One of my favorite things to make and eat for dinner in these warmerish months is also one of the least expensive and unglamorous…..
I can’t even say it without wrinkling my nose! They sound only marginally appetizing – and that’s being generous – but I think chicken thighs are really actually something to rave about. They’re juicy and rich tasting and will make you think twice about defaulting to yet another dry tasteless breast – and THAT I’m thankful for alone! Granted the thought of them isn’t exactly pulse quickening – I think its safe to say I won’t be wooing gobs of guests to dinner parties with chicken thighs on the menu – but they are easy and cheap and the final product will totally blow your expectations. Love that!
To boot, I’m really not wild about chicken on the bone – I’ll pick boneless wings over their knobbly counterparts (who wants cartilage stuck in their teeth?!) and choose the white quarter of a rotisserie chicken over the leg portion to avoid arduously and messily having to excavate the meat out from all of the bony bits. Boneless skinless chicken thighs are like a sanitized version of their tasty fully assembled predecessors – just trim all the visible fat before marinating, and you have a completely edible piece of juicy thigh meat.
I’m surprised by how much I love these. This sweet and spicy marinade is perfect on a grill – it crisps up and chars in places giving the most summery BBQ taste without taking hours to make a sauce or slow roast them. With some fresh sweet corn (I am literally marking off the days on my calendar till it arrives!), some skillet cornbread and a big green salad this is going to be popping up weekly at our house.
If you’re not one for lots of spice, omit the sriracha and sweet chili sauce and replace it with Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. You wont sacrifice any of the sweet and smoky flavor and still get a wonderful BBQ taste.
Take care when grilling these over direct heat – the sugar in the marinade will char and burn quickly, and while you do want charring to some degree you don’t want hockey puck thighs.
1lb Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 pieces)
2 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce*
2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce*
1/4 Cup Orange marmalade (alternately use apricot preserves)
¼ Cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
*Sriracha and sweet chili sauce can be found at Asian specialty grocer’s, or even perhaps in your local grocer in the Asian section (check Whole Foods), or on Amazon.com. The Sriracha with the Rooster on it (“Rooster Sauce” as it’s often known) is my favorite brand.
**I have marinated this for only 30 minutes before cooking and it is still perfect. If you have the extra time to marinate, it will definitely heighten the flavor, but don’t skip this recipe just because you think you don’t have marinating time! Just baste it a bit more while it cooks – it will help glaze the meat and flavor it quite a bit.