Thai Chicken Thighs Recipe

Picture yourself relaxing in the tropical landscapes of Thailand, indulging in the vibrant and aromatic flavors that the cuisine offers. This Thai chicken thighs recipe brings that experience to your table, combining the freshness of cilantro and Thai basil with the tangy twist of lime. The fish sauce offers an authentic Asian zest, offset by the sweetness of brown sugar and the warmth of ginger.

Thai Chicken Thighs Recipe
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When shopping for ingredients, you might come across some items like Thai basil and fish sauce that are not commonly found in every home. Thai basil has a unique flavor, different from the sweet basil used in Italian dishes, and it's often found in Asian markets. Fish sauce, a staple in Thai cuisine, also may require a trip to an Asian grocery store or the international aisle of your supermarket.

Ingredients for Thai Chicken Thighs

Cilantro: Cilantro is an aromatic herb that brings a fresh and slightly citrusy flavor to dishes.

Thai basil: This is a variety of basil native to Southeast Asia that has a unique anise-like flavor.

Fish sauce: Fish sauce adds a rich, savory, and umami flavor to the dish.

Green onions: These onions add a mild and slightly sweet flavor to the dish.

Canola oil: Used for cooking the chicken, it has a neutral flavor.

Lime juice and zest: These bring a refreshing citrusy tang to the dish.

Dark brown sugar: It adds a sweet and slightly molasses flavor.

Ginger: Ginger brings a warm and slightly spicy flavor to the dish.

Kosher Salt: Salt enhances and brings out the flavors of the other ingredients.

Ground Black Pepper: It adds a slight heat and enhances the overall flavor of the dish.

Chicken thighs: Chicken thighs are juicy and flavorful, perfect for grilling.

One reader, Friedrick Seiler says:

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This Thai chicken thighs recipe is a game-changer! The blend of fresh herbs and spices creates an explosion of flavors. The marinade infuses the chicken with a perfect balance of tangy and savory notes. It's a must-try for anyone who loves bold and delicious Thai cuisine.

Friedrick Seiler

Techniques Required for Thai Chicken Thighs Recipe

Marinating the chicken: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cilantro, Thai basil, fish sauce, green onions, lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar, ginger, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Then, combine the chicken thighs with the cilantro mixture in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours to overnight, turning occasionally.

Grilling the chicken: Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Drain the chicken thighs and discard the marinade. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken to the preheated grill and cook until no longer pink in the centers, about 7 to 10 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each thigh should read at least 165 degrees F. Serve immediately.

How To Make Thai Chicken Thighs

To make a tender Thai chicken dish, marinate chicken thighs in cilantro, lime, fish sauce, and brown sugar for a mildly tangy and minty meal.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 30 minutes



  • cupfresh cilantro,chopped
  • cupfresh Thai basil,chopped
  • ¼cupfish sauce
  • 3green onions,thinly sliced
  • 3tbspcanola oil
  • 2tbsplime juice,freshly squeezed
  • 1tbsplime zest,grated
  • 1tbspdark brown sugar
  • 2tspginger,freshly grated
  • ¾tspkosher salt
  • ¾tspfreshly ground black pepper
  • 2lbschicken thighs,skinless boneless
  • salt and ground black pepper,to taste


  1. Combine cilantro, Thai basil, fish sauce, green onions, lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar, ginger, kosher salt, and ¾ teaspoons of pepper in a medium-sized bowl.

  2. Combine chicken thighs and cilantro mixture in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Marinate in the refrigerator 8 hours to overnight, turning occasionally.

  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.

  4. Drain chicken thighs and discard marinade. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Add chicken to the preheated grill and cook until no longer pink in the centers, 7 to 10 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each thigh should read at least 165 degrees F. Serve immediately.


  • Calories: 413.31kcal
  • Fat: 32.18g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.37g
  • Trans Fat: 0.16g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 14.94g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 7.24g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.17g
  • Fiber: 0.60g
  • Sugar: 2.23g
  • Protein: 25.92g
  • Cholesterol: 148.17mg
  • Sodium: 1067.10mg
  • Calcium: 31.31mg
  • Potassium: 396.01mg
  • Iron: 1.40mg
  • Vitamin A: 45.88µg
  • Vitamin C: 4.81mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Thai Chicken Thighs Recipe

When grilling chicken thighs, it's important to maintain a consistent heat on your grill. Too high heat can cause the outside to burn before the inside is fully cooked, while too low heat can result in a lack of flavor and crispiness. A medium-high heat is ideal for achieving a perfectly cooked, juicy chicken thigh with a crispy skin. Also, remember to let the chicken rest for a few minutes after grilling. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and moist chicken.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Thai Chicken Thighs

Plan ahead: Prepare all the ingredients and marinade the chicken the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Use a food processor: Use a food processor to quickly blend the marinade ingredients instead of chopping them by hand.

Grill in batches: If you're cooking for a large group, grill the chicken thighs in batches to ensure they cook evenly and get that perfect char.

Substitute Ingredients For Thai Chicken Thighs Recipe

  • fresh cilantro - Substitute with fresh parsley: Parsley has a similar fresh and slightly peppery flavor that can work as a substitute for cilantro.

  • fresh thai basil - Substitute with regular basil: Regular basil can be used as a substitute for Thai basil, although it has a slightly different flavor profile.

  • fish sauce - Substitute with soy sauce: Soy sauce can provide a similar salty and savory flavor to dishes as fish sauce.

  • canola oil - Substitute with vegetable oil: Vegetable oil can be used as a substitute for canola oil in most recipes.

  • lime juice - Substitute with lemon juice: Lemon juice can be used as a substitute for lime juice, providing a similar level of acidity.

  • lime zest - Substitute with lemon zest: Lemon zest can be used as a substitute for lime zest, although the flavor will be slightly different.

  • dark brown sugar - Substitute with light brown sugar: Light brown sugar can be used as a substitute for dark brown sugar, although it may result in a slightly different flavor.

  • ginger - Substitute with ground ginger: Ground ginger can be used as a substitute for fresh ginger, although the flavor may be slightly different.

  • kosher salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can be used as a substitute for kosher salt in most recipes.

  • freshly ground black pepper - Substitute with ground black pepper: Ground black pepper can be used as a substitute for freshly ground black pepper, although the flavor may be slightly different.

Presentation Tips for Thai Chicken Thighs

  1. Elevate the dish with garnishes: Add a pop of color and freshness to the dish by garnishing with fresh cilantro and Thai basil. This will not only enhance the visual appeal but also add a burst of flavor to the dish.

  2. Incorporate artistic plating: Arrange the grilled chicken thighs on the plate with precision and attention to detail. Consider using negative space to create an elegant and visually appealing presentation.

  3. Utilize contrasting textures: Pair the tender and juicy chicken thighs with a side of crisp and vibrant vegetable slaw to create a harmonious balance of textures on the plate.

  4. Highlight the marinade: Drizzle a small amount of the marinade reduction around the edge of the plate to showcase the depth of flavors and the care put into the preparation of the dish.

  5. Emphasize the grill marks: Place the chicken thighs on the plate in a way that showcases the beautiful grill marks, demonstrating the skill and precision in cooking.

  6. Create a focal point: Arrange the chicken thighs in a way that draws the eye to the center of the plate, creating a captivating focal point for the dish.

  7. Use elegant serving ware: Select sophisticated and refined serving ware that complements the dish and elevates the overall dining experience for the guests.

Essential Tools for Making Thai Chicken Thighs

  • Cutting board: A flat surface used for cutting, slicing, and chopping ingredients.

  • Chef's knife: A versatile kitchen knife used for a variety of tasks such as chopping, slicing, and dicing.

  • Grill: A cooking appliance used to cook food over an open flame or heat source.

  • Zip-top bag: A plastic bag with a resealable zipper, commonly used for marinating and storing food.

  • Instant-read thermometer: A thermometer used to quickly measure the internal temperature of food.

  • Outdoor grill: A cooking appliance used for grilling food outdoors.

  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for mixing ingredients together.

  • Food processor: A kitchen appliance used for chopping, blending, and pureeing ingredients.

Storing and Freezing Thai Chicken Thighs

  • Allow the cooked chicken thighs to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • To freeze the chicken thighs, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, ensuring a tight seal to prevent freezer burn. Place the wrapped thighs in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy reference. Frozen chicken thighs can be stored for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat refrigerated chicken thighs, place them in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
  • For frozen chicken thighs, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Alternatively, you can reheat frozen thighs directly in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven, increasing the cooking time to 30-40 minutes, or until heated through.
  • To maintain the best texture and flavor, avoid reheating the chicken thighs more than once. Reheat only the portion you plan to consume immediately.

How To Reheat Leftover Thai Chicken Thighs

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover chicken thighs on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Brush the thighs with a little olive oil or melted butter to help keep them moist. Cover the baking sheet with another piece of foil to prevent the chicken from drying out. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

  • For a quicker option, use the microwave. Place the chicken thighs in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel. This will help keep the chicken moist during reheating. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, depending on the number of thighs and your microwave's power. Check the internal temperature to ensure it reaches 165°F (74°C).

  • If you have an air fryer, this can be a great way to reheat your leftover Thai chicken thighs. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Place the thighs in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through and the skin is crispy.

  • For a stovetop method, place the chicken thighs in a skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of chicken broth or water to the pan to help keep the chicken moist. Cover the skillet with a lid and heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. This method can help maintain the chicken's flavor and texture.

  • If you want to add some extra flavor to your reheated Thai chicken thighs, try brushing them with a little coconut milk or lime juice before reheating. This will help enhance the Thai-inspired flavors and keep the chicken moist during the reheating process.

Interesting Fact About Thai Chicken Thighs

The Thai chicken thighs recipe is a delicious and flavorful dish that combines the aromatic flavors of cilantro, Thai basil, and fish sauce. This dish is a perfect balance of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy Thai cuisine. The marinade infuses the chicken thighs with a burst of refreshing and zesty flavors, creating a mouthwatering dish that is sure to impress. Whether grilled or baked, this recipe is a delightful way to enjoy the rich and vibrant flavors of Thai cuisine.

Is Making Thai Chicken Thighs at Home Cost-Effective?

This Thai chicken thighs recipe offers a good balance of cost-effectiveness. The key ingredients like chicken thighs, cilantro, and Thai basil are generally affordable and widely available. However, the use of fish sauce and Thai basil might require an initial investment, but they can be used in various other recipes. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $20-$25. Overall Verdict: 8/10

Is This Thai Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

This Thai chicken thighs recipe has both healthy and unhealthy aspects. On the positive side, chicken thighs are a good source of protein, and the dish incorporates fresh herbs like cilantro and Thai basil, which offer various vitamins and antioxidants. The use of ginger and lime juice adds flavor without relying heavily on salt or unhealthy fats.

However, there are some areas of concern:

  • The recipe calls for a significant amount of fish sauce, which is high in sodium
  • Canola oil is used for cooking, which is a refined oil that may contain unhealthy trans fats
  • The marinade contains brown sugar, adding to the overall sugar content of the dish

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of fish sauce used, or replace some of it with low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • Opt for a healthier cooking oil, such as coconut oil or avocado oil, which are more stable at high temperatures and offer beneficial fats
  • Decrease the amount of brown sugar in the marinade, or substitute it with a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup
  • Serve the chicken thighs alongside a generous portion of steamed or stir-fried vegetables to increase the overall nutrient content of the meal
  • Use skinless chicken thighs to reduce the fat content, or remove the skin before consuming

By making these adjustments, you can enjoy the bold flavors of Thai cuisine while supporting a more balanced and nutritious diet.

Editor's Opinion on This Thai Chicken Thighs Recipe

This Thai chicken thighs recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and aromas. The combination of fresh cilantro, Thai basil, and zesty lime juice creates a vibrant marinade that infuses the chicken thighs with a burst of Thai-inspired goodness. The grilling process adds a smoky char and locks in the succulent juiciness of the chicken. The balance of savory fish sauce, tangy lime, and subtle sweetness from the brown sugar creates a harmonious flavor profile. This dish is a perfect choice for a flavorful and satisfying meal, whether it's a casual weeknight dinner or a special gathering with friends and family.

Enhance Your Thai Chicken Thighs Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Steamed Jasmine Rice: Fluffy jasmine rice steamed to perfection, with a hint of coconut milk for a fragrant and delicious side dish.
Grilled Pineapple Slices: Juicy pineapple slices grilled to caramelized perfection, adding a sweet and tangy contrast to the savory Thai chicken thighs.
Cucumber Salad with Peanut Dressing: Crunchy cucumber slices tossed in a creamy peanut dressing, providing a refreshing and cooling accompaniment to the flavorful chicken thighs.

Similar Recipes to Thai Chicken Thighs

Spicy Beef Stir-Fry: This spicy beef stir-fry is a perfect combination of tender beef, crunchy vegetables, and a flavorful sauce. It's a quick and easy dish that's sure to satisfy your cravings for a spicy and savory meal.
Mango Coconut Chicken Curry: This mango coconut chicken curry is a delicious and aromatic dish that combines the sweetness of mango with the creaminess of coconut milk. It's a perfect balance of flavors and textures that will leave you wanting more.
Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Pork Chops: These grilled pineapple teriyaki pork chops are a delightful combination of sweet and savory flavors. The juicy pineapple adds a tropical twist to the classic teriyaki pork chops, making it a perfect dish for a summer barbecue.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Thai Chicken Thighs

Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with savory stuffed mushrooms filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. These bite-sized appetizers are the perfect way to start off any meal.
Caprese Skewers: Impress your guests with these elegant caprese skewers, featuring fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil drizzled with balsamic glaze. These colorful and refreshing appetizers are sure to be a hit at any gathering.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent, rich chocolate lava cake that oozes with molten chocolate when you cut into it. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and richness.
Tiramisu: Create a classic tiramisu with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and creamy mascarpone cheese. Dust the top with cocoa powder for a touch of bitterness to contrast the sweetness of the dessert.

Why trust this Thai Chicken Thighs Recipe:

This recipe features fresh cilantro, fresh Thai basil, and fish sauce, which are essential in Thai cuisine, ensuring an authentic and flavorful experience. The use of lime juice and lime zest adds a zesty and citrusy punch, enhancing the overall taste. Additionally, the marination process allows the chicken thighs to absorb the rich flavors, resulting in tender and succulent meat. With the combination of these aromatic ingredients and the grilling method, this recipe promises to deliver a mouthwatering and aromatic Thai-inspired dish that users can trust and enjoy.

Share your thoughts on this delicious Thai Chicken Thighs Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
What can I use as a substitute for fish sauce?
You can substitute fish sauce with soy sauce or tamari for a vegetarian option. You can also use a combination of Worcestershire sauce and anchovy paste for a similar umami flavor.
Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs?
Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of thighs. Just be mindful of the cooking time, as chicken breasts cook faster than thighs.
Can I bake the chicken thighs instead of grilling them?
Absolutely! You can bake the marinated chicken thighs in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 35-45 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
Is it necessary to marinate the chicken overnight?
While marinating the chicken thighs overnight will enhance the flavor, you can still achieve delicious results with a shorter marinating time. Aim for at least 2 hours if you're short on time.
Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh ones?
While fresh herbs provide the best flavor, you can use dried herbs as a substitute. Use a smaller quantity of dried herbs, as their flavors are more concentrated. Start with half the amount of dried herbs and adjust to taste.

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