One of the biggest complaints that I hear from people about grilling chicken is that the chicken gets too dry. And it does unless you take the time to properly prepare the chicken well in advance of grilling it.
I have been grilling chicken for many many years now and I have developed a few methods for either brining or marinating the various cuts of chicken. My favorite cuts of chicken to grill are the thighs and breasts. I also love to smoke a beer-can chicken but that and the breasts will be for another blog post.
One of the dishes that has become a favorite in our house are my barbecued chicken thighs. I am going to share with you my recipe and technique for making incredibly flavorful chicken thighs that are moist and even taste great as leftovers the next day for lunch.
Here is what you will need:
1 Family Pack of Chicken Thighs (usually 8 thighs)
1 Bottle of Honey BBQ Sauce
For the Brine:
1 Can of Light Beer
12 oz Water
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
4 to 5 Peppercorns
1 large Bay leaf
At least 4 hours before grilling, overnight is even better, place the beer, water, a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and the cloves in a large bowl and place the chicken thighs in the bowl skin side up. Let brine in the refrigerator.
To grill, either on a gas grill or charcoal grill, heat the grill to about 350 degrees, scrape the grill and be sure to oil the grill to help keep the chicken from sticking to the grates.
Then place the chicken, skin side down, on the grates and close the lid. Placing the chicken skin side down will allow the grill to burn off the skin and the fat from the chicken. Be careful because this happens pretty quickly and you will get flare ups from the chicken fat.
Once the skin has burned to a crisp, I generally take my tongs and a steak knife and pull the skin off of the thighs. The skin should come off easily if you let it sit on the fire long enough but don’t burn the chicken.
After you have removed the skin the fire will die down and you can continue to cook the chicken thighs for about 3 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. Then baste both sides with the honey BBQ sauce and let the first coating caramelize for 1 to 2 minutes on both sides and then do a second basting and remove from the grill.
Serve with your favorite side dish.
If you want to kick the chicken up a notch you can add some soaked Apple wood/chips to your coals or smoke box and give the chicken thighs a wonderful grill smoked flavor. Enjoy!
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