Wondering how long to boil chicken thighs? This guide will show you how to cook juicy, tender, and flavorful boiled chicken thighs.
Chicken is a staple in my house. It is the one ingredient that everyone agrees on at any point of the week.
Chicken thighs are affordable, flavorful, and most importantly kid-friendly. How To Boil Chicken Thighs reviews the steps to creating juicy and tender chicken that can be paired with any side dish for a complete meal. Be sure to check out our How To Boil Chicken Thighs web story here.
In this guide, I share my tips and tricks for boiling chicken thighs. Be sure to check out our other post on how to boil chicken.
How To Make
- Prep the chicken. Place chicken thighs into a large stockpot. Fill the stockpot with water.
- Season the chicken. Add salt and thyme (if desired) and bring to a gentle boil.
- Boil the chicken. Boil chicken for 40-50 minutes if using frozen chicken thighs and 30 minutes for thawed chicken thighs or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Broil the chicken. Remove chicken thighs with tongs and place them onto a baking sheet. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until the skin gets browned and crispy.
Start by placing the chicken thighs into a large stockpot.
Prep the Chicken
- Add the chicken to the bottom of the pot then fill the pot with water. This prevents splashing raw chicken water on nearby surfaces.
- Purchase skin-on & bone-in chicken thighs at the store for a more tender and flavorful dish.
- Use fresh or frozen chicken thighs. This recipe is great because you do not have to remember to defrost chicken – simply increase the cooking time by 10-15 minutes if cooking frozen chicken thighs.
- Consider the stockpot size. I recommend placing a single layer of chicken thighs on the bottom of the stockpot. This helps with even cooking. If you are cooking for a crowd, choose smaller chicken thighs, purchase a large stockpot or cook multiple batches of chicken thighs.
- Choose bone-in versus boneless chicken thighs. Bone-in chicken thighs are more budget friendly. I tend to purchase bone-in chicken thighs when on sale & store in the freezer until ready to use.
Next, season the chicken. I keep it simple by seasoning with salt and thyme. I have even made this recipe with only adding salt – the chicken was still delicious!
Season the Chicken
- Keep it simple. No need to be fancy to make this recipe delicious. Pick 1-2 spices that you like and add to the stockpot.
- Boost the flavor. Add aromatics to the stockpot like garlic, peppercorns and/or bay leaves if you are looking for extra flavor.
- Add fresh vegetables. Throw chunks of onions, carrots, celery, etc. into the pot. Great way to use leftover vegetables on the verge of spoiling in your fridge!
- Customize each time you make this recipe. Use a different combination of spices each time you boil chicken thighs.
What’s the best way to boil chicken?
On the stove over low to medium heat. This will allow your chicken to boil without becoming rubbery.
How long does it take to boil chicken thighs?
Boil chicken for 40-50 minutes if using frozen chicken thighs and 20- 30 minutes for thawed chicken thighs or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
If using boneless frozen chicken thighs cook for 35-45 minutes and for thawed boneless chicken thighs it takes about 10-20 minutes.
How long do you boil chicken?
The boiling time for chicken depends on a few different factors. Larger cuts will require longer cooking times than smaller cuts. The bone-in chicken will require longer cooking times than boneless. The frozen chicken will require longer cooking times than raw. Setting your stove to low heat will extend the cooking time compared to cooking on medium or high heat.
Start by boiling raw chicken breasts for 15 minutes, raw boneless chicken thighs for 20 minutes, and raw bone-in chicken thighs for 30 minutes. Then, check the internal temperature. If below 165°F, add 5 minutes of cooking time and repeat until 165°F is reached.
PRO TIP: Add 10-15 minutes to the timer before temping if boiling frozen chicken.
Save the broiled chicken water, which is now homemade chicken broth.
PRO TIP: Use the water you boiled the chicken in to cook pasta as a quick and simple side dish with a delicious flavor from the chicken and spices.
After the chicken is completely cooked, place on a baking sheet and broil.
As I have mentioned before, I tend to buy bone-in chicken thighs for recipes because of the skin. It is my family’s preference too. Especially my son – he loves the crispy skin after bone-in chicken thighs have been broiled.
Broil the Chicken
- Broil for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken thighs are golden and crispy
- Baste the chicken thighs with sauce before broiling for a different flavor. Choose between BBQ sauce, honey, buffalo sauce, Italian dressing or balsamic glaze.
- Set a timer when broiling. I can’t tell you how many times I have put a recipe under the broiler for the finishing touch and burned the tops.
- Line your baking sheet with tin foil for an easy and mess-free clean up.
Not a fan of stovetop cooking or looking for a new way to cook chicken thighs? My Crockpot Chicken Thighs, Instant Pot Bone In Chicken Thighs and Air Fryer Chicken Thigh recipes will show you step-by-step how to cook chicken thighs in these appliances.
When the internal temperature of the boiled chicken is at 165°F, it is done and ready to be served.
It is likely rubbery because you are cooking chicken breasts or cooking over high heat. Chicken breasts do not have bones and are incredibly lean (low fat content). Swap the chicken breasts for chicken thighs for a more tender cut of meat. Cooking with high temperatures can result in rubbery chicken. Turn the temperature to medium or low heat for juicy chicken.
Yes, you can over boil chicken. If your chicken is rubbery this is an indicator that you over boiled it.
Boil for 40-50 minutes if using frozen chicken thighs and 30 minutes for thawed chicken thighs.
Yes, as long as the chicken was cooked to 165°F before removing it from the water. Boiled chicken water = homemade chicken broth.
Yes, chicken will continue to become more tender as you boil it. However, once the chicken reaches 165°F, it is likely to turn rubbery if you continue to boil.
You boil boneless skinless chicken thighs the exact same way as bone-in chicken thighs. The only difference – adjust the timer. Boneless chicken thighs will be done sooner than bone-in thighs. The boneless chicken thigh is cooked when the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
You boil chicken in a microwave by placing chicken in a microwave-safe dish, adding water to the dish, covering the dish with plastic wrap and microwaving the dish until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. For more detailed steps on how to cook chicken in the microwave, click HERE.
It takes 40-50 minutes for frozen chicken thighs and 30 minutes for thawed chicken thighs. Check out 50 Chicken Soup Recipes to add to your meal rotation!
More side dish recipes
- Instant Pot Broccoli
- Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- The Best Baked Brussels Sprouts
- Baked Zucchini Crisp Rounds
- Crockpot Baked Beans
How To Boil Chicken Thighs (Fresh or Frozen)
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs fresh or frozen
- 1 teaspoon salt optional
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme optional
- Place chicken thighs into a large stockpot. Fill the stockpot with water.
- Add salt and thyme if using and bring to a gentle boil.
- Boil chicken for 40-50 minutes if using frozen chicken thighs and 30 minutes for thawed chicken thighs or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Remove chicken thighs with tongs and place them onto a baking sheet. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until the skin gets browned and crispy.