Yes, I do love me some chicken thighs. They are just such a nice piece of meat to grill – tender, crispy, flavorful. They are also so hard to screw up that I reach for them a lot when we have friends coming over. Since they don’t demand much attention, they are great for casual dinners out on the deck.
2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
2 tablespoons of your favorite rub (Dizzy Pig Swamp Venom here)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 gloves garlic, crushed
Juice of 1/2 lime (about a tablespoon)
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
At least 2 hours before cooking, dust the thighs heavily with the rub, lay them out in a single layer on a sheet pan, and let them sit uncovered in the fridge. This step both seasons the thighs and also helps to dry out the skin a bit to make it crispy.
Set the grill up for a raised direct cook over medium-high (400°F) heat. On the Big Green Egg I used the Woo2 to raise the grid. This gave me a more even heat by moving the thighs away from the flame and closer to the reflected heat from the dome.
Combine the butter, oil, garlic, and lime juice in a flame-proof melting pot and warm it on the grate just long enough to melt the butter. Set aside and keep warm (I nestle mine right up next to the BGE).
Put the thighs on the grill skin side down, close the lid, and let them cook for 30 minutes while you chat with guests and pour margaritas. Excuse yourself to flip them and let them go another 20 minutes.
Time to start paying attention – check the thighs for doneness. Chicken is technically done when the juices run clear and the internal temperature hits 160°F, but I like my thighs cooked a little longer.
So leave the thighs skin side up and continue to cook until the chicken hits 160°F, then brush both sides with the thighs with the basting sauce. Let them cook 10 minutes more and brush them again. Let them cook 5 more minutes, brush one last time, remove them to a warm plate, and let sit 10 minutes before serving.
The chicken was great – crispy and spicy with just a hint of smoke. The Swamp Venom rub is stellar on chicken and has a deep, herby heat thats not too hot. The baste adds a nice little citrus punch and some extra juiciness. The margaritas didn’t hurt either.