I have long wished for a good marinade for chicken on the grill.
My requirements: that it be not too sweet, not too gloppy, not too complicated, not too expensive. I wanted a flavor profile that would appeal to adults and children, that could easily be expanded to feed a crowd, and would be an easy go-to, that could be thrown together with little effort, with ingredients already in the pantry.
With this recipe, from Nina Simonds’ new cookbook, Simple Asian Meals, I have found the winner. (Although there is really nothing Asian about it.)
Simonds combines a bottle of Italian salad dressing, ketchup, soy sauce, and garlic. Since I rarely buy bottled dressing, I substituted my favorite homemade vinaigrette. And even so, the making of the marinade was a five-minute task.
But the real genius of this recipe is that it calls for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which are readily available now in most supermarkets. Thighs are so much more flavorful, with dark meat that doesn’t dry out even with a little too much time or heat on the grill. And since they are boneless, they cooked in no time, about five minutes on each side over medium-high heat on the grill.
I made the recipe with about six chicken thighs the first time around, and it was so good, my husband and I scarfed them all down in one sitting. I look forward to using this recipe over and over, whenever we are looking for simple and tasty chicken on the grill.
Easiest Grilled Chicken Thighs
Makes 6 servings
For the marinade:
1 bottle (12 ounces) Italian salad dressing (or about 1 cups homemade)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
For the chicken:
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and gristle
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil, or olive oil spray (for oiling the grill)
1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the chicken thighs. Stir to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
2. Prepare a medium-hot fire for grilling or preheat a gas grill. Arrange a rack 3 to 4 inches from the heat. Brush or spray the grill rack with oil and arrange the thighs on the rack.
3. Cover and grill the chicken 5 to 7 minutes per side or until opaque and cooked through. To test, pierce a thigh with a knife and, if the juice is clear, the thighs are cooked.
4. Remove from the grill to a platter and serve.
-From Simple Asian Meals (Rodale, 2012)
Per serving: 270 calories, 40 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, 2 grams sugar, 5 grams fat, 133 milligrams cholesterol, 424 milligrams sodium