Cajun BBQ Chicken Thighs
The weather last week was absolutely incredible for mid-February in Northeast Indiana. Mid-upper 60s all week and I took advantage of it in a big way! I cleaned my Weber Performer Deluxe, got a couple bags of charcoal, some propane canisters, and grilled out pretty much every night of the week....it was GLORIOUS!! Saturday I ended up smoking a rack of spare ribs for the first time in shorts and a t-shirt while sippin' on a Yeungling...IN FEBRUARY!! The spare ribs turned out alright, but I wasn't quite happy with them enough to share them quite yet....so I am going to continue working on the recipe and hopefully will have that to you soon. Of course, now we are back to normal February weather...blah! So, my smoking experiments may have to wait, unless I am feeling bold.
But, one thing that I was VERY happy with were these Cajun BBQ Chicken thighs. The one reason I absolutely love chicken thighs is because they are soooo much cheaper than chicken breasts. For typically half the price I can get 4 chicken thighs, but they don't seem to be all that popular. I believe the reason why is because they are a little intimidating to the average home cook. But, I promise you, there isn't anything to be scared of! Two things you want to make sure of is 1) Getting the skin nice and crispy and 2) Obtaining a temperature of 175F. The reason why we want a higher temperature compared to chicken breast (165F) is because chicken thighs contain a lot more connective tissue so they can withstand a lot higher heat than the breast. But, if you don't cook them to a higher temperature you typically get a chewy mess because that connective tissue hasn't broken down. You know what the best way to achieve this temperature? Get your butt over to Thermoworks and pick yourself up an Thermapen MK4. You want to talk about a useful piece of cooking equipment, they are totally worth the money and would make a perfect gift for a cook in your family. Easy to use, accurate, durable; you can't beat them! Now onto the recipe!
Cajun BBQ Chicken Thighs
Prep time: 10m | Cook time: 30min | Total time: 40min | Yield: 4 servings
- 6 Tbsp paprika
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp ground white pepper
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp cayenne
- 4 chicken thighs
- Barbeque Sauce, as needed
- Mix the first 8 ingredients together and store in an container. This is a standard cajun seasoning that can be used on a number of different things.
- Season the tops and bottoms of the chicken thighs generously with the cajun seasoning. I prefer to let them sit overnight in this seasoning, but you can use them immediately if you don't have the time.
- Heat grill, either charcoal or gas, so that there is a direct heat side and an indirect side. Whenever the grill is hot, place the chicken thighs, skin side down, on the direct heat side. Grill for 4 minutes and then rotate 90 degress and grill for another 4 minutes until skin is crispy. Watch for flare ups during this period and make sure the skin doesn't burn.
- Once skin is crispy transfer the chicken to the indirect side, skin side up, cover and continue cooking. Once you reach an internal temperature of about 160F, go ahead and apply some barbeque sauce on the tops. Cover and continue to cook until you reach an internal temperature of 170F.
- Remove from grill and let rest for 5 min, the cooking processing should continue during this rest period and get you to exactly 175F. Grab some napkins and dig in!