Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs are one of my favorite treats when camping. Even though the camping season is quickly approaching, I have decided to whip up some of these delicious thighs at home tonight. It may be a few weeks till I get the chance to get out to the lake, so might as well indulge in the smells and tastes of camping right here at the homestead.
Chicken thighs, in general, are one of my favorites. A good Tri Tip or T-bone stills tops my meat list, but chicken thighs are right up there in the top three. They are inexpensive and have great flavor. I actually bake super fantastic whole chicken thighs (with the skin and bone intact) about once a week all year round (see my Grandma’s Easy Baked Chicken Thigh Recipe). I have found, though, that I don’t like cooking chicken on the grill with skin unless I am using BBQ sauce. The skin tends to get a bit burned up, and generally not great if isn’t all sauced up.
A few years back my brother in law grilled us some boneless skinless thighs, and I was hooked! Since I cook everything on the grill when camping, I immediately added them to the menu for all my camping trips. I quickly came up with my favorite way to season them. The day before we go camping I just get them all ready and seasoned in a Rubbermaid container and put them in the fridge. Then when we are packing up the truck, I put the closed container in the ice chest with the rest of our goodies, and they are ready to be tonged right onto the grill when we are ready to cook. I have gotten rave reviews, and best of all they make delicious leftovers for snacking throughout the trip.
Today they won’t get to marinate as long as they do for our camping trips, but I am confident they will still be perfectly delicious. Also, I would like to mention that this recipe will also work just fine with chicken breasts. I just prefer the flavor and price of thighs over breasts for certain dishes. So, with that said, let’s get to it:
- 10 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (I paid $2.99 a pound today for these)
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
- Lemon Pepper
- Garlic Powder
These are super easy…Put the chicken in a large airtight (and water proof if you are taking them camping). Put in all of the ingredients and shuffle it all together with your hands. Make sure you get them as evenly coated as you can.
I have done it a couple ways. First way- This is my preferred way to season…Put the lemon and vinegar in first and coat all the thighs, then pick each one up and add the dry seasonings to each side of each thigh.
Second way- just put it all in and mix it around. It’s really up to you. I prefer seasoning each thigh individually so I can make sure every side gets enough salt and pepper, and that each one gets a good layer of lemon pepper and garlic powder. But if you are in a hurry, it does work to just throw it all in and mix.
Get the lump charcoal going in your charcoal chimney. When they are ready, spread the coals, then slap the meat on.
Chicken doesn’t take very long to cook if your coals are hot. As I have mentioned in other articles, I am a very hands on cook. So, I rotate and flip my meat a lot. I like a nice even grilled, blackened flavor on each side. It takes me about 20-30 minutes to finish cooking a full grill of these chicken thighs. Just as a warning, if I let my coals burn too much before starting to cook the chicken, it can take longer. I am not usually in a rush, but if you are, then you want to make sure your coals are hot, and you probably want to shut the lid and let them cook.
I like to keep the lid open and play with my meat, so it can take a little longer, but I am always happy with the results. The important part is to make sure you let them get some nice flavor on them from the coals and make sure the chicken isn’t raw or overcooked. When in doubt just rip a little piece off and do a taste test…it’s one of the benefits of being the chef! Plus, it is better to take a few sample bites than to overcook the chicken. Nobody likes dry, leathery thighs.
Once they are done, remove from grill and serve. It’s that easy. They will be a hit for sure. It is amazing how something so simple can taste so awesome!
Spicing It Up
If you are like me, then you are thinking of way to add some heat to this dish. One really great way to spice these up without altering the flavor is to add jalapeno or habanero to the marinade. If you have some wimpy friends and family members, you can just separate a couple of the thighs for yourself in a different container and use a garlic press to juice the hot pepper over your chicken. I would then just through in the remains of the mashed pepper and seeds and mix around. You may want to mix with a spoon or with gloved hands so you don’t accidentally stick your hot finger in your eye at some point (believe me this is not fun, I speak from experience).
Another way to add some heat would be to give your thighs a coat of cayenne powder. This will also give it some nice color. And don’t forget, adding some spice to your dish has many health benefits, especially when cooking on the grill.
Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs Side Dish Ideas
Really, everything goes with chicken. Tonight we are whipping up some au gratin potatoes and brussell sprouts to accompany our tasty Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs. When we are camping we usually have my famous pasta salad and some roasted corn on the cob (Yummy!!).
Well, I hope this recipe works out as wonderfully for you as it does for me. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please let me know. I would love to hear from you!