Grilled Chicken Thighs
One of the best things about summer is cooking outside. There's just something about the way food tastes when you grill out. During these warm months you'd be hard pressed to find me spending much time in the kitchen. Here's an easy way to grill chicken thighs.
For the chicken
You can season your chicken thighs with any seasonings you like. That's one of the advantages of chicken is that you can make it a hundred different ways—it's a fairly universal meat that you really can't do much wrong with. Here's how I seasoned mine for this particular batch to grill.
- Lawry's® garlic salt
- lemon and pepper seasoning
- Italian seasoning
How much of each seasoning you use simply depends on your tastes. I like to let my chicken sit after seasoning for about 10 or 15 minutes to sort of marinate. With chicken, however, you can put right onto the grill. 10 or 15 minutes won't make much of a difference in the concentration of the flavor.
Getting the grill fired up
The key to cooking chicken thighs on the grill is maintaining just enough heat to cook the chicken, but not burn it. I like to preheat my grill to about 375° to 400°, and then I try to maintain the temperature around 350° to 375° throughout the grilling process. Maintaining this temperature keeps the juices in and prevents drying out the chicken. To my mind there is nothing worse than eating a dry piece of chicken.
Grilling the chicken thighs
Arrange the chicken thighs on the grill surface bone side down. When I cook chicken thighs in this way on the grill I never turn them. Simply leave them bone side down throughout the entire cooking process. This also helps to maintain juiciness. Keep a water bottle handy to reduce any flare-ups that may occur. Chicken is fairly greasy, so flare-ups are likely to happen. Another key here is to keep the chicken moving. This also helps to reduce flare-ups. Whatever you do, don't walk away from the grill for too long. Flare-ups will occur at a moments notice, and by the time you return to the grill, it may already be too late. Your chicken will be charred, and that never tastes good.
Make a sauce
You can use whatever you prefer for a grilling sauce. As chicken tends to be something I cook often, simply because it's one of cheaper meats to cook, having myriad sauces on the list is always important to keep up a little bit of variety. For this batch I decided to whip up a batch of A1® Steak Sauce and Ken's Steak House® Lite French dressing. I will tell you that this mixture is as good, if not better than any barbeque sauce you might use. Not too tangy, and just the right amount of sweetness makes this a perfect sauce to put on your grilled chicken thighs.
- 1/4 cup A1® Steak Sauce
- 1/4 cup Ken's Steak House® Lite French dressing
As for when to put the sauce on, that's something that is entirely up to you. However, I prefer to put the sauce on at the very end of the grilling process. Again, don't turn the chicken.
When it's done?
I prefer to use a meat thermometer to determine when the chicken is done. If the chicken is cooked to 160° to 170° it is fine. Sometimes going by sight or time can be misleading. Although, after a while you will get a feel for when your chicken is ready for sauce and ready for the platter.
One quick tip about doneness: If it's pink at the top, worry not. If it's pink to the bone, leave it alone. Pinking occurs from the smoke that accumulates inside the grill, and is normally nothing to worry about so long as the pink is not to the bone. So long as the internal temperature of the meat is right, your chicken is done.
And that's pretty much all there is to it. As for side dishes? For this batch I made a can of peas, and a box of Betty Crocker® Homestyle Stuffing. But you can, of course, serve up whatever sides you want.
Enjoy your grilled chicken thighs.
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