One of the simplest dinners I make, comes in the form of chicken thighs.
Chicken thighs may seem a little daunting because of having bones and skin on them, but that’s actually what makes it so easy to prepare. The bone and skin keep the chicken moist and tender making it almost impossible to over-cook.
This Picnic Spice-Rub Chicken is one of my favorite Summer meals. The rub has just enough spice in it to give it a kick, but not so much that it’s overpowering (I am NOT a spicy food person).
This recipe takes about an hour (including prep and cooking). I usually buy food in bulk, so my chicken is frozen and I have to get it out to thaw in the morning. Another secret to juicy chicken is to cook it completely thawed and never frozen, so you will have to count in de-frosting time, as well.
A few of the many sides that go well with this chicken are: green or fruit salad, Caprese salad, cucumbers with a vegetable dip, or watermelon strawberry smoothies. And don’t forget a good glass of red wine or an ice cold beer!
Spice-Rubbed Picnic Chicken:
modified from Cook’s Illustrated
5 Pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, thawed
1/4 C. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. Kosher salt (do not substitute with table or sea salt)
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. sweet paprika
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and lay skin side up on foil lined trays (I use cookie sheets or a broiler pan-just make sure if you use one of those that it has rimmed sides to catch the fat). Using a sharp knife, cut two or three slits in skin of chicken making sure not to cut through to the bone. Brush melted butter over skin, thoroughly.
2. Mix together Kosher salt, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in small bowl until thoroughly combined. Taking desired amount in hand, rub onto chicken making sure to get underneath the skin where slit as well.
3. Cook 30-50 min. or until thighs register 175 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Let cool 5-10 min. before serving.
~Soli Deo Gloria