Easy Pan Fried Chicken Thighs – A Couple Cooks

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Dinner is served with these juicy, golden pan-fried chicken thighs! This easy, flavorful dish comes together in just 20 minutes. The key? High heat and our secret spice blend.

Pan Fried Chicken Thighs

Need dinner in a hurry? Enter pan fried chicken thighs! It’s hard to find meal that comes together quickly with little fuss, but this one is an absolute game changer. All you need is a simple blend of spices and this comes together in just about 20 minutes! This one is a huge hit at our house and perfect for when you need to get dinner on the table fast. Here are all the tricks to a simple dinner!

Ingredients in pan fried chicken thighs

This pan fried chicken thighs recipe has an incredibly short ingredient list, making it simple to whip up as a weeknight dinner. There’s nothing fancy, no sauce required, and they taste incredible! The key is our secret seasoning blend, which brings out the best in this cut of chicken. We like using both smoked paprika and paprika so the flavor isn’t overpowering: but smoked paprika is key to an irresistibly nuanced, savory flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Paprika (standard variety)
  • Olive oil
Pan Fried Chicken Thighs

Boneless vs bone-in chicken thighs

Many chefs and experts will tell you that chicken thighs are the best cut of chicken. And we absolutely agree! A chicken breast can be delicious when cooked well (like in chicken piccata), but chicken thighs can be an even more flavorful experience. They’re fattier than chicken breasts, which gives them a more intense, rich flavor than the white meat. There are two ways to buy chicken thighs: boneless and bone-in.

  • This recipe is for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. This type of thigh cooks quicker and is easier to eat. We like it for pan frying because it makes for a fast dinner that’s easy for our entire family to eat (versus pulling meat off the bones, which can be tricky for the kids).
  • Bone-in, skin-on thighs have the best flavor. When you cook chicken with the bone in, the flavors inside the bone spread out onto the meat, leaving you with a meatier, richer flavor. We like using bone-in, skin-on thighs for our fan favorite Baked Chicken Thighs recipe (with amazing crispy skin!).

How long to pan fried chicken thighs

How long to pan fry chicken thighs depends on the size of the thighs and whether they are bone-in or boneless. At medium-high heat, pan fry boneless chicken thighs for 6 to 8 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Bone-in chicken thighs take a few minutes longer. Here’s how to pan fry chicken thighs:

  1. Season the chicken thighs per the recipe below.
  2. Add olive oil to large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Place the chicken thighs smooth side down and cook until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Flip and cook other side until cooked through, measured 165°F on a food thermometer, about 6 minutes.
  3. When the chicken is done, rest 5 minutes before serving for maximum juiciness. 
Pan Fried Chicken Thighs

Buy organic chicken if possible

When shopping for pan fried chicken thighs, keep in mind: the best chicken to buy is organic. This makes sure that it is the highest quality meat that was raised sustainably. It is also free of chemicals and additives so it’s the healthiest option for eating, and overall: it just tastes better!

Per the USDA, organic chicken must be raised in living conditions that accommodate their natural behaviors (like grazing on pasture), fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not given antibiotics or hormones.

Quick sides to make it a meal

Want to turn this pan fried chicken thighs into a meal? Here are a few extremely quick side dish recipes that can turn them into dinner:

More chicken recipes

This pan fried chicken thighs is one of our quickest, easiest chicken recipes that’s great for a weeknight meal! Here are a few more of our top chicken recipes:

This pan fried chicken thighs recipe is…

Gluten-free and dairy-free.

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Description

Dinner is served with these juicy, golden pan-fried chicken thighs! This easy, flavorful dish comes together in just 20 minutes. The key? High heat and our secret spice blend.


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds for boneless)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (standard variety)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Remove any excess fat on the chicken thighs and place them on a cutting board. Stir together the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Sprinkle the seasoning mix on all sides of the chicken thighs.
  2. Add the olive oil to large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Place the chicken thighs smooth side down and cook until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Flip and cook other side until cooked through, measured 165°F on a food thermometer, about 6 minutes.
  3. When the chicken is done, rest 5 minutes before serving for maximum juiciness. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chicken
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Pan fried chicken thighs, how long to pan fry chicken thighs, pan fry chicken thighs

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