Bob Hart’s recipe for Chook Thighs!
WITH CHICKEN, THE THIGHS HAVE IT!
For my money, there is no better piece of chook to barbecue than a thigh. The meat is slightly darker than a breast, which means it has more flavour and will always remain moister. And with minimal effort and very little risk of failure, you can turn it into something very special on any barbecue at all.
There are, of course, a few rules to observe…
First of all, we are going to purchase thighs from a decent butcher or market – never from a supermarket – which are still skin on and bone in, as nature intended. And needless to say, buy the very best you can find.
You can cook these on any covered grill that you can depend upon to operate at somewhere around the 200C mark, and that is clean and oiled. Fire it up and, after you have brought them up to room temperature, oil and season the chicken thighs with plenty of salt and freshly-ground pepper, and a touch of EV olive oil.
Now position them on your lightly oiled grill – skin side down – and cook them for two minutes. Then, move them through 90 degrees and, still skin side down, cook for another two minutes, again dropping the lid and lowering the heat a notch.
Then turn the thighs and brush a thin layer of either your favourite barbecue sauce or – my preference – a thin layer of maple syrup over the skin side. Drop the lid again and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. They lift them again and turn them through 90 degrees again, still skin sides down, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until your instant-read meat thermometer tells you the interior temperature is approaching 70 degrees. You can brush the thighs with more of the maple syrup during time, remembering to drop the lid between moves. And that’s it.
Lift the thighs off the grill and rest them – skin side up and loosely tented with foil – for another 10 minutes or so. Now THAT’S barbecued chicken.