with some seasoning. You can also follow my process below!

Step 6: Eat and enjoy!

Eat them as part of your meal for lunch or dinner, or even a high-protein snack. You can also use chicken thighs to shred into a salad or taco!

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Tips for Boiling Chicken Thighs

Here are some tips to ensure you end up with the best meat!

  1. Don’t add the chicken thighs to the water until it’s boiling. It’s possible to overboil chicken. The longer the chicken stays in the water, the more moisture that will be sucked out. Then you just end up with dry chicken. Ironic, I know.
  2. Don’t consume undercooked poultry. If you are ever unsure that your chicken thighs aren’t done and you have followed the boiling instructions, take a meat thermometer and measure the internal temperature. As long as it’s 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re set!
  3. Rinse the thin, icy layer covering the chicken thigh before boiling (if frozen). This will help get some of the excess moisture off and make for easier boiling.

You Have Ready to Eat Chicken Thighs, Now What?

You can eat freshly boiled chicken thighs plain or use seasoning to spice them up a bit! Here’s what I do:

  1. Grab a gallon size Ziploc bag and place your chicken thighs in it. A plastic bag will work just as well!
  2. Sprinkle your seasoning of choice over the chicken. My go to seasoning is herb and garlic. Yum!
  3. Shake the bag vigorously for about 30 seconds.
  4. Place the chicken on a serving plate. I also add a dash of salt and pepper.

Serve for dinner, or whenever you want a delicious, tasty chicken thigh!

Wrapping Up

And this wraps up today’s post! Next time you’re wondering how long to boil chicken thighs, make sure you have this page bookmarked. Whether frozen or fresh, boneless or bone-in, you CAN boil chicken thighs and they will maintain their tender, flavor profile! Don’t be afraid to try it out.

As long as you follow my tested and tried boiling guidelines, you’ll end up with chicken thighs to die for! Everyone will be asking you just how you did it!

Let us know in the comments how they turn out for you! 🙂