When to cook chicken thighs vs. breasts

Chicken breasts and thighs are surprisingly different in flavours, nutrition and how they should be cooked. Learn the difference on myfoodbook and get lots of great chicken recipes!

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Cooking chicken breast vs. thighs

It all tastes like chicken, but people often fall into one of two camps – thigh lovers or breast lovers. Which one are you? Or maybe you’re not sure yet? No matter which way you swing, knowing the differences between the two is important so you can cook succulent chicken every time.
Flavour and texture
If you’re wondering if there’s really a significant difference in the flavour of chicken breast and thighs, the answer is yes, there is! Breast meat is considered white meat. The muscle doesn’t get used much, so it’s comparatively very tender and mild in flavour.
Compare this to thigh meat, which is from the leg of the chicken. It gets used a lot more and has more connective tissue and fat. It’s considered dark meat, and it has a richer, more intense flavour than breast. 
The difference in the two meats also affects how you should cook them to get tender and juicy chicken.
How to cook chicken breasts vs. thighs
Since chicken breasts are so lean, they’re best in dishes where they’re cooked quickly. Some great ways to cook them include pan frying, stir-frying, deep-frying, barbecuing, skewers or baking. Gently poaching is also a good option. If breast is overcooked, it can become dry, stringy and chewy. Avoid cooking them for a long time, especially in dishes like soups, stews and curries.
Chicken thighs are more versatile. They can be cooked using the methods above, but they also work very well in long slow cooks. Put them in braises, slow cookers, curries, stews, or even use them in a slow cooked barbecue. It’s almost impossible to overcook chicken thighs with a slow cook, they just become more tender over time. 
Chicken breast is significantly leaner than chicken thighs. According to the Australian Chicken Meat Federation, 100g of skinless chicken breast contains 22.3g of protein and 1.6g of fat. Compare this to 100g of skinless chicken thigh, which contains 17.5g of protein and 8.4g of fat.
If you’re very health conscious, breast meat has a lower fat content. However, the other differences in taste and cooking often make chicken thighs a more popular choice.
Chicken recipes
Get plenty of recipe inspiration below, plus check out these collections of recipes.
Play Video: One Pan Spanish Chicken Rice Bake
Chicken thighs are perfect for this delicious bake with paprika-spiced rice.
Play Video: Honey Soy Chicken and Vegetable Skewers
This recipe calls for chicken thighs, but you could easily substitute them for chicken breast instead.
Play Video: Ultimate Family Chicken Parmigiana
The crumb coating and frying for chicken parmigiana ensures that chicken breast always stays juicy and moist.
how to cook chicken thighs vs breasts
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