Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thunder Thighs

Here is an easy way to BBQ some food to keep in the fridge all week.  If you're like me, I love to cook on the weekends, but I have very little time after work.  After a long commute from NYC, the last thing I want to do is come home and start cooking something complicated.  So, I make lots of food on the weekends and we usually eat the leftovers for several days. 

Not all food is good for leftovers; Thunder Thighs are.  Chicken thighs are quick and simple to make.  It's hard to dry them out, they easily absorb smoke, and those are both key factors that make them great for the grill.  Not to mention they are cheap and usually readily available.

Here's a summary of the video:

1. Soak some wood chips in water.  I like Jack Daniels smoking chips for this recipe.
2.Generously season the thighs with Magic Dust (my "go to" dry rub), and some olive oil.
3.Smoke the thighs for about 30 minutes. I usually aim for 175 degrees, just to be on the safe side.  Don't worry, it's hard to dry these out.
4. Let them cool.  Taste one.  Then stick them in the fridge for up to one week.

What do I do if I don't have a charcoal grill? 

Follow the recipe, but use an indirect cooking method on your gas grill.  If your gas grill has two burners, bring the grill up to a high temperature with both burners on.  Next, turn one burner off and place the thighs over the extinguished burner. If your gas grill has three burners, same technique, but turn off the middle burner and place the thighs in the middle.  I'm unaware of a gas grill with one burner, but if that is your situation...  get a new grill!

How do I create smoke on a gas grill?

Some gas grills have a smoker box.  If so... here is your big chance to use it.  If not, no problem. You'll need to make a "smoker pouch".  Sounds cool, right?  Take the chips you have been soaking and loosely roll them up in heavy duty tin foil.  Seal the foil roll and pinch the ends.  It should look just burrito but sealed up. Poke about 18 small holes in the top for smoke to escape.  Place the smoker pouch  directly on the lit burner (it should turned up on the highest setting) under the cooking grate.  If the grate fits over it, replace it.  If not, just leave it off for this recipe. The chips will not start to smoke quite as fast with this technique, so give it a few minutes to get going, before you put the thighs on.  The pouch should look like this:

Check out the video; these thighs came out great.  You'll notice they were on the small side.  I smoked them for 32 minutes which gave me an internal temperature of about 180 degrees.  That was a little too hot, but it's always better to be safe than sorry with chicken. They were still moist, and had some extra smoke flavor.  While too hot can work for thighs, I'd recommend you start checking yours at the 28-30 minute mark.

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