We love grilled chicken thighs around here, they cook up so much more flavorful and juicy than chicken breasts. This recipe uses some common easy to find spices to give a wonderful full but light flavor that can go with a lot of different sides, or can be used for other dishes. We served it atop a salad of mixed greens and herbs, and with a simple Balsamic dressing it was a treat. You could cook this and serve it warm on warm chick pea or white bean hummus as a main or part of a tapa meal. it works in so many ways, and is delicious in all of them, A few minor notes, I always trim the chicken thighs of excess fat and connective tissue, and make several slices in the thickest part of the underside of the thigh. This helps the marinade get into the bird, an helps the thighs cook faster and more evenly. Make sue the chicken is well coated with the marinade, and wipe off some of the excess before cooking. Not all of it, just the excess. If you have a hot fire/grill and the chicken starts to char too much, move to indirect heat and cook a few minutes longer to allow the meat to finish all the way thru. But the first char and rotation helps give wonderful looking and flavored marks on the thighs, Remember, we eat with our mouths, nose and eyes with meals like this. Enjoy the results as we do, Namaste…
What You Need
1 Medium Onion
½ Cup Greek Full Fat Yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 teaspoons Aleppo Pepper
2 teaspoons Smoked or Sweet Paprika
1-2 teaspoons Roasted garlic Granules OR 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 tablespoons lemon Juice
Several pinches of sea salt
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
4-8 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
Grate the onion coarsely on a grater.
In a bowl or plastic bag, mix the Yogurt, Grated Onion, Cinnamon, Aleppo Pepper, Paprika, Garlic,lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt.
Trim the chicken Thighs, removing any excess fat and connective tissue. Turn the thighs ‘skin’ side down, and make several slits into the thickest part of the thigh about ⅓ of the way thru. This helps the marinade get into the chicken and helps the chicken cook quicker and more evenly
Add the chicken to the marinade, mix well for a minute to make sure everything is coated well, and set aside to marinate for several hours or overnight
Heat a grill over high heat, then brush it well with oil
Take the chicken from the marinade, brush off some of the excess marinade, and place skin side down on the grill
Immediately turn the heat down to med or med high
Let the chicken grill for a couple minutes, then flip.
Let the chicken cook for a few minutes longer, then flip again, giving a ¼ turn. This helps give nice grill char marks on the chicken.
Continue cooking and flipping until the chicken is nicely marked. If the grill is hot and chicken chars too much, move to an indirect heat and let cook thru off the direct heat
Cooking time should be 15 to 19 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill. Check by making a slice into the thick part of the least charred chicken to make sure it is done.
Remove from the grill, sprinkle with salt or drizzle lightly with lemon juice, and let it sit for a few minutes to redistribute juices,
Slice and serve with lemon or spiced yogurt on the side
You can also cook the chicken with skin on, if you enjoy crispy skin. Cooking time will be about a minute or two longer
Smoked paprika gives a wonderful flavor, sweet a milder flavor. You can also add a drop or two of Liquid Smoke to get more flavor if desired.
This is wonderful cold, sliced and placed in a pita with hummus and fresh veggies
Who is John Phillip, Jr.
He has been a foodie for just about all his life. From his early days learning to cook in Boy Scouts, to college mornings before hiking with friends, food has always been something to explore and evolve with. His only formal culinary education is when he was a Training Manager for a regional sub sandwich chain in New England, and he would train and open new stores and cover for existing managers, That, and a few stints in pizza joints are all his commercial experience. As an on the road salesman for the past 35 years, he’s sampled food from all over the region and country, seeking out new places, different cultures and markets wherever he travels. He has an insatiable appetite for new recipes, techniques and ideas, and as such maintains a very large cookbook collection. When he downsized several years ago, he was told he had to get rid of half his cookbooks, and the 400+ that he donated to the local library was the largest single donation of cookbooks they’ve ever received! He kept over 500 of his favorites, and has added several hundred back since then. He prides himself in trying new foods from all cultures in restaurants, then replicating them at home for his wife. Sharing his knowledge of food, food history and cultures is one of his true joys in life!