Monday, August 18, 2008

Naked Chicken Thighs

In the quest to find the perfect bbq spice rub and sauce combination, we barbecue fanatics sometimes overdo them both and end up with bbq "candy".

This past weekend I decided to experiment with chicken thighs without using spice rub and with very little bbq sauce added.

I've been marinating my chicken thighs and drumsticks in Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar since the beginning, but after spending some time thinking about it this weekend I realized that I have never really experimented to identify exactly what the dressing adds to my chicken recipes. I just started using it because I read about it on the web at some point and followed suit.

The thighs in the picture were not trimmed and squared up properly for a bbq contest turn-in, but they were fine for eating here at home.

The thighs and dressing were placed in a 2 gallon plastic bag and were marinated for 4 hours in the refrigerator. I pre-heated the WSM (without the water pan) to 275 degrees and put the chicken on for cooking. The naked thighs were cooked for 1 1/2 hours to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Near the end I brushed on a little bbq sauce for a little flavor, but as you can see from the picture there was very, very little sauce used. That really wasn't the main point of this test anyway.

What did I learn?

The salad dressing helps keep the chicken moist while cooking, but adds very little flavor. The thighs were juicy and tender, but were quite bland. Based on my test, I doubt that it matters what kind of salad dressing is used for a marinade. Anything with olive oil and a little vinegar will probably work fairly well. I don't think the Newman's Own is an absolute requirement.

No comments: