This delicious grilled chicken thighs recipe is perfect for a midweek meal when you need dinner on the table in 30 minutes! The marinade serves as a brine so it infuses the flavor quickly and also acts like a glaze when the chicken is grilling! Easy and fast? Now that’s a mid week meal!
One of the most important pieces of advice I give all my students at cooking classes is that you always have to have a few winning recipes that take no time to make and pack a ton of flavor in each delectable bite. These grilled chicken thighs are JUST that! It is made with simple ingredients that when combined give that incredible umami flavor that makes your mouth go…WOAH.
See this recipe…it is another fabulous recipe that uses my cousin Kenny’s famous rub that I featured in another FANTASTIC grilled chicken recipe.
It was this grilled chicken thighs recipe that originally introduced me to his perfect spice mix full of smoky, salty, spicy goodness. This guys is a home run. And I have literally used it in A TON of recipes ever since. It has gotten to the point that I tell Kenny when I am running low and he gives me a few vacuum sealed bags (he is fancy) to stash into my freezer so that I do not run out. He is pretty awesome.
You know what else is awesome? These grilled chicken thighs. It’s fantastic. I love the mild yet flavorful heat that the addition of serrano peppers give the dish. In fact, if you frequently use jalapeños in your recipes, you may want to give serranos a try. They offer a bigger bang for your buck on both heat and flavor. I like to see it as a fancied up version of the jalapeño, made the teenager version to the child like jalapeño if you will.
The serranos are matched up nicely to a good punch of cilantro, lime, lime zest, garlic, soy sauce, balsamic and of course the famous spice mix. There is something very unique that happens when you use soy in a marinade. It acts like a brine and really gets inside the chicken in no time at all, creating our super delicious and tender grilled chicken thighs.
Another really great trick with this chicken is that the marinade doubles as a glaze for when the chicken is being grilled. See I told you it was easy! After the chicken has grilled on one side, remove it from the grill, dip it back into the marinade and watch it get all glorious.
Now tell me you wouldn’t want this as part of your mid week meal!
Tools used in this recipe:
- Tongs: I love these because they open and close super easily for storage.
- My trusty Weber grill: Used for grilling up the chicken.
- Microplane: My favorite kitchen gadget of all time, used to zest the lime and mince the garlic.
- Cast Iron Grill Pan: If it’s cold where you live or you want to make this in the winter THIS is my go to.
- 2 tbsp of Kenny's Spice Mix
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 4 tbsp oil
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- zest and juice of one lime
- 3 cloves of garlic minced on a microplane
- 2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp of cilantro, roughly chopped
- 3 pounds chicken thighs trimmed of extra fat
- Combine all the ingredients of the marinade and whisk until combined. Or add to a ziplock bag and shake, shake, shake. You can also place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor so that it is finely combined. However, be careful the serrano will have a lot more heat this way.
- Taste and adjust for seasoning as needed.
- Add chicken thighs to bowl or ziplock bag and allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Oil up and preheat the grill then place the chicken on the grill. After 4 minutes, remove the chicken and dip it into the remaining marinade and place it on the grill on the other side. Do the same exact process until the chicken is done. In total about 15 minutes. This way you end up with a beautiful glaze.