A whole bunch of fail (or Thursday dinner)

As I may have mentioned previously, this was supposed to be a post about my experiment with Mark Bittman‘s recipe for grilled Mediterranean chicken thighs. What the post will be is a poor copy, improvised because I’m an idiot.

IDIOT POINT #1: It goes back to shopping. When I usually buy chicken thighs, I buy the boneless variety. This recipe calls for bone-in, as helps to pin the herb paste inside of the meat. I ended up using toothpicks.

IDIOT POINT #2: Back to shopping, I whiffed on fresh herbs. Apparently, the recipe didn’t transfer to my grocery list correctly. Or, at all. I substituted my homemade herbes de provence, which worked well in a pinch.

IDIOT POINT #3: Gas. Propane, to be specific. My luck with last season’s leftover propane tank finally ran out. I ended up transferring the chicken to the Advantium speed cooker that spins my electric meter like slot wheels at the Turning Stone.

Let’s move on to the important questions…

What worked: The boneless chicken thighs. I’m glad I grabbed the skin-on version instead. The crispy skin complements the herbs nicely.

What didn’t work: The cooking method. The Advantium has this tendency to shrink while it cooks. The chicken thighs looked like they came off Cornish game hens.

Will it make another appearance: Yes. The Wife approved and the necessary fixes (me) will be easy.

Grilled Mediterranean chicken thighs
By Mark Bittman

  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh lavender (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil as needed
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges

In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, salt, and pepper. Add enough olive oil to turn the mixture into a loose paste, about 2 tablespoons. Carefully separate the skin of each thigh from the meat, taking care not to tear it completely off, and slip 1 bay leaf under each. Then, spoon in the herb paste, taking care to avoid getting too much on the outside of the skin. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

Place the chicken skin-side up on the cooler side of the grill and cook until the fat has begun to render, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook for 20 minutes longer.

Move the chicken (still skin-side down) to the hot part of the grill and cook until the skin is crisp and the meat is cooked through. Serve the chicken immediately with lemon wedges.


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