INSTANT POT THAI CHICKEN THIGHS
These flavorful Instant Pot Thai chicken thighs are perfect for dinner, while leftovers can be shredded to make healthy and delicious wraps for lunch the next day.
One trick to this recipe is to add enough liquid to the peanut sauce prior to cooking. If the sauce is too thick, the Instant Pot may not be able to reach adequate pressure. So, if you decide to add more peanut butter, be sure to adjust the amount of liquid, as well.
Tip: To get the nice browning effect shown in these images, transfer the chicken thighs to a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil after cooking. Brush each side generously with the peanut sauce and place under a broiler set to high for 2-3 minutes or until nicely browned.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes (+ time to come to pressure)
2 T. sesame oil
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2/3 c. chicken broth
¼ c. sugar-free peanut butter
¼ c. gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. honey, preferably local
1½ T. Sriracha sauce
2 t. fresh ginger
1 t. garlic powder
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Fresh cilantro, chopped
½ c. roasted peanuts, chopped
3-4 green onions, cut into thin slices
- Add sesame oil to Instant Pot and set the “Sauté” setting to high. Working in batches, if necessary, brown the chicken thighs, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat this process with remaining thighs. Remove and set aside on a platter.
- Pour chicken broth into hot container and gently scrape up brown bits from bottom. Add peanut butter to the hot liquid and stir until completed melted. Add soy sauce, lime juice, honey, Sriracha sauce, ginger, and garlic powder. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
- Add metal rack to the Instant Pot and place the browned chicken thighs on top.
- Add lid and lock into place. Switch vent to “Sealing” position and set the “Manual” setting on high before adjusting the cook time to 10 minutes. After a brief pause, the Instant Pot will automatically start building pressure.
- When finished, do a quick release (QR) to allow the pressure to escape. Unlock and carefully remove lid when finished and transfer the chicken to a platter.
- Optional: To thicken sauce, select the “Sauté” setting and heat, stirring continually, until the excess liquid is reduced and the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
- Turn Instant Pot off and return the chicken thighs and the juices that accumulated on the platter to the sauce and turn to coat.
- Remove chicken and transfer to a serving tray. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, and green onions, if desired. Serve immediately with extra peanut sauce and your favorite sides. Enjoy!
I also like to enjoy them in a lettuce wrap, so much healthier than a sandwich!
Here are 15 suggested frequently asked questions about Instant Pot Thai Chicken Thighs:
What cut of chicken works best for this Instant Pot Thai chicken recipe?
The best cut of chicken to use for this Instant Pot Thai chicken thigh recipe is bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are the ideal choice for a few reasons:
Tenderness – Chicken thighs have more fat and connective tissue compared to white meat like chicken breasts. The pressure cooking method helps break this down into gelatin, making the thighs very moist and tender. If using breasts, they can easily turn out dry and overcooked. The richness from the skin also adds flavor to the sauce.
Flavor – Chicken thighs have a deeper, more savory chicken flavor that pairs deliciously with the Thai sauce. The sauce permeates into the meat, rather than just coating it. This gives you finger-licking good chicken that falls off the bone. Breasts can often be bland and lack the richness needed in this dish.
No Trimming – Bone-in thighs require minimal prep or trimming compared to other cuts. You can cook them just as they are, with the bones, skin and fat still attached. The bones help add flavor and the skin gets wonderfully crisp. Breasts would need careful trimming.
Cook Evenly – Thighs hold up better to pressure cooking, cooking evenly regardless of minor differences in size. Chicken breasts are thinner and have the tendency to over or undercook if there are any size inconsistencies between pieces.
Budget-Friendly – Chicken thighs are often more budget-friendly than breasts or other quick cooking cuts like tenderloins. This recipe stretches thighs nicely to feed a family without breaking the bank.
Holds Up In Sauce – Since thighs have more fat and collagen, they hold up nicely when cooked in sauce. The flavors permeate into the meat rather than making it mushy or stringy like breasts may turn out.
Easy to Shred – The connective tissue in thighs breaks down nicely in the pressure cooker. This allows the meat to be easily shredded right in the pot if desired, to use for sandwiches, tacos or served over rice. Shredding chicken breasts can be trickier due to the lean nature.
In summary, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are recommended for this recipe because they offer the best texture, deepest flavor and easy prep at an affordable price point. Their skin provides delicious crispness while the tender dark meat soaks up all the delicious Thai sauce.
Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs for this recipe?
Chicken breasts can be used in this Instant Pot Thai chicken recipe, however they do require a few modifications. Here’s what you need to know:
Cooking Time – Chicken breasts cook faster than dark meat. The cooking time will need to be reduced to avoid drying out or overcooking the breasts. Try reducing it to just 5-7 minutes under pressure. Check for doneness before releasing pressure.
Size – Try to use similarly sized chicken breasts so they cook evenly. Cut larger ones in half. Monitor the temp with a meat thermometer ifconcerned about even cooking.
Keep Bones In – Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts can help keep the meat juicy. The bones contribute flavor as well. Remove bones before serving.
Brush on Marinade – Chicken breasts tend to be thicker on one end and thinner on the other. Brush the marinade generously on the meat before cooking to ensure it permeates and flavors the chicken.
Shred/-Cube Chicken – Shred or cut the cooked chicken into cubes to better soak up sauce. Leave breasts whole and they won’t absorb much flavor.
Add Moisture – The sauce may need a spoonful or two of water stirred in after cooking to account for less moisture released from the leaner breasts. This helps ensure a properly sauced dish.
Reduce Coconut Milk: The richness of full-fat coconut milk could overwhelm mild chicken breasts. Use light coconut milk instead in the recipe.
The results may not be quite as succulent or infused with flavor as they would be with dark meat chicken thighs. But with a few tweaks, you can still achieve a solid Thai chicken dish with chicken breasts in the pressure cooker. Just keep the cooking time short and shred the meat well to soak up that delicious Thai sauce!
Do I need to adjust the cooking time if using chicken breasts instead of thighs?
Yes, it’s important to reduce the cooking time if substituting chicken breasts for thighs in this Instant Pot Thai chicken recipe. Here are some tips:
Shorten Time Significantly: Chicken thighs can cook for 15-20 minutes under pressure, but chicken breasts should cook just 5-7 minutes max in the pressure cooker before they risk becoming dry or rubbery.
Check Doneness Early: Quick release the pressure after just 5 minutes. Test breasts with a meat thermometer, ensuring they reach 165F internally. If undercooked, re-pressure cook in 1-2 minute intervals, checking between each.
Watch the Size: Chicken breasts vary more in thickness and size compared to uniform thighs. Halve very large breasts before cooking. Layer thinner straggler pieces on top to prevent overcooking.
Rely on Your Senses: If a meat thermometer isn’t handy, check doneness by making a small cut into the thickest part of a breast. When opaque all the way through with just a hint of pink in the center, they’re properly cooked.
Prevent Overcooking: Even just 1 extra minute under pressure can cause chicken breasts to dry out. Don’t rely solely on recipe times. Use all your senses – thermometer readings, visual checks, texture tests before removing from pot.
Let Carryover Cooking Finish: The hot resting period after pressure release allows carryover cooking to finish without risk of drying meat. Bones in thighs insulate the meat so it stops cooking immediately despite residual heat.
In summary, 5-7 minutes cook time, checking doneness early, and preventing overshoot through carryover cooking are key when swapping chicken thighs for quicker cooking chicken breasts in Instant Pot recipes to prevent drying them out. Tweaking cooking times is imperative.
What kind of coconut milk works best for the sauce – light or full fat?
When it comes to the coconut milk for the sauce in this Instant Pot Thai Chicken Thigh recipe, full fat coconut milk is definitely the way to go for the richest flavor and velvety texture. Here’s why:
More Luscious Texture – Full fat coconut milk has a higher fat content, typically around 22-24%. This provides a lush, creamy sauce that nicely coats each piece of chicken and veg. Light coconut milk around 5-7% fat tends to be thinner, watery, and can curdle more easily.
Richer Flavor – The extra fat in full fat coconut milk equates to more coconut flavor shinning through the sauce. Light coconut milk tastes more diluted. For a recipe where coconut takes center stage like Thai curry, you want the intensity of flavor only full fat provides.
Prevents Separation – Full fat coconut milk is less likely to separate or curdle compared to light when cooked under pressure. The higher fat content remains suspended evenly with the milk solids for spoon-coating goodness in every bite.
Contrast to Spices – The rich, gentle creaminess of full fat coconut milk balances beautifully against the bold Thai spices and heat in the sauce. Light coconut milk could get lost or feel sharp against the strong flavors.
Stands Up to Chicken – Skin-on chicken thighs contribute plenty of fat and flavor themselves. Light coconut milk can seem weak or watery in comparison Full fat is rich enough to match.
Less Need to Thicken – Full fat coconut milk naturally has a thicker consistency that clings nicely to the tender chicken and veggies without needing cornstarch or flour to thicken it further.
Consistency for Leftovers – Even after refrigerating leftovers, full fat coconut milk based sauces maintain their luscious texture better next day without thinning out or separating substantially.
In summary, while light coconut milk can work in a pinch, full fat canned coconut milk makes the best choice for achieving the ideal rich, creamy, spoon-coating sauce texture this savory Thai chicken dish deserves. For most authentic flavor with lush curb appeal, go full fat!
Can I make this recipe gluten-free? What adjustments would I need?
Yes, you can easily make this Instant Pot Thai chicken thigh recipe gluten-free with just a couple minor adjustments:
Use Tamari Over Soy Sauce – Regular soy sauce contains wheat, but you can swap it out for gluten-free tamari instead. Tamari has that same umami saltiness as soy sauce without the gluten.
Verify Coconut Milk Brand – Some brands add thickeners like wheat flour or maltodextrin to coconut milk. Read labels carefully and choose 100% coconut based cans only to prevent gluten. Avoid products marked with statements like “contains less than 2% of xanthan gum.”
Choose GF Thai Red Curry Paste – Many red curry pastes sneak in gluten via wheat-based soy sauce or other sneaky thickeners without being transparent on labels. Opt for pastes clearly marked certified gluten free to eliminate uncertainty.
Substitute Arrowroot – The recipe thickens the sauce slightly using wheat flour. You can mimic the same effect using naturally gluten-free arrowroot powder instead. Just don’t go overboard on quantity arrowroot gels quickly.
Use Cornstarch Slurry – For thickening instead of flour, mix 1 tsp cornstarch (naturally gluten free) with 1 Tbsp water in a small bowl first. Stir into simmering sauce at very end until desired consistency is reached before serving.
Omit Thickening Altogether – You may find you don’t need a thickener for the sauce at all if using full fat coconut milk. The natural creaminess should coat the chicken and veggies sufficiently without modifications.
With easy ingredient swaps like tamari for regular soy sauce and arrowroot or cornstarch instead of flour, you can feel confident making this tasty Thai chicken recipe safely gluten-free. Double check your ingredients, and enjoy all the exotic flavors without the gluten!
Can I double or triple this recipe in my Instant Pot? Do I need to adjust cooking time?
You can absolutely double or triple this Instant Pot Thai chicken thigh recipe to feed a larger crowd, though you will need to tweak the cooking time and method slightly. Here are some pointers:
Don’t Overfill the Pot – Doubling is generally safe in a standard 6-8 quart size Instant Pot, but tripling may exceed maximum fill lines. Separate into multiple smaller batches if needed to avoid overflow and improper pressure.
Add Time for Volume – Greater volume of ingredients extends the time it takes contents to come up to pressure as well as cook through fully. For a double batch, add 50% more cook time (so around 25 mins). For triple, double the time to 30-35 minutes under pressure.
Stagger Thighs – When doubling or tripling, you’ll likely need to stack chicken thighs in two or more layers. Stagger and space them as much as possible to allow steam to circulate and cook evenly. Layer fattest parts in center.
Turn Chicken Halfway – To prevent over or undercooking with a bigger batch size, carefully turn and rearrange chicken using tongs about halfway through pressure cook time to expose all sides equally to steam.
Check Doneness – Getting an accurate read on doneness through size and color alone will be trickier. Use a meat thermometer to spot check largest pieces, ensuring they reach 165F minimum internally before serving.
Thicken Sauce – All that lovely chicken juice from a bigger batch will thin out the sauce slightly. Mix a cornstarch slurry towards the end of cooking to restore rich clingy texture before serving over rice.
Monitor for Evaporation – Open lid as little as possible and add a splash more liquid if needed since more surface space means faster evaporation. Keep an ear out for burning noises indicating a too dry pot.
With a few easy modifications and paying attention as it cooks, this tasty Instant Pot Thai chicken thigh recipe can definitely be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd! Enjoy all that saucy, tender chicken goodness.
Do I need to marinate the chicken first or can I just mix everything together in the pot?
One of the beauties of using the pressure cooker for this Thai chicken recipe is that you actually don’t need to marinate the chicken first. You can save time and dishes by simply mixing everything together right in the Instant Pot before you turn it on.
Dump It All In: Sautéing the aromatic ingredients like garlic, ginger and chili paste first provides plenty of flavor. From there you can mix in the coconut milk, fish sauce, veggies and raw chicken thighs all right in the pot.
Flavor Permeates Quickly: The high temperature steam forces spice flavors deep into the chicken in minutes rather than hours. The thighs cook surrounded by sauce, so they marinate and cook simultaneously.
Saves Time: Skipping the overnight marinating step makes this delicious chicken possible even on a busy weeknight. The active cooking time is under 30 minutes total between sautéing and pressure cooking.
Fewer Dishes: With the “one-pot” style cooking method, you don’t have to worry about pulling out a separate container or resealable bag to marinate the chicken. Just toss it all in the multi-cooker so less cleanup too!
Bolder Flavors: The chicken soaks up all the complex flavors of the sauce as it cooks resulting in bolder, more well incorporated flavor overall without timid or one-note taste.
Prevents Water-Logging: Lengthy marinating sometimes leads to soggy, watery chicken texture. Cooking directly in the flavorful sauce means the meat soaks up flavor not water for ideal moisture without getting spongy.
Tender and Succulent: The steam softens connective tissue in the thighs so they turn out fork-tender and succulent regardless of marinating time. Dark meat is naturally more forgiving texture-wise than finicky chicken breasts.
For easy weeknight Thai chicken with maximum flavor and minimum hassle, throw it all in the Instant Pot at once. No lengthy marinating time needed!
What can I substitute for fish sauce if I don’t have it or want a vegetarian option?
Fish sauce is a signature flavor in many Thai dishes, but there are a few great substitutes if you don’t have it on hand or want to make a vegetarian/vegan version of this recipe:
Soy Sauce or Tamari – The rich saltiness and umami notes of soy sauce and tamari make an easy 1:1 replacement in this recipe. Tamari is actually made from fermented soybeans like fish sauce too. Just a splash amps up flavor.
Liquid Aminos – This gluten-free soy sauce alternative offers salty complexity reminiscent of Asian flavor profiles too. Made from soybeans or coconut tree extracts, it lacks the slight fishiness but mimics the savory punch.
Mushroom Broth – Opt for a mushroom or seaweed based broth to lend an earthy background note that works well with Thai spices. You won’t get the brininess, but it provides moisture. Focus on bumping up aromatics instead to carry the flavor.
Miso Paste – A spoonful of this thick fermented soybean/rice paste whisked smoothly into the sauce adds huge umami impact and savory slickness similar to fish sauce. The color will be off but the flavor matches nicely.
Anchovy Paste – Just a small dab of this strongly flavored paste made from anchovies goes a long way in replicating the savoriness and salinity missing without fish sauce. Add carefully as a little goes a long way.
Salt to Taste – Don’t be afraid to generously season with salt and pepper to reinforce the strong, confident flavors typically provided by the fish sauce. Tasting and adjusting as you go.
While it provides unique depth of flavor, fish sauce isn’t an absolute necessity. With smart use of salty, savory ingredients like soy, miso paste or broth instead, you can find the right balance.
Do I need to stir the pot at all when pressure cooking or just set it?
When pressure cooking this Thai chicken thigh recipe, stirring is not necessary during the actual pressurized cooking time. Thanks to the unique circulation of superheated steam inside an Instant Pot, the food cooks evenly without any need to manually stir the contents. Here’s why you can simply lock the lid and walk away while it cooks:
Built-In Motion – Instant Pots have a gently swirling motion designed into the interior pot and lid to keep food moving. This mimics stirring action so all areas get exposed evenly to steam for uniform doneness.
Self-Contained Environment – Steam fills every crevice inside the sealed pot under intense pressure. It can’t escape so is forced into the food from all sides, precluding the need to stir. Just the natural motion within the pressurized environment suffices.
Intense Steam Saturation – When pressure cooking, steam heats to temperatures around 240-250°F, much higher than typical boiling point. This allows it deeply penetrate dense cuts of meat and thick sauces without stirring.
Small Batch – This recipe fills the pot only about halfway at most, so ingredients mound towards the center exposed thoroughly to swirling steam action during the cook time ensuring even exposure.
Prevents Burn Risk – Opening the pressurized environment mid-cycle drops the temperature drastically. The steam circulation negates any hot spots that would potentially lead to burning on pan surfaces if stirring.
Simple Hands Free Operation – The beauty of the Instant Pot is being able to simply lock the lid, set it and walk away while dinner cooks without any need to actively stir or monitor during the actual pressurized cooking phase.
Thanks to smart built-in design, all you have to do is pile everything in the pot, lock the lid to seal in steam and let the Instant Pot work its magic stirring the food for you while pressure cooking!
The sauce looks curdled when I release the pressure, is that normal?
It’s quite common for the sauce in this Instant Pot Thai chicken recipe to look slightly curdled or separated after the pressure cooking time ends. No need to worry though – it’s an easy fix! Here’s why it happens and how to smoothly recover the sauce:
Reason for Curdling: High temperature from pressure cooking causes the oil/liquid particles in coconut milk to split apart. Pressure forces these particles to combine again. When pressure drops at end of cooking, separation recurs temporarily.
Stir Immediately: As soon as you open the pot, give the sauce a good stir before serving. This blends the oil back smoothly into the coconut milk to evenly redistribute the particles for a creamy, gelled texture once more.
Use Full Fat Milk: Light coconut milk curdles more easily thanks to lower overall fat and protein content. Splurging on full fat canned milk prevents separation issues by keeping particles bonded despite pressure fluctuations.
Add Starch: Mixing just a teaspoon of cornstarch whisked into the sauce after opening the pot helps prevent water and oils from dividing again. This stabilizes it back into luscious consistency.
Blend Well: If small oil droplets still persist making the sauce look broken after stirring, use an immersion blender directly in the pot for 30 seconds to fully emulsify it back together.
Don’t Panic: As unappealing as the sauce may look temporarily after pressure release, have faith it will recover beautifully after a good stir and blending to realign the coconut milk particles for smooth, clingy texture.
No need to despair over a curdled looking sauce! Thanks to easy fixes like stirring, blending and stabilizing starches, it reverts right back to rich, spoon-coating goodness in moments.
My chicken wasn’t fall off the bone tender, what went wrong?
Properly pressure cooked chicken thighs should turn out succulently tender and fall-off-the-bone, so it can be disappointing if that texture doesn’t materialize. There are a few common reasons this can happen:
Incorrect Cook Time – Chicken thighs may need up to 20 minutes under pressure to fully break down connective tissues for tender texture. If time was insufficient, meat fibers don’t properly soften and loosen. Stick to recommended cook times.
Uneven Size – Thigh pieces of varying sizes in one batch can lead to uneven cooking. Some may be perfect while others undercooked in center. Try to use uniformly thick thigh portions for reliable even texture.
Lack of Liquid – For the steam to work its tenderizing magic, there needs to be sufficient braising liquid in the pot. Lack of moisture leads to part simmering instead which dries meat out instead of keeping it succulent.
Quick Release Issues – While quick releasing pressure is convenient for faster access, it can shock the system leading to shrinkage of meat fibers instead of keeping them luscious. Some tough spots result. Use natural release if time allows.
Overcrowding – Too many thighs piled high or tightly packed prevents steam from adequately circulating to evenly tenderize the batch. Leave some space around pieces for it to swirl freely.
Lowered Heat Too Soon – Meat continues cooking from residual ambient pot heat after pressure release (carryover cooking). Dropping temp too fast by running cold water over it prevents this last critical tenderizing phase from finishing.
Have patience with the process, properly time the cook, and allow carryover cooking after pressure release to get lip-smacking pull apart tender chicken thighs every time. Deliciously fall-off-the bone texture is within easy reach!
Can I substitute regular thyme for the lemon thyme in the recipe?
You sure can use regular thyme as substitute for the lemon thyme called for in this Instant Pot Thai chicken recipe. While they are both members of the mint family and share some similarities, their flavors do differ so expect a different taste profile. Here’s what to know:
Slightly Less Tang – Regular thyme has an earthier, more mellow grassy flavor compared to lemon thyme’s brighter citrusy punch. You’ll lose a touch of the tartness that counterbalances the coconut-rich curry.
Boost Other Acids – Compensate for the missing lemony flavor notes of real lemon thyme by adding a teaspoon or two of fresh lemon juice to reinforce that tang in the dish’s overall profile. Also garnish with extra lime wedges.
Increase Aromatics – Pound in some extra ginger, garlic, cilantro and chili to reinforce the vibrant Thai flavor direction since the herbal lemon nuances will be more subdued from plain thyme. This prevents a one-note taste.
Use Fresh vs. Dry – The volatile citrus oils dissipating are what you sacrifice most from a dried lemon thyme substitution. Use fresh regular thyme to make up for this a bit, as it will taste brighter than the dried version.
Let Other Flavors Shine – The mellower character of regular thyme shifts the flavor balance slightly away from the lemon thyme’s starring role to let the chili paste, fish sauce and coconut milk move to the forefront instead which is not necessarily bad.
Monitor Salt – Lemon thyme has less salty mineral notes than regular. You may need slightly less fish sauce or soy sauce to prevent over-salting the recipe without the salt-cutting lemon burst. Adjust to taste as sauce simmers.
While it comes down to personal preference, bright lemon thyme is best for reinforcement of the Thai flavor profile in this dish. But regular fresh thyme makes a fine stand-in – just kick up other supporting flavors to compensate for the missing citrus edge.
Can I use fresh lime juice instead of bottled lime juice called for?
Absolutely! Not only can you substitute in fresh lime juice for the bottled variety called for in this Thai chicken recipe, but it’s actually preferable for the best, brightest flavor. Here’s why:
Superior Flavor – Freshly squeezed lime juice tastes significantly more vibrant, tart, and nuanced than commercial bottled. No comparison when it comes to zesty punch! Bottled tastes flat, often bitter from preservatives.
Adds Acidity – Bright acidity is key in cutting through the rich coconut curry sauce. Fresh citrus juice has much stronger ability to cut fat and balance flavors compared to dull store-bought.
Aromatic Boost – Bonus dose of lime oil and aromatic compounds get released when you squeeze the fruit. They lift and accentuate all the other spice flavors in the dish beautifully. Far more lively taste!
Season to Taste – Start with the same 2-3 tablespoon quantity first. But the beauty of fresh citrus means you can tweak acidity to taste preference on the fly with a quick wedge squeeze over the finished dish instead of being limited by flat bottled flavor.
Easy On-Hand Ingredient – Fresh limes keep for weeks in the fridge and are handy year-round attendant most homes unlike niche bottled citrus juice. Easy to grab & squeeze vs. relying on specific jarred item from store.
For best results making this saucy Instant Pot Thai chicken, always opt for freshly squeezed lime juice whenever possible. The improved acidity and genuine lively lime character compared to bottled makes all the difference in coaxing maximum brightness from those fabulous Thai flavors!
What sides go well with the Thai chicken? Rice? Veggies?
This flavorful Thai chicken is extremely versatile when it comes to side dish pairings. Here are some fantastic options to complement the creamy, spicy chicken and sauce:
Jasmine Rice – Fluffy jasmine rice is a no-brainer pairing. The coconut curry sauce begs to be spooned over this nutty, fragrant starch. Rice soaks up rich flavors beautifully. Keep it simple!
Stir Fried Veggies – Crisp-tender veggies like bok choy, broccoli, peppers, or asparagus stir fried in a hot wok make an easy veggie pairing. Sprinkle with toasted sesame oil and soy sauce.
Coconut Sticky Rice – For a fun twist, make sweet coconut sticky rice studded with mango or pineapple chunks. The sweetness contrasts the spicy chicken uniquely.
Soba Noodles – Nutty buckwheat soba noodles tossed in sesame oil offer a nice alternative to rice. Their hearty texture stands up well to the sauce without getting lost.
Asian Slaw – Crunchy cabbage, carrots, cilantro and almonds tossed in rice vinegar and sesame dressing cools things down next to the splashy chicken.
Fresh Lime Wedges – Regardless the sides, don’t forget the lime wedges! The extra squirt of acid brightens flavors and cuts richness perfectly to lift the whole meal.
The beauty of this Thai chicken dish is that it pairs wonderfully with basics like rice or noodles but also holds its own next to zesty, crunchy sides too. Get creative mixing sweet, tangy, crisp pairings for ultimate flavor and textural contrast!
How long does the leftover chicken keep refrigerated and can it be frozen?
The leftover cooked chicken thighs from this recipe will keep fresh in the refrigerator safely for 3 to 4 days. And yes, you can also freeze leftovers for longer term storage. Here are some guidelines:
Fridge Storage: Keep chicken stored in a sealed container to avoid drying out. Separate from sauce if you plan to use that later to prevent sodden chicken. Use within 3-4 days for best quality and food safety.
Freezer Storage: The chicken can be frozen in an airtight freezer bag or container for 2-3 months. Again, separate it from sauce which can turn grainy when frozen. Defrosting overnight in fridge is best to prevent excess moisture loss.
Use It Up Quickly: For absolute best flavor and texture, try to use up leftovers within a week. The already tender chicken can start becoming stringy, dry or mushy in the defrost/reheat process if frozen too long.
Shred Before Freezing: Consider shredding or chopping chicken before freezing in measured recipe-sized portions like 1 cup. This allows for direct use in future meals like stir fries, sandwiches, tacos, etc without defrosting the whole container.
Play With Applications: Don’t make the same exact curry chicken dish with leftovers. Repurpose chicken into all sorts of quick salads, flatbread pizzas, casseroles, wraps, etc so it doesn’t get boring.
Properly stored in sealed containers, this Thai chicken stays tasty in the fridge several days. But the freezable nature makes whipping up fast, flavorful meals a cinch even months down the road thanks to perfectly cooked leftover chicken ready when you are!