How Long To Boil Chicken Thigh?-The Complete Answer

How long to boil chicken thigh? This seems to be a simple question, but knowing the duration to boil this meat for different purposes is not that easy. You’ve come to the right place if you are curious about this. 

Here we offer you an all-in-one article with the ultimate answer to your question, instructions on how to cook the dish, and the proper way to preserve the poultry afterward. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in right now to satisfy your curiosity.

Chicken Thigh

Chicken Thighs And Their Taste

A chicken thigh is a part of the chicken’s leg from the knee up, including the drum stick. People also call these thighs “dark meat” since it is rich in fat and has a deep hue. 

As the thigh muscle has to work more than most parts of the animal, dark meat is fatter than the breast. One bite into the flesh, and you’ll feel the richness and tenderness. 

How Long To Boil Chicken Thigh

Due to this great texture, the dish is preferred widely. Thus, you can see dark meat everywhere nowadays. Aside from the flavorful taste, it doesn’t dig deep into your pocket to fill your stomach. Pay less than what you need for chicken breast, and you’ll have a pair of savory thighs.

Types Of Dark Meat

Bone-In Thighs With Skin 

This seems to be the most popular and available. The cut is sold with bones and skin still on. When buying this cut, you’ll save a few dollars compared to the boneless one as there is no extra fee to remove the bone. The price of one pound bone-in cut is under $1.45, cheaper than boneless and skinless breast, which is around $3.10 per pound.

If these cuts lie among packages of smooth skinless thighs, they may not be able to attract the customer’s eyes. However, don’t go away yet. Apply a different cooking method, and your dish will taste exceptionally good. 

All you have to do is sear the cut on a stovetop or put it inside an oven, and the skin will achieve a crunchy taste. The crispy skin will make the dish much more exciting to enjoy and prevent moisture from escaping. 

Bone-In, Skinless Thighs

Unlike the previous type, this is not as easy to find. These packages come in with the bones still inside but no skin on the outside. They’re still cheaper than boneless thighs for a similar reason: no extra effort to take the bones out. 

In the rare case where you’re left with this only option, but what you want is its boneless counterpart, don’t worry. You have two choices to remove the bone. You can ask the grocery store butcher to debone the meat for you; it’s one of their services. You just need to ask; no fuss is needed. 

However, if you’re capable of carrying out this task, try it at home. After that, don’t throw the bones away yet! Keep them in the freezer and take them out when you’re in the mood for a flavorful soup.

Boneless, Skinless Thighs

Because this cut comes in without bones or skin, many people prefer it. It takes less time to cook and goes well with different ingredients. On the downside, as the butcher has deboned the poultry for you, you’ll have to pay a little more than the other two types. 

Actually, there is another type of cut: no bones inside, but the skin remains outside. Usually, you can’t find these cuts on the market as the butchers always remove the skin when deboning. 

However, you completely can make yourself the thighs you want. Just buy the bone-in packages with skin and ask the butcher for help or remove the bones at home. 

How Long To Boil Chicken Thighs?

How Long To Boil Chicken Thighs?

Generally, this part of the bird requires 10 to 50 minutes to cook. Boiling chicken thighs will take you different amounts of time depending on the types of meat and the purpose you use the thighs for. 


Frozen cuts will need more time than fresh cuts. Bigger thighs with bones also take longer to be cooked through than their boneless counterparts. Continue reading the below section to know how long to boil chicken thighs.

How Long To Boil Boneless Chicken Thighs?

The duration of boiling dark meat with no bone and skin is faster than its bone-in or skin-on counterparts. Five pieces of this cut, which weigh around 1 kg, will take 10 to 15 minutes to be completely cooked. Remember that this amount of time only applies to fresh meat. Frozen ones will be different, which we’ll talk about below. 

How Long To Boil Bone In Chicken Thighs

With the bones still on, the cuts will need more time to be boiled thoroughly in and out. You have to cook for five more minutes for the same one kilogram of five pieces. In other words, fully thawed or fresh dark meat will be cooked after 15 to 20 minutes. Then, take the meat out of the pot so the cut won’t continue cooking.

As the cooking time varies depending on whether it is bone-in or boneless, pay attention to the boiling pot. You won’t want your dish to be overcooked or undercooked. 

The duration of cooking a small and thin thigh is also different from that of a thick and big piece. For extra measure, get yourself a thermometer. You’ll know your dish is ready to be served if the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long To Boil Frozen Chicken Thighs? 

Surprisingly, with frozen dark meat, you can straightly boil them without thawing them beforehand. On the downside, applying this tip will take 50% longer than using fresh or fully thawed packages. 

If the frozen cut has bones inside, it’ll need 40 to 50 minutes to be cooked through. Boneless counterparts will take ten minutes, about 35-45 minutes.

How Long To Simmer Chicken Thighs? 

If you simmer the cuts for one and a half hours, you’ll get a flavor of a thin both. Double that amount of time until the flesh falls off the bone; the broth taste will be richer. 

Five more hours, and even the bone will fall apart. At that point, your broth will be full of collagen, treating you to a strong and tasty combination of chicken meat and bones. 

You can utilize the flesh in the thighs to make salad or sandwiches. Just take the cut out after 2 or 3 hours, take the flesh aside and put the bones back in the pot to continue cooking. 

How Long To Boil Chicken Thighs To Shreds? 

To boil dark meat for shredding, the flesh’s internal temperature must reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The duration of boiling fluctuates from 45 to 50 minutes if the cut is frozen and 30 minutes if thawed.

When it’s thirty minutes since you start cooking, reduce the heat to a medium. Wait until the pink color fades, and you can easily separate the meat from the bone, then take the cut out. Leave it aside to cool down and shred it with your fingers. These shredded fleshed will stay good in the fridge freezer for up to 3 days. 

How Long To Boil Chicken Thighs For Soups? 

Put the cuts into a big pot first. Cook until the water boils, then reduce heat and let it simmer until the flesh falls off the bones. All of this process takes about 45 minutes. Then take the thighs out, remove the bones, cut the meat into smaller pieces and return it to the pot. 

That is the minimum time required for soups. You can add other ingredients later and gentle boil from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on what kind of veggies or seasonings they are.

How To Prepare Chicken Thighs?

How To Prepare Chicken Thighs?

Follow these detailed steps to prepare the dark meat properly.

  • Rinse the chicken meat under cold water and take off the excess fat.
  • If the pieces of dark meat aren’t the same size, cut them evenly so they will be cooked thoroughly by the time you’re done. 
  • With boneless cuts, simply put them in a pot of water without any further preparation. Let the heat cook your meat.
  • If you bought bone-in packages, removing the skin beforehand is necessary. A sharp knife will help you separate the skin around the flesh without cutting into it. When the skin doesn’t attach to the meat, you can easily peel it off.
  • Once the preparation is done, place the thighs in the pot. Be sure that the water in the pot is enough to cover cuts.

Dealing With Raw Chicken

  • Wash your hands with soap after dealing with raw bird thighs
  • Wash all the surfaces the raw flesh touched during preparation, like the cutting board, countertop, and knives.
  • Use different cutting boards for raw food and cooked food. 
  • Always wrap the meat tightly or put it in a covered bowl to avoid cross-contamination with other foods in the fridge
  • Throw away all the marinade you’ve used for the raw cuts.

Seasoning The Cuts

One of the perks of boiling dark meat is that you can get creative with seasoning. Add any herbs or spice you want to the boiling water, and the seasoning will soak into the flesh. Some flavors we recommend are onions, garlic, bay leaves, or thyme. If you don’t want to tire yourself out with this process, just pepper and salt will do.

For frozen cuts, you might want to try bouillon powder. It will make the meat tastier. After the dish is boiled evenly, dip it in whatever sauce you want. You can shred it and put it in soups, salads, or casseroles.

Boiling Chicken Thighs

How To Boil Dark Meat?

Boiling these cuts to perfection requires some small tips. You should use cold water and let the heat cook the meat slowly. This will make sure the chickens are cooked and moist. The steps below will give you full insights on how to do this.

  • Put the thighs in a big pot
  • Add water to the pot so that the water covers the meat by one or two inches, 
  • Add the seasonings to the water to your liking.
  • Bring the water to a boil
  • When the water is boiling, bring the heat to a low setting and simmer the meat for 10-15 minutes for boneless cuts and 15-20 minutes for bone-in counterparts.
  • Use a meat thermometer to know when the internal temperature reaches the ideal figure (165 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • When the flesh is boiled evenly, remove it from the pot and place it on a plate or a clean cutting board 
  • Let the cuts rest for 5 to 10 minutes before using them as you like. 

Other Ways To Boil Chicken

While the method above is probably the simplest and almost impossible to go wrong, there are still other ways to cook the dish. 


Prepare a dish that can be placed in the microwave. Put the cuts on the dish and fill it with water so that the water covers the poultry by one or two inches. Microwave them in a high temperature for 5 minutes. Continue to microwave them one more minute and take them out when the internal temperature is right.

Slow Cooker

Put the dark meat in the slow cooker and pour one or two cups of water. Boil for 6 to 8 hours if the temperature is low and for 3 to 4 hours if the temperature is high. 

Instant Pot

Put the poultry in the insert of your instant pot and pour one or two cups of water. Bring the setting to manual and boil for 6 to 8 minutes at high pressure, then let the pressure out gradually in 5 minutes. After the pressure is all released, remove the thighs from the pot.

Tips For Boiling Chicken Thighs 

  • The seasoning of the meat should take place before cooking. That way, your chicken will have a richer flavor. 
  • Sufficient water is very important. Add water as instructed above to have a nice juicy dish of poultry.
  • When the cuts are cooked, remove them from the put immediately to prevent them from keeping cooking. 
  • Don’t eat the meat right after they get out of the pot. Let it rest from 5 to 10 minutes will help keep and distribute the moisture inside the meat evenly.
  • When cutting the chicken, make sure to slice against the grain. This tip makes your meat slice more beautiful and avoids shredding. 

How To Tell When The Meat Is Done

The easiest way to tell if the poultry is cooked is by using a meat thermometer. When the cut’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you can take it out of the pot.

You can also check the poultry by seeing its juice. Clear juice means it is ready to serve. If the juice in the pot is pink, you still have to boil more. 

Another way to check the meat juice is by cutting it. If the flesh is pink and pink juice oozes out, it is not done yet. 

Troubleshooting Problems When The Boiled Chicken Thighs Go Wrong

Overcooked And Dry Meat

Most people encounter this problem as they leave their bird thighs overcooked. Several reasons leading to overcooked cuts are too high heat, too long cooking duration, or insufficient water in the pot.

Overcooked poultry can easily make all of your efforts go down the drain. Instead of a white and vibrant shade, the dish appears yellowish and dull. On top of that, chewing overcooked cuts are very hard, like chewing on a tire. 

To prevent your dish from going wrong, make sure you avoid all of the mistakes above. Specifically, you need to make sure the heat setting is suitable, pay attention to how long you’ve cooked, and pour enough water to cover your poultry. 

Undercooked Meat

Undercooked chicken often boils down to a short cooking duration, not enough heat to boil the meat or too much water. Too much liquid in the pot will increase the amount of time needed to cook the thighs. If you boil the cuts as usual, they’ll come out undercooked. Thus, the water level higher than the chicken’s 2 to 3 inches is a mark you must follow. Also, don’t forget to use high heat and leave the poultry boiling for enough time. 

Rough Meat

Tough bird thighs are another consequence of overcooking. The way to avoid this issue is the same as you keep your meat from overcooking. Marinading the chicken beforehand will help moisturize the cuts.

Rubbery Meat

Undercooked meat or insufficient heat could cause your dish to have a rubbery texture. Besides making the dish lea appealing, undercooking also poses a health risk. 

Unlike beef steaks, which can be eaten medium or medium-rare, this bird flesh’s texture is not as dense. Thus, the bacteria can penetrate very far into the flesh. Without proper cooking, some bacteria might be left inside the poultry, leading to poisoning when we eat them. 

Therefore, high heat to quickly bring the water to a boil is crucial. It not only gives the thighs a firmer texture but also ensures what you’re taking in is safe. Also, avoid pouring in too much liquid for the reason as mentioned above. 

Bland Meat

If your dish is not flavorful, it is simply because you didn’t season the poultry enough before cooking, or the water has no spice or herbs to add flavor to the chicken. That being said, the solution to this problem couldn’t get any easier. Just season the meat beforehand to your liking, or add onions, garlic, and spices to the water.

What To Do With Chicken Thighs After Boiling?

Dished With Chicken Thighs

Boiled bird thigh is like a blank canvas for you to use. Various recipes can with boiled meat are waiting for you to make. You can shred chicken flesh and mix them with different veggies to make a bowl of salads or add them to soup broth. Thigh meat with taco or burrito fillings also creates a wonderful combination.

You can’t use up your package in one meal? Don’t worry! Just put all the juicy meat and chicken bones in a pot and simmer for a couple of hours. That way, you have a healthy homemade stock. Strain the broth and put it in a fridge for later use. 

Storing These Cuts

If you have leftover dark meat, storing it in your fridge will do in four days. Don’t forget to put it in a clean container or warp it with plastic wrap. 

Another way to store poultry thighs is by putting them in a freezer. This way, the cuts will last up to 4 months. Similarly, wrap them tightly before storing them. When the time for chicken thighs comes, just thaw them overnight, and they’re ready to use. 

Reheating Dark Meat

An oven is an ideal tool for this task. Preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and put the meat on a baking sheet. This way, your poultry will need ten minutes of baking time.

Reheating dark meat with a stove also works out well. Remember to put it on a skillet and set the heat low. Five minutes of cooking time or when the flesh is heated through, you can take it out. Add some chicken broth or water if the cuts get dry.

If you don’t have much time to spare, choose the microwave to reheat the dish. Put the meat in a microwave-safe dish and heat it for one or two minutes. When you deem the chicken good, take it out. 


How long to boil chicken thighs? Have you found your answer after reading our article? This part of the animal is not difficult to cook, but to bring out the juicy chicken thighs with delicious flavor will require some tips, which we’ve revealed here. 

Happy cooking time! Thanks for reading!

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