This buffalo chicken thighs recipe is tasty and easy to make. It’s like having buffalo chicken wings but a lot more meat. You’re going to love them!
In this recipe, I am going to give you a step-by-step guide with pictures and also a video if you prefer. We will go over how to grill, bake or air fry them.
Buffalo Chicken Thighs Ingredients
- 1lb chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- ¾ cup Franks red hot sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
How To Make Buffalo Chicken Thighs
There are a few different ways to cook these chicken thighs. I will give you the instructions on grilling, banking, and cooking them in an air-fryer.
Prepare the chicken thighs
Trim any excess fat off from the chicken thighs and check to make sure there are no bones.
Now you don’t want to trim all the fat away, a lot of that fat will bring flavor to the chicken. Sometimes they don’t need any trimming.
Add your chicken, olive oil, salt, and pepper into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
The goal here is to get an equal coating of oil and seasoning over all parts of the chicken thighs.
If you like a lot of pepper don’t be afraid to add it to the chicken at this step. I love using a metal bowl it really makes it easy to combine the ingredients.
Prepare the grill
Get the grill fired up and hot to make sure there are no leftover flavors on the grates from your last cook.
If your last grilling recipe had bbq sauce then you might want to clean the grates first. The sauce is probably burnt and stuck to the grill and will change the taste of your chicken.
If you get it hot enough you will burn anything excess off, and you will be good to go.
You want to preheat your grill up to 400 degrees.
Grilling the chicken thighs
Once your grill is heated to about 400 degrees, go ahead and throw your chicken on the grill.
Once you place your chicken try and leave the lid closed so it can keep a consistent temperature.
Wait 5 minutes and then flip your chicken over. Check it again in 5 minutes and once it reaches 160 degrees pull them off the grill.
As the chicken rests it should bring the chicken up to the safe level of 165 degrees. You can always check this with a quality instant-read thermometer.
Make the buffalo hot sauce
Start by adding your Franks Red Hot Sauce to a small saucepan. Add in your Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder and stir.
Melt the butter into the sauce stirring often. You want to make sure that you use cold butter. This is going to bring thickness and creaminess to the sauce.
Bring the sauce up to a simmer and let it reduce and thicken a bit. Start stirring it as it simmers.
Dont forget to add the garlic powder. This brings a ton of flavor to the recipe!
After it rests it will also thicken some more. The goal is to get it to a consistency that is not runny but will coat the chicken thighs well. Try adding this sauce to my grilled chicken tenders.
Mix it all together
Now that you have your chicken thighs grilled and your buffalo hot sauce all mixed together, now it is time to mix the chicken and the sauce!
You want a good coating of sauce all over each piece of chicken. Just like adding the seasoning, I enjoy using a metal bowl. This makes the tossing of the chicken easier.
Serve the grilled buffalo chicken thighs
Serve with your choice of ranch dressing or bleu cheese dressing and a few celery stalks to help cool down the heat. ENJOY!
Oven-Baked Buffalo Chicken Thighs
Baked is a great way to go when you make buffalo chicken. You will follow all the steps above except the grilling part.
Baking them can make a crispy chicken thigh! If you want them with breading then you want to do a simple dredge.
- Lightly coat the boneless chicken thighs in flour
- Place them in an egg wash
- Bread them with breadcrumbs, crushed ritz crackers
- Coat them in the buffalo sauce
If you like baked chicken thighs then you need to check out this recipe for baked chicken thighs.
Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Thighs
Now, this method is the way to get extremely crispy buffalo chicken thighs.
Follow the same steps for the baked buffalo chicken thighs except your going to cook them in the air fryer. Dredge them if you like or don’t.
You could also cook them with the skin on them and not dredge them. That crispy skin will also make them… so good talk about being similar to buffalo chicken wings.
What Chicken should I use for buffalo chicken thighs?
Yes, you have options in chicken that can use, let’s look at the pros and cons of both.
Bone-in buffalo chicken thighs can have that added flavor because they will have skin on them.
You don’t really get added flavor from the bone in this recipe but there is something about eating chicken from a bone.
Boneless chicken thighs
Yes, they should be healthier. You will miss some of the crispy crunches that you can get from the skin.
You can add breading that will brown and can get crispy will add some tasty flavor to that chicken.
You can cook chicken thighs in a pan if you don’t have a grill. It is very simple. Drizzle some olive oil into your pan and let it heat up a little bit on medium heat.
Add your chicken thighs to your pan and let them cook for 5-7 minutes before flipping them over.
You want to remove your chicken thighs from the pan when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
If you are baking your chicken thighs at 400 degrees you would want to check them for around 20-23 minutes by checking the internal temperature.
Once you get a temperature of 165 degrees then go ahead and take them out and let them rest for a few minutes.
Chicken thighs are dark meat as well as the wings and drumsticks. They are darker in color and more tender because of the type of muscle they are.
White meat and dark meat are two different types of muscle and that’s why they differ in color. Chicken thighs are dark meat because of 2 different proteins that convert fat into protein within the muscles.
Buffalo Chicken Thighs
- 1 lb chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 3/4 cup franks red hot sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Trim any excess fat off from the chicken thighs and check to make sure there are no bones. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly.
- Preheat the grill to 400 degrees. Grill the chicken until you reach a temp of 160 degrees.
- Add Franks hot sauce, worcestershire sauce and garlic powder to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer on medium heat.When it starts to simmer add butter to the saucepan and stir until melted. Bring the sauce back to a simmer and pull it after it gets to a light boil. Keep stirring the sauce during the process.
- Grill the chicken thighs on the grill until you reach an internal temp of 160 degrees. When the chicken rests it should come up to the requred 165 degrees for food safety.
- Mix the buffalo sauce with the chicken thighs.
- Serve with celery stalks and ranch dressing.