WGN’s Dean Richards shares his recipe for beer-marinated BBQ chicken thighs.
- Bone-in or boneless/skinless chicken thighs, 4-5lb. package.
- kosher salt
- 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce (of the bottled sauces, I love Famous Dave’s Sweet & Zesty)
For the grilled BBQ chicken marinade/brine:
- 1 16-ounce beer of choice
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
For the grilled BBQ chicken dry rub:
- Bottled BBQ Chicken Rub ( I like Weber Classic BBQ Seasoning)
- or make your own:
- 3 Tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons mustard powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- (optional) ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Clean the chicken breasts of excess fat. You can either remove or leave-on the skin.
Marinate the chicken in a large bowl or zip-top bag with a big, hoppy beer (like an IPA.)
Add in the kosher salt and stir to combine. Submerge all the parts in the beer mixture.
Set aside for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 days. If brining longer than 1 hour, be sure to store in the frig.
If making your own dry rub, combine the ingredients to a small bowl or jar. Set aside, or store on your spice rack in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Preheat the grill: Prepare for indirect cooking, creating a zone of direct high heat & a second zone of indirect heat. If using a gas grill, begin preheating at least 15 minutes before grilling. If using charcoal, light the charcoal at least 30 minutes prior to grilling.
Once the grill is hot, remove the chicken from the marinade, patting off any excess moisture with a paper towel. Season generously with salt & the BBQ chicken dry rub. If using skin-on chicken, work your fingers under the skin to season both sides of the skin.
Place the seasoned chicken on the indirect side of the grill (skin side up, if using skin-on chicken), as close to the fire as possible without being over the direct heat.
Cook the chicken, rotating the pieces 180 degrees every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken (without hitting the bone) registers a temperature of 150 degrees F. Depending on the size of your chicken & the temperature of your grill, this could take as little as 15 minutes or up to 40 minutes.
Move the chicken over direct heat. If using skin-on pieces, flip the chicken so the skin-side is down.
Baste the chicken with BBQ sauce & cook for 2 minutes. Flip the chicken & cook for 2 minutes more. If using skinless chicken, baste the second side with BBQ sauce. Repeat 2-3 times, until your chicken is as charred & saucy as desired and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken (without hitting the bone) registers a temperature of 160 degrees F.
Remove from the grill and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes. Carryover heat will cause the internal temperature to continue to rise as it rests. The chicken will be ready to serve once an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken (without hitting the bone) registers a temperature of 165 degrees F.
Classic Grilled Corn on the Cob (husks removed)
- Your choice of the number of fresh corn-on-the-cob husks. (Mirai sweet corn is the best)
- Peel the husk back a little and look for plump, milky kernels.
Preheat grill to medium heat.
Remove husks and silk from corn. Clean under cold water.
Brush or spray each piece with olive oil or olive oil or butter spray.
Place corn directly on the grill cooking with medium heat; rotating the cob 1/3 about every 8 minutes until browned to your liking.
Remove from grill, serve with butter or olive oil or butter spray, and sprinkle favorite topping
(Salt & Pepper; Mrs. Dash, Weber Garlic & Parmesan, Garlic Powder & Old Bay Seasoning.)