Can You Boil Chicken Thighs? The Typical Recipe

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Not only are chicken thighs a tasty food that many people enjoy, but they are also a good source of nutrition. Perhaps some of you have ever wondered “Can you boil chicken thighs”. This guide will show you detailed information about how to boil chicken thighs, how long to boil them, and 4 things you should avoid to have delicious chicken thighs.

Can You Boil Chicken Thighs? A Step-by-step Guide

step to boil chicken thighs

Steps to boil chicken thighs

Boiling is a good way to keep the chicken moist and juicy, you can do it easily. Boiling chicken thighs is simple and can be the foundation for many delicious recipes.

We don’t actually boil them for the whole process but keep them simmering to ensure they are flavorful and soft, not dry or overcooked. We introduce a way to boil combining 7 steps to have boiled chicken thighs that is unmatched by any other dish below.

steps to boil chicken thighs

Boil chicken thighs

The recipe instructs you how to boil chicken thighs
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 50 minutes


  • 1 Stockpot
  • 1 Tongs or slotted spoon
  • 1 Meat thermometer (optional)


  • Chicken thighs
  • Water (enough to cover the chicken in the pot)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Thyme (optional)
  • Aromatics (optional: onions, garlic, or herbs)


  • Prepare the Chicken:
    Clean the chicken thighs by removing any excess fat or skin, if desired. If using aromatics, chop or crush them.Place the chicken thighs in a stockpot.
  • Season the Chicken:
    Season the chicken with salt, black pepper, and optionally, thyme.
  • Boil the Chicken:
    Transfer the seasoned chicken thighs to another stockpot if desired. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Place the pot on high heat and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for 40-50 minutes.
  • Check for Doneness:
    The internal temperature of the chicken thighs should reach 165°F (74°C). Use a meat thermometer to check or ensure the juices run clear and the meat is not pink when cut.
  • Remove from Heat:
    Turn off the stove and use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the chicken thighs from the pot
  • Cool & Use:
    Allow the chicken to cool before shredding or cutting it for your recipe.The remaining broth can be strained and saved for other dishes.
  • Storing:
    Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Can You Boil Chicken Thighs For Soup?

how to boil chicken thighs for soup
How to boil chicken thighs for soup

After boiling chicken thighs, some of you may wonder if we can cook chicken soup for better flavor, of course, you can! So here are your instructions:

chicken thighs for soup

Chicken thighs for soup

The way to boil chicken thighs for soup
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes


  • 2 Stockpots
  • 1 Tongs or slotted spoon
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Meat thermometer
  • Colander


  • Chicken thighs (as prepared according to the "Basic Boiled Chicken Thighs Recipe")
  • Water (as used for boiling chicken)
  • Various diced vegetables (such as carrots, peppers, onions)
  • 1 cup of frozen spinach
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Egg noodles
  • Tortellini


  • Prepare Chicken:
    Follow the "Basic Boiled Chicken Thighs Recipe" to boil chicken thighs. Remove the boiled chicken, dice the meat into bite-sized pieces, and return it to the pot.
  • Add Vegetables:
    Add diced vegetables like carrots, peppers, and onions to the pot. Allow the mixture to simmer until the vegetables are soft, approximately 10-15 minutes
  • Incorporate Spinach:
    Add the frozen spinach to the pot. Continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Cook Egg Noodles:
    In a separate stockpot, boil a large quantity of water. Add the egg noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes. Once done, drain the noodles using a colander and set them aside.
  • Add Tortellini:
    Introduce the tortellini into the soup. Allow them to cook until they become soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Final Touches:
    Fold the pre-cooked egg noodles into the soup. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Make sure everything is heated thoroughly.
  • Serve:
    Once everything is well-heated and seasoned, your Chicken, Tortellini, and Vegetable Soup is ready to serve.

How Long To Boil Chicken Thighs?

how long to boil chicken thighs

How long to boil chicken thighs

Wondering how long to boil chicken thighs? It’s not a straightforward answer. The size of your chicken thighs may vary, bigger thighs mean longer boiling times. Bone-in chicken thighs on the stove longer than boneless ones. Boiling frozen chicken requires an extended cooking time compared to raw chicken. Plus, simmering on low heat will prolong the process than using medium or high heat. 

Following detailed instructions below, the recipe applies to 5 pieces:

  • Cooking 5 pieces of fresh chicken thighs, or approximately 1kg, will take between 10-15 minutes.
  • To boil bone-in chicken thighs – 5 pieces following this recipe, the cooking time is about 15 to 20 minutes. However, the exact duration is due to the size of the chicken; larger pieces will naturally take more time. If you want to broil or grill later, you can reduce the cooking time by a few minutes to make sure the chicken has reached your desired level of doneness. Remember, this guideline is for fresh or completely thawed chicken thighs.
  • For boneless, skinless thigh – 5 pieces, using this recipe, 20-30 minutes should be sufficient. The key is to ensure the chicken is fully cooked but not overcooked.
  • For frozen chicken thighs, a boiling time of 40-50 minutes is recommended until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F
  • Boneless frozen chicken thighs will require slightly less time, around 35-45 minutes.

How To Store And Freeze Boiled Chicken?

You should use the cooked chicken thighs immediately or let them cool and refrigerate for up to five days. You can also freeze the cooked chicken for up to three months, it is better to shred or slice the chicken before freezing.

Another thing is trying not to throw away the cooking liquid! This method will make  lightly-flavored chicken thighs, which you can use in place of chicken broth for other recipes or as the cooking liquid for rice and other grains. You can also sip it all on its own

4 Things To Avoid While Boiling Chicken Thighs

When you’ve learned how long to boil bone-in or boneless chicken thighs, there are a few tricks for boiling chicken thighs worth remembering. These are four things that you want to avoid when boiling your chicken. 

1. Not using a meat thermometer

Meat thermometer is a helpful tool in the kitchen to have the best-cooked chicken. Without a thermometer, determining the doneness of chicken can be tricky. However, by using a meat thermometer into the chicken’s thickest section, you can accurately know the temperature and confirm that it’s cooked through

2. Overcrowding the pot

If you must prepare for a group of people, you may want to put in as many chicken thighs into your pot as possible for quick cooking. This method might lead to uneven cooking. To make sure that chicken thighs are perfectly cooked, it’s crucial to give the chicken suitable space to evenly reach the required temperature

3. Not seasoning the pot

While seasoning the chicken directly ensures good taste, adding seasonings to the pot can ensure flavorful boiled chicken. For a truly delectable chicken dish, always remember to place chicken thighs and season the pot!

4. Overcooking the chicken

When chicken is overcooked, it turns dry and lacks flavor. It’s important to monitor the cooking process closely to prevent the chicken from becoming too dry, especially the thighs, which can easily become parched if overdone. Though not the most appetizing, you can use overcooked chicken thighs by integrating thin strips into a fresh salad


How do you know if boiled chicken thigh is done?

When the chicken reaches an internal temperature at 165°F, it is done and ready to be served

Can you boil chicken thighs to shred?

There’s an initial step to shred the chicken before boiling it. An efficient method to achieve this is using a hand mixer. Simply place your chicken in a spacious mixing bowl and use the hand mixer on a gentle setting to shred it. You can shred chicken and use as chicken salads, tacos, sandwiches, or any beloved recipe that calls for shredded chicken.

Can you boil chicken thighs before grilling?

To prepare your chicken for a BBQ sauce, you can marinate or brine it before cooking. You can also boil or poach the chicken, then finish it on the grill to add flavor.


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