Cooking chicken thighs—especially the bone-in, skin-on variety—can be scary for people who've only ever cooked with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I know because I used to be one of these people. At the grocery store, I would often find myself thinking, "why would anyone bother with anything else, when boneless, skinless breasts are so easy?"
Well, there are actually a few reasons to bother. For one, chicken thighs are usually cheaper than breasts. Plus, dark meat (which is actually quite nutritionally similar to white meat) is super flavorful.
As for the bone-in, skin-on stuff, they're actually not all that hard to work with. Because of the bone, they may need a little longer in the oven or on the stove than a boneless breast might, but as long as you're making sure you're cooking them until they're safe to eat (160 degrees F at the deepest point), everything else will fall into place. And, if you'd rather not risk it, boneless thighs cook at the same rate as boneless breasts. Think of those as training wheels for the big stuff.
Still not sure about chicken thighs? These 12 recipes will bring you over to the dark (meat) side.
This story originally appeared on Self.
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