Kyle wanted to call this recipe “The World’s Best Chicken Thighs,” but because Emily loves a good pun, “Key Lime Thighs” won out. But you can see where we’re going with this: These chicken thighs are amazing. They’re juicy and flavorful with a sweet, super-crispy skin.
THE MEAT: Chicken thighs are the best piece of chicken to grill. Period. They’re the most flavorful and they’ve got a perfect blanket of skin to crisp up. You definitely want bone-in, skin-on thighs. The skin will give you the a crunchy, fatty exterior and the bone will flavor the meat from the inside out (remember: Stock is made with bones! It’s where the flavor comes from!)
THE METHOD: They key to perfecting these chicken thighs is the marinade, made with Key limes (see what we did there?) and a flavorful beer, like a radler. After they’ve soaked in the marinade overnight, the skin gets perfectly crispy on the grill, before the thighs are moved to indirect heat to pick up smoky flavors and finish cooking.
THE MEAL: Serve these chicken thighs with pretty much anything. They are salty and juicy and can work just as well next to grilled veggies and mashed potatoes as they can next to an Asian rice dish and some slaw.
Key Lime Thighs
12 garlic cloves, peeled
12 Key limes, cut in half (plus more for garnish)
1 12-ounce can Boulevard Brewing Company Ginger Lemon Radler (or your favorite radler or shandy)
2 serrano chiles
3-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 cup olive oil
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8 bone-in chicken thighs
Combine the garlic, Key limes, beer, chiles, ginger, olive oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, vinegar and salt in a gallon-size freezer bag. Seal the bag and use your hands to mix the marinade together. Add the chicken thighs to the bag and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the bag from the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to cook. Set up your grill for direct and indirect grilling, with the coals under half of the grill. Sear the chicken thighs directly over the fire until they’re browned on both sides, constantly turning, for about 5 minutes. Move the thighs away from the fire, skin side up, place the lid on the grill. Allow the thighs to cook for another 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before serving.