It’s going to take more than 30% humidity and a surf-wracked sunburn to keep my dinner off the grill this summer. I’ll wear a Phelps-esque body suit or water-cooled astro suit to get my hands on some tongs and hover over the red-hot grates of my trusty Q.
I’m not embarrassed to admit most of my recipes stem from creative problem solving, and by that I mean making something edible out of what little items I have on hand. During one such dilemma I found myself with a pound of chicken thighs and a scantly clad pantry…but creativity is the mother of invention after all. Greasing the gears with a an ice cold beer I soon found myself throwing breaded chicken onto the grill. Heat is heat, right? And breadcrumbs make everything more delicious so it’s no surprise that the results were damn good, and damn cheap!
Grilled Chicken Thighs w/ Breadcrumbs
8-10 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (don’t get upset, I’ll explain shortly)
4 Slices Crusty Bread
4 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano
2 Anchovy Filets (optional, but recommended)
1 Small Handful of Fresh Oregano or Mint
Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil, Chile Flakes
Start first by cranking your grill up to full whack.
Next, add your bread, garlic, anchovies, cheese, herbs and a drizzle of olive oil to a food pro. Pulse until the mixture reaches the consistency of wet sand, adding more olive oil if needed. Taste and season with salt, pepper and chile flakes to taste (more chile flakes the better in my opinion).
Add the breadcrumb mixture to a bowl and dredge each chicken thigh into the crumbs, pushing and smearing the crumbs into every nook and cranny of the chicken. When each thigh is breaded in a thick coat of crumbs allow to rest in the fridge until your grill is over 400 degrees F.
Once at heat, add the chicken to the grill and allow to cook on the first side for 2-4 minutes. Flip once and grill until the juices run clear when pierced, roughly another 3 minutes. Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into strips. This recipe is awesome over a salad, on a sandwich with ripe tomatoes, or stacked atop grilled veggies, heirloom tomatoes, mint and cracked olives like below. Only gilding this lilley may need is a squeeze of lemon juice and a last drizzle of good oil.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: no cut of chicken is better than the thighs. Bone in and skin on is almost always best, but in this case the skin will not render out (because of the crumbs) and the bone extends the cooking time (which will burn the crumbs). When fresh off the grill these thighs are juicier than ScarJo in a see-thru body suit. Golden and crispy on the outside, tender and rich on the inside with the sharp bite of pecorino, aroma of garlic, salty depth of anchovy, spicy kick of chile flakes, fresh spring of earthy oregano and the ethereal warmth of fresh breadcrumbs roasted over the open fire…I’m sorry, but if this does not become a part of your weeknight-wheelhouse, then frankly there’s no hope for your tastebuds.
That’s aggressive, but my love for succulent thighs knows no bounds…
SPARK NOTES: 1. BUY SOME CHICKEN THIGHS 2. BREAD THOSE THIGHS 3. GRILL’EM & GET ALL INTO IT…