Grilled chicken thighs take center stage in this easy-to-follow recipe, offering a delightful burst of flavors.
Grilled chicken thighs are a juicy, flavorful, family-friendly dish that is also incredibly versatile for leftovers and Caesar salads. Whether a casual dinner or a special occasion, this juicy grilled chicken recipe will impress your guests and satisfy your taste buds.
Why You Will Love This Recipe:
Versatile Seasoning Options: This recipe offers endless possibilities for seasoning, allowing you to customize the flavor to suit your preferences.
Quick and Easy Preparation: With straightforward steps and minimal ingredients, this dish is perfect for novice and experienced cooks, saving you time without sacrificing taste.
Perfect for Any Occasion: Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a weekend barbecue, these grilled chicken thighs are a crowd-pleaser that can elevate any gathering.
Delicious Leftovers: Enjoy the mouthwatering leftovers for days to come, making meal planning and prep a breeze.
Chicken Thighs: These succulent and flavorful cuts of chicken are perfect for grilling. They provide juicy, tender meat that’s rich in taste and ideal for this recipe.
Olive Oil: Olive oil serves as the base, offering a smooth and flavorful foundation. It adds richness and ensures the chicken is coated evenly, enhancing the taste.
Oregano: Oregano contributes a savory umami flavor to the marinade. Its aromatic and earthy notes balance the other ingredients, elevating the overall taste of the chicken thighs.
Onion Powder: Onion powder brings a robust and aromatic flavor. It infuses the chicken thighs with a delightful essence, adding depth to the dish.
Salt: Salt is a fundamental seasoning that enhances the overall flavor profile. It provides the right balance of savory taste to the chicken.
Black Pepper: Black pepper adds a mild heat and a delightful hint of spiciness to the marinade. It complements the other flavors and spices in the mix.
Paprika: Paprika contributes vibrant color and smoky, slightly sweet flavor. It adds depth and complexity to the dish, making it even more delicious.
Grill: The central piece of equipment for this recipe is a grill. Whether you have a gas grill, charcoal grill, or electric grill, ensure it’s in good working condition. The grill should have a lid and reach and maintain the desired cooking temperature.
Tongs: You’ll need a pair of long-handled tongs to handle and flip the chicken thighs on the grill safely. Tongs provide precision and control when working over an open flame.
Meat Thermometer: A meat thermometer is essential to ensure the chicken thighs are perfectly cooked and safe to eat. It allows you to check the internal temperature of the thighs, ensuring they reach 165°F.
Clean Grill Grates: While not a tool per se, it’s crucial to ensure the grill grates are clean and free of any residue from previous grilling sessions. Clean grates prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
Grill Cast Iron Skillet: A high-quality skillet ensures even cooking and a delicious char on the chicken if you don’t have a grill.
Prepare the Chicken Thighs:
Start by generously coating each chicken thigh with olive oil, ensuring both sides are well-covered. This will help the seasonings adhere and create a flavorful crust when grilled.
Sprinkle oregano, onion powder, kosher salt, pepper, and paprika evenly over the oiled chicken thighs.
Gently rub the seasonings into the meat to ensure even distribution, and flip the thighs to season the other side.
Cover the seasoned chicken thighs in a Pyrex pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and infuse the meat thoroughly.
Grill the Chicken Thighs:
Preheat your grill according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Clean the grill grates to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking. Lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
Follow the grill’s instructions to set the appropriate temperature. A medium-high setting is typically suitable.
Grill the bone-in chicken thighs for approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side, depending on their thickness. Bone-in thighs generally require more grilling time than boneless ones. Flip them on one side halfway through for even cooking.
Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°F for safe consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to grill chicken thighs?
Grilling bone-in chicken thighs on an indoor stovetop grill typically takes about 10 to 12 minutes per side, depending on their thickness and the heat setting of your grill. It’s essential to use a meat thermometer to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 165°F and are fully cooked.
How do you keep chicken thighs from drying out on the grill?
Use bone-in, skin-on thighs, brine or marinate, and avoid overcooking.
What’s the internal temperature for chicken thighs on a gas grill?
165 degrees Fahrenheit is the safe internal temperature for both boneless chicken and bone-in chicken thighs on a gas grill.
How to prevent chicken thighs from sticking to the grill?
Preventing chicken thighs from sticking to the grill is essential for easy cooking. Follow these steps:
Preheat and clean the grill: Ensure the grill grates are clean and well-oiled before cooking.
Oil the chicken: Lightly brush or spray the chicken thighs with oil before placing them on the grill.
Use indirect heat: Start by searing the chicken on high heat for a few minutes, then move it to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. This reduces the chances of sticking.
Avoid frequent flipping: Limit flipping the chicken thighs to prevent them from sticking. Let them cook undisturbed for a few minutes before turning.
Is it necessary to trim chicken thighs before grilling?
Trimming chicken thighs before grilling is a matter of personal preference. Some prefer to trim excess fat or skin for a leaner option, while others enjoy the added flavor and moisture that fat and skin provide. If you decide to trim, use kitchen shears to remove unwanted portions. However, leaving some fat or skin can enhance the grilling experience.
How long should I marinate the chicken thighs?
For optimal flavor, marinate the chicken thighs for at least 30 minutes, but longer marination (a few hours) infuses the meat thoroughly.
Let Chicken Rest for Flavor: Once your chicken thighs are off the grill, let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring maximum flavor in every bite. Cutting into meat immediately after cooking can lead to moisture loss.
Pairing Flavors and Ingredients
Get creative with flavor pairings and side dishes to complement your grilled chicken thighs:
Herbal Delight: Consider marinating your chicken thighs in fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, garlic, and oregano. This imparts a fragrant and earthy aroma to your grilled chicken, making it a delightful experience for your taste buds.
Sweet and Tangy: Experiment with sweet and tangy marinades using honey, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard. These flavors create a delightful contrast to the smokiness of the grill, adding complexity to your dish.
International Flair: Explore global cuisines by incorporating different spice blends and sauces. From Cajun spice rubs to teriyaki glazes, the world is your flavor palette. Try something new and transport your taste buds to far-off places.
Consider serving it with grilled vegetables or a fresh green salad for lighter, low-carb options. Or, to add some spice, serve with Mexican pickled carrots.
To cater to specific dietary preferences, consider substituting ingredients like boneless chicken or skinless chicken thighs for a lower-fat option or gluten-free soy sauce for those with gluten sensitivities.
Experiment with different spice blends, sauces, or additional ingredients like honey or Dijon mustard to create unique marinades tailored to your taste. You can suggest variations by recommending alternative vegetables, cheese options, or different grilled meats.
Store: After enjoying your delicious grilled chicken thighs, storing any leftovers properly is essential. Use an airtight container to keep the chicken thighs in the refrigerator. This container helps maintain freshness and prevent odors from permeating the chicken.
Reheat: When you’re ready to enjoy your leftovers, there are a few safe methods for reheating. You can gently reheat the chicken thighs in the microwave or stovetop. To prevent the chicken from drying out, consider adding a splash of chicken stock or water during the reheating process. This helps maintain moisture and flavor.
Freeze: If you have more leftovers than you can consume within a few days, freezing is an option. Place grilled chicken thighs in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container to freeze them. Ensure the container is sealed well to prevent freezer burn. You can safely freeze grilled chicken thighs for up to 2 months.
Food Safety: It’s crucial to adhere to food safety guidelines when storing and reheating grilled chicken thighs. Ensure leftovers are stored in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking to prevent bacteria growth. When reheating, ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees to ensure it’s safe to eat. Always follow food safety recommendations to keep your meals delicious and safe.
Indulge in the rich flavors of perfectly grilled chicken thighs with one of the easiest chicken recipes. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or enjoying a cozy family dinner, this dish is a crowd-pleaser that captures the essence of all seasons.
Grilled Chicken Thighs Recipe
- 8-12 chicken thighs
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Teaspoon oregano
- 1 Teaspoon onion powder
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon paprika
Prepare the Chicken Thighs:
- Start by generously coating each chicken thigh with olive oil, ensuring both sides are well-covered. This will help the seasonings adhere and create a flavorful crust when grilled.
- Sprinkle oregano, onion powder, salt, pepper, and paprika evenly over the oiled chicken thighs.
- Gently rub the seasonings into the meat to ensure even distribution, and flip the thighs to season the other side.
Grill the Chicken Thighs:
- Preheat your grill according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Clean the grill grates to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking.
- Lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
- Follow the grill’s instructions to set the appropriate temperature. A medium-high setting is typically suitable.
- Grill the chicken thighs for approximately 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on their thickness. Flip them halfway through for even cooking.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°F for safe consumption.
- Once done, serve the grilled chicken thighs with your sides of choice, such as grilled vegetables, a fresh green salad, or mashed potatoes.
*Nutritional information is a calculated guesstimate. Please note that this can change with different brands and modifications you may make to the recipe. For the most accurate information, use a nutritional calculator with the exact brands and measurements you’re using with each recipe.