This is an amazing recipe. Cumin, smoked paprika, and other bold spices in the rub come together with a chunky salsa of tomatillos, chile, lime, and cilantro to deliver an explosion of flavors that complement the chicken. If you have cumin haters in the family, this recipe could just change their minds.
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) canola oil
- 1/4 cup (1 oz/30 g) Cumin Crust Rub
- 1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken thighs and oil. Toss to coat the thighs evenly. Transfer the thighs to a platter and sprinkle evenly on all sides with the cumin rub. Set aside at room temperature.
- 2. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect grilling over medium heat; the temperature inside the grill should be 350°—375°F (180°—190°C). If using charcoal, bank the lit coals on either side of the grill bed, leaving a strip in the center without heat, and place a drip pan in the center. If using gas, preheat the burners, then turn off 1 or more of the burners to create a cooler zone. Brush and oil the grill grate.
- 3. To make the salsa, place the tomatillos and chile over the direct-heat area of the grill. (You’ll probably need a grill screen for the chile or you’ll lose it through the grate.) Cook, turning as needed, until well charred on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer the tomatillos and chile to a blender, add the lime juice and oil, and pulse until combined but still chunky. Transfer to a bowl, fold in the cilantro, and season with salt. You should have about 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml). (The salsa can be made up to 1 week in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
- 4. Place the thighs, meaty side down, over the indirect-heat area of the grill. Cook, turning once, until the thighs are nicely grill-marked on both sides and firm to the touch and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh away from bone registers 170°F (77°C), 10—15 minutes on each side.
- 5. Transfer the thighs to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve at once with the tomatillo salsa.
The Game Plan
- Make rub; coat chicken with oil and season with rub
- Set up grill for indirect grilling over medium heat
- Make tomatillo salsa
- Grilling time: 2030 minutes
- DON’T FORGET: Try to turn the thighs only once so they develop nice grill marks.
Appears with permission from Williams-Sonoma. Grill Master: The Ultimate Arsenal of Back-to-Basics Recipes for the Grill. Recipes by Fred Thompson; photographs by Ray Kachatorian. Copyright © 2011 by Weldon Owen, Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc.