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Marinated Chicken Thighs

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    Marinated Chicken Thighs

    Name: Marinate Chicken Thighs

    Headnote: I mentioned this in my introduction and someone rightly asked me to share. So...I don't really have a name for this recipe. I got it from my late Father-in-law. It's actually just the marinade and our copy is a photocopy of a typed recipe. No idea of it's provenance beyond that. And we prefer to use it with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Thus, Marinated Chicken Thighs. But it's good and I am sure it would work well on any poultry cut. When it comes off the grill, it needs no other condiments. And it's soy sauce based, so it's got a bit of an Asian flavor. Who knows, maybe it's already on this site somewhere else...

    Makes: 2.5 Cups

    Takes: 15-20 minutes to concoct the marinade. At least two hours to marinade the chicken. 15ish minutes to cook.

    1 1/2 cups soy sauce
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 cup salad oil (I use either canola or olive)
    1/4 cup white wine
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/2 an onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 inches ginger root (optional)

    Ingredient Notes:

    Wine - my wife doesn't like alcohol. I usually try to sneak it in and then I can drink the rest later (wouldn't want to waste it...). But we often make this without the wine and it still works great.

    Onion - I often double this recipe and just put in a whole onion. I think you could vary this amount, however, by quite a bit and it would turn out fine.

    Garlic - The original recipe above has just two cloves... I don't know who in their right gustatory mind would stop at two cloves. I'm not sure I would trust such a person. I usually put in a whole head, maybe without the smallest cloves that are more difficult to deal with. And rather than chop I prefer to mince it with one of those press mincers, or better yet a grater or zester of some kind.

    Ginger - The original recipe says "optional", but I would never leave this ingredient out. I think it's important.

    I almost always double this recipe because everyone likes it so much. People have started asking me to make it when we have a gathering. You can scale it up as much as you like. I usually put two or three packages of thighs (1 - 1.5 pounds each) in one or two large bowls.

    Method: Combine all ingredients, add chicken, and marinate for at least two hours in the fridge. I prefer to do so overnight, and it makes a difference. If you use thighs like me, be sure you unfold them and make sure the marinade is touching every surface (this is important later if you start with partially frozen chicken). I am sure any cut of poultry would work, but thighs are my family's favorite. I want to say I used this on salmon once and it was great.

    Use a two-zone setup and cook your chicken with a thermometer (I find this recipe to be quite forgiving). When it comes to temperature move it to the direct heat and caramelize the outside just before taking them off the grill (flip at least once). The sugar and soy sauce will brown nicely. Now that I think about it, boneless thighs probably offer high surface (caramelized - thank you Mr. Maillard) to volume ratio. Maybe I should call this Maillard Marinated Thighs...

    Make sure you save some for yourself if your working the grill at a gathering. They won't last if there is a crowd and if you're managing the cooking you might sit down to find it's all gone. I find them to be delicious without any further doctoring. Although if you happen to find a little blue cheese dressing running towards the chicken on your plate, don't stop it. The combination is divine. If you do have any left over, it will be good as leftovers out of the fridge. Makes a nice sandwich...

    I haven't made this in a few months, so I don't have any pictures. I'll try to get some...

    Sounds tasty! I’ll add this to the rotation. We are fans of boneless chicken thighs too. Great flavor and the higher fat content ensures it doesn’t dry out!

    Totally with you on the garlic…one clove = one head in my house! Once read a joke (probably on this forum!) that said, “Two cloves of garlic isn’t enough garlic unless it’s a recipe for ‘One Clove of Garlic.’”


      Other than the onion and wine this is very similar to my brother-in-law's chicken marinade. He is from Hawaii and has made this all his life. I started subbing pineapple juice for the water. Yum! I'll try the onion and wine next time, I'll bet its better! Thanks for posting this.

      My BIL's recipe: https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...chicken-recipe
      Last edited by 58limited; December 1, 2021, 07:23 AM.


        Good looking recipe. Thanks for sharing. What temp to reach on the cooker?


        • Viburnum
          Viburnum commented
          Editing a comment
          I aim for 150-155 before moving over to direct heat. I don't check the temp after that. I'm going for color/caramelization next. It may well be you could move it over sooner and reach 160 easily during the sear.

        • DavidNorcross
          DavidNorcross commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks. I was more wondering what the cooker temp is. Appreciate the response.

        This looks great! I'll have to give it a try. I've got a similar but different marinade recipe that came from my sister in law decades ago, and which I've modified since, adding my own twists to it.

        Do you grill through the winter up there on that kettle? Just curious how they perform in that cold of a climate.


        • Viburnum
          Viburnum commented
          Editing a comment
          I do grill throughout the winter with my Weber. I have not had any issues with getting it up to or keeping it at a good temp. I just don't stand next to it as much. If anything, it makes it easier. I find one of my greater challenges is keeping temps low enough. On Thanskgiving I cooked a boneless leg of lamb on my Weber with a Slow-N-Sear and it was 12 degrees F outside. No issues. It still was done a little sooner than I anticipated, though that may be because I butterflied it.

        Thank you for sharing this recipe. It sounds delicious. On my weekend meal plan, and in Paprika.



          Thank you for sharing.
          Sounds like a winner!


            Seems like i need to go to costco and pick up a jumbo soy sauce. This sounds delicious.


              Thanks for sharing that. We eat alot of chicken thighs around here so I am definitely going to try this.


                I cooked this last night and was happy with the results. I marinated boneless, skinless thighs for ~10 hours and included the ginger. I put them on the PK360 using lump charcoal. With the soy sauce, they tilted towards the salty end of the taste spectrum. Next time, I might add a pinch or two of five spice powder or white pepper. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


                  I liked this post and we decided to cook chicken thighs for supper tonight on the gas grill, so I made this marinade today and it was good, my wife enjoyed the flavour. I used 1/2C white wine and no water, one small onion, and 3 large cloves of garlic and I marinated the chicken for about 2 1/2 hours. I would call this a success, thank you. The good members of this web site continue to give me good ideas.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  • Mr. Bones
                    Mr. Bones commented
                    Editing a comment
                    No Water is a very Prominent, an Important ingredient, in alla my cooks.

                    Life's way too dang dangded short, to use water, as an ingredient.

                    I defy y'all to find a more bland, more characterless, forgettable liquid.

                    I cook with alternate sources of liquid.

                    YMMV. UDOU
                    Last edited by Mr. Bones; December 12, 2021, 09:53 PM.

                  This is my Super Bowl party contribution this year. No offense, but I toss a couple of dashes of tabasco in, of course I put a dash or two in my coffee….Thanks for this good recipe!


                  • Mr. Bones
                    Mr. Bones commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Happy Super Bowl, Amigo!!!

                    >>--Rat's Patoot bout th big game (I have a life)<<
                    Last edited by Mr. Bones; February 13, 2022, 02:15 PM.


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