This is the time of year when zucchini start mysteriously appearing everywhere. Seems like we’ve had a glut of them at home, and we didn’t even plant any. If the neighbors aren’t unloading theirs on our doorstep, it’s my folks passing on their surplus.
Since we’ve been graced with a couple of extra weeks of grilling weather, I decided to make up a big batch of my Chicken & Veggies recipe featuring as many of the zucchini as I could squeeze into a 9×13 pan.
8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons herbes de provence
1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
Lay the thighs out in a baking pan. Season both sides with the herbs and salt. Set in the fridge uncovered while you prep the veggies.
2 large zucchini, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground back pepper to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in a disposable foil pan. Mix well.
Set up your grill for an indirect cook over medium-high (400°F) heat. On the Big Green Egg I use about half a fire box full of lump charcoal, an inverted plate setter to diffuse the heat, and a trivet for the roasting pan.
Set the pan full of veggies on the trivet. Place a small wire rack or grill grate on top of the pan. Lay the chicken thighs skin side down on the grate above the veggies.
Close the lid and let cook for 20 minutes. Lift the grate with the chicken on it off of the pan and give the veggies a stir. Add more oil or a little chicken stock if they are starting to stick. Put the grate back on the pan and flip the chicken. Close the lid and cook for another 20 minutes. Check the veggies again. If they are done, take them off the grill and set them someplace warm while the chicken finishes.
I usually leave the rig set up for an indirect cook and let the thighs finish cooking, but I was running short on daylight and the thighs were looking a little anemic, so I pulled plate setter out and finished the thighs directly over high heat.
It only took about another 3 minutes a side to put some char on the thighs and finish them up.
I think this is one of the best ways to cook chicken. Cooking the chicken above the veggies means the veggies soak up all those lovely chicken drippings and the moisture from the veggies keeps the chicken nice and juicy. Win-win.
My only issue with this recipe was using boneless, skinless thighs. They tasted great, but just don’t cook up as crispy and juicy as chicken with the skin still on it.
Rub note: I liked the herbs on this and might need to work up a rub like John Henry’s Chicken Tickler.