Knowhow

Chicken Leg Vs Chicken Thigh: What’s The Difference?

There are plenty of good recipes that call for either chicken legs or thighs.

So do you know when you should choose either the legs or thighs of a chicken for your dish? And what cut will be healthier? Keep reading and you can easily find the answer to these questions.

What are chicken legs?

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Chicken legs are the lower part of the bird’s body, where the thigh and drumstick are located and connected as one piece.

Chicken legs can be sold whole legs or divided into two parts, which are commonly known as chicken thighs (the top section), and the drumstick (the lower portion).

The chicken foot, which attaches to the drumstick, is the lowest part of a leg.

However, it is usually discarded before the leg is packaged and sold on the market.

Chicken feet are usually sold separately from the legs and are more common in Mexican, South African, and Asian cuisines than in American cuisine.

Chicken legs can be cooked whole in various ways, such as boiling, frying, baking, roasting, or braising.

They are usually marinated with honey, garlic, onion, and different spices per personal preference.

What are chicken thighs?

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Chicken thighs are the upper part of chicken legs.

The thigh portion attaches to the body of the bird.

Chicken thighs have a higher meat content than the drumsticks and they only consist of a small thigh bone alongside the meat, which can be easily removed before cooking.

Chicken thighs can be served bone-in or boneless, skin-on or skinless.

For those who are looking for a juicy and flavorful cut of meat without sacrificing their health, boneless skinless chicken thighs will be their top choice.

Chicken thighs are excellent to be baked, fried, broiled, or grilled.

When the bone is removed, it only takes a short time to cook chicken thighs.

Since chicken thighs have a large number of leg muscles, they are also ideal for slow cooking so that the meat can melt in your mouth.

What are the differences between chicken legs vs chicken thighs?

Many people usually mistake chicken legs with chicken thighs and they think these two cuts are the same thing.

However, in fact, there are numerous differences between chicken legs and chicken thighs, which will be unraveled in the table below:

 Chicken legsChicken thighs
PortionConsists of chicken thigh and drumstick connected as one pieceThe upper section of chicken legs that attaches to the bird’s body
Condition when soldUsually the whole leg with skin-on and bone-inUsually boneless and skinless, can be bone-in and skin-on
Cooking timeLongerShorter
PriceCheaper because they are considered unhealthy red meat and requires more steps to prepare (if you want to separate a leg into a thigh and drumstick)More expensive because they are usually sold boneless and skinless, which is considered healthier

What are the similarities between chicken legs vs chicken thighs?

Chicken thighs are part of chicken legs, therefore, these two cuts definitely share some similarities, as mentioned below:

1. Chicken legs and chicken thighs have the same nutrient value

In general, chicken legs and chicken thighs share the same nutritional content.

They are considered dark meat, which is in contrast to the white meat section like chicken breast.

The benefit of dark meat like chicken legs or chicken thighs is it is richer in iron, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine, and B-vitamins.

Chicken legs and chicken thighs are also great sources of protein and fat.

2. Chicken legs and chicken thighs can be cooked the same way

Another similarity between chicken legs and chicken thighs is they can be cooked the same way.

The most common methods to cook these cuts are baking, frying, grilling, braising, or boiling.

The resulting dishes can be served alone, with salad and sauce on the sauce, or shredded to make burgers or tacos fillings.

3. Chicken legs and chicken thighs have the similar taste

Chicken legs and chicken thighs also share the same taste.

If chicken breast seems to be mild and bland with a drier texture, dark meat chicken like chicken legs or chicken thighs is more intense, succulent, and juicier.

If you keep the skin intact when cooking these cuts, it will taste even more flavorful.

However, most chicken fat is found in the skin, therefore, if you are following a special diet that cuts down the fat intake, you can choose to remove it before cooking or eating.

Which one is better?

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Product ImageWise Organics Double Certified Organic Bone-in Skin-on Chicken Leg...Fresh Brand – Chicken Thighs, 100% Natural, Bone-In Skin-On, 2 lb
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We hope that you now have an idea of which cut is better for your dish.

Chicken thighs are actually a smaller cut from chicken legs, but they are usually sold boneless and skinless, which turn out to be healthier.

There are no significant differences between these two cuts, so feel free to choose chicken legs or chicken thighs for your next meal.

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