So, the other night my dear wife asks if I would please make “golf ball chicken” for her.
“You know, those thighs you marinated in Worcestershire that curled up like little golf balls.”
Face palm, “Oh yeah, thought you’d forgotten about those.”
“No, they were tasty, just a little chewy.”
“Sure honey. Just let me play around with that recipe a little bit. I’ll make them for you tomorrow.”
The “golf balls” in question were boneless, skinless thighs that I’d soaked in a version of my Oil Drum Chicken marinade and grilled indirect. The thighs did indeed roll up into little balls and I didn’t cook them long enough to make them tender. Not a pretty moment in my cooking history.
Thankfully, they were tasty and my dear wife is very forgiving, so here’s skewered version of the same dish.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Put the salt and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the garlic is minced. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chicken, and give them a whirl until they are well-combined. Reserve half for basting the chicken (I use an old Worcestershire sauce bottle with a shaker top).
Put the chicken in a zip-top bag and coat with the other half of the marinade. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, overnight is better, and 48 hours rocks.
You’ll need 3-4 bamboo skewers. Soak them in water for at least an hour.
Set the grill up for a direct cook over very hot (500°F +) heat.
Remove the thighs from the marinade and thread flat onto skewers. Grill about 2 minutes on one side. Flip and baste with the reserved marinade. Repeat until they are crispy on the outside and at least 180°F on the inside (about 10 minutes total).
This is that crispy, juicy, smoky, tangy chicken that I dream about. The meat was flavorful, and so moist and tender that it just about fell off the skewers. No golf balls here!
So why just 4 stars? I was short on time and ignored my own advice by marinating these thighs for just 2 hours. The extra time yields extra flavor.