Personally, I think chicken thighs are a little weird looking.  I think they are much prettier when the leg is still attached - but that’s just the vanity side of me talking. 

It’s likely still rare to “see” or “hear” of chicken thighs being highlighted on the menu in our house - and that’s because Eric really prefers white meat.

However ... as I’ve been cooking more, and learning more - I’ve come to appreciate chicken thighs for a couple of BIG reasons.  First - they are usually 1/2 to 2/3 the price of chicken breasts!  I’ve been able to find them on sale for 69 cents a pound - that’s a steal!  And second - chicken thighs lend themselves very well to “shredding” for the dishes that you will often see in our home ... MEXICAN - Yum!  Chicken thighs are also able to withstand long periods of marinating - so you can really boost their flavor.  And lastly - I must mention that the broth that remains after the cooking of the thighs is much deeper and richer in flavor.

The pressure cooker makes really light work out of cooking these chicken thighs to perfection ... and so does the slow cooker.  And you can find tons of recipes out there for the slow cooker using chicken thighs.  Who knows - maybe one will pop up here someday!

Here’s how this works:

I referenced the timing chart for Poultry in a book called “Pressure Perfect” by Lorna Sass.

Take your bone-in chicken thighs, thawed if previously frozen ... and season them heavily with salt and pepper (on both sides).  I keep the skin on my chicken, but feel free to remove it - it gets removed at the end anyway!

In the pot of your pressure cooker, heat enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot.

Once the oil is hot, lay the chicken thighs (skin side down) in the pot.  Cook (sear) until the thighs naturally release from the pot - about 4 minutes - and flip to the second side.  (The temperature of my pot is at least 400 degrees before I place the chicken in the pot - measured by my infrared thermometer).  You want the skin on the thighs to be a nice golden brown.

Then - decide if you want to remove the chicken to a plate, optional - before adding 1 cup of water - regardless - be careful when you add the water to a hot pot - then - next  immediately start scraping up the browned bits of chicken in the pan.  Then - if you removed the chicken, gently add back to the pot.

Then lock the lid of your pressure cooker into place and over HIGH heat bring the cooker to high pressure.

Once high pressure has been achieved, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting to maintain that pressure.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Then naturally release the pressure - for roughly 5 minutes - if all of the pressure has not released after 5 minutes, go ahead and quick release the remaining pressure.  Open the lid very carefully to avoid any residual steam.  * The timing chart I referenced says 8 minutes for cooking + 4 minutes of natural release ... I found the couple of extra minutes helped the shredding go quicker - you decide what works for you.  The chicken will be very HOT when you remove it from the pot - so be careful!!!

And there you have it!  Fully cooked bone-in chicken thighs that will pull away from the bone and shred very easily.  I discard the skin and find it’s easier to remove after it’s been cooked, but that’s just me.

Plus - you can strain the cooking liquid - you’ll have about 1 cup of chicken broth!  Because the skin was left on - there will be additional fat in the broth - that once cooled - you can easily spoon off! 

Freeze the broth if you aren’t going to use it right away!  In fact - freeze it - and use it the next time you cook chicken thighs - the flavors will only intensify - and soon enough you’ll have something pretty spectacular on hand!

And by the way --- if you’re someone who likes to “cook ahead” - you can freeze this cooked chicken so that you can put dinner on the table a little bit faster on any given busy night!