You could call this technique “Weeknight Chicken”. My previous two posts on grilling chicken thighs described techniques that took time. At least four hours to brine the thighs, fifteen to twenty minutes to light the charcoal and one to two hours to grill the chicken. That is all fine and good for a lazy weekend but on weeknights I just don’t have the time for all of that; I bust out the Weber Genesis.
On weeknights I fire up my Weber Genesis 1000LX and get the chicken on the table in under an hour. To start with I skip the brining step. Thighs will turn out great without brining as long as you do not overcook them. I take the chicken out of the package, trim the excess skin, and then season both sides with salt and pepper.
I leave the thighs on the counter while I heat the Weber Genesis on high for 10-15 minutes. I want my grill super hot and I want the chicken to have warmed to something close to room temperature. The basic strategy is as follows: Warm food on a hot grill releases easy when it is time to flip. Cold food sticks when placed on a warm grill.
I place the thighs on the grill skin side up, close the lid and then set the gas to “Low” on all three burners.
As the fat starts to drip out from the thighs and onto the Flavorizer bars there will be a lot of smoke. That’s okay! Wait five minutes then open the lid and flip the chicken so the skin side is down.
You are going to have to pay attention at this point. Most of the fat in the thighs is directly under the skin. As soon as you flip skin side down the possibility of a flare up is very real. After about a minute take a peak and see how things are looking. If you have some flare ups move the chicken to a different part of the grill.
You are going to be flipping the chicken about every five minutes to get both sides to cook evenly and prevent burning. The flipping is also a chance to move the chicken to a different part of the grill and away from any flare ups. Here is what mine looked like after 20 minutes. The skin is starting to crisp up and the underside is a beautiful golden brown. A quick check with the digital thermometer showed the chicken wasn’t quite done.
I basted the thighs with Italian dressing, closed the lid and flipped/basted after five more minutes. At the thirty minute point the thighs read 179F and they were done! I pulled these guys off the grill and they were ready to eat.
The main feature of this technique is your active management of the grill. This is GREAT if you want to spend some time playing with fire and being busy with a grill. This is BAD if you are trying to be a host with guests or get other stuff done in the kitchen. I promise you, the minute you turn you back on the grill the chicken is going to burn!
Okay, so there you have it…three ways to cook chicken on Weber grills. I am going to give this topic a break for a while; my family is getting tired of eating grilled chicken thighs!!