Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Back To The Basics: Grilled Chicken Thighs

afterfocus_1356645974626_edit0As you delve into your pit master career, and hone your craft there, every once in a while it’s good to regress back to something basic, something easy. The sort of cooks that once upon a time you cut your teeth on, all those many years ago, back when you thought putting a hot dog on the grill was a holy event. Indeed, it’s a refreshing respite on the grilling front, for a time, to set aside all notions of fancy rubs and intricate marinades, of exotic smoke woods, and elaborate technique, and simply put meat to flame and call it good enough. That’s what I felt like today, beneath a cold December sky. Something simple.

A couple of chicken thighs in the back of the freezer would be just right. Had I the proper equipage, I might have done a carbon 14 dating process on the meat, but seeing I had no such device, why not let ignorance be my ally. Thus, over a beautiful bed of coals glowing hot-orange, thighs were put over direct heat to start, to sear and crisp them up a little, then placed over indirect heat for the rest of the cook. Even at 9 degrees Fahrenheit outside, on a wintry Minnesota eve, with the lid on the grill it easily kept up to the task of cooking supper. I stood grill-side, hands in my jacket pockets, admiring how the moon looked in the sky, whilst savoring the simplicity of the cook.  We all should do this sort of grilling more often, I thought. I even resisted the urge to add smoke wood, purely to adhere to my simplistic mantra of the day. However, I did hit them with a touch of garlic salt, just because. The results later, were a couple very tender chicken thighs, juicy, with a crisp skin, sided with a left-over portion of the Christmas corn. Son! Perfection in simplicity. Procured at the tail of a moon beam. And for all the fancy flavors we like to impart on our meat, and they are quite good, don’t get me wrong, there is still something to be said for a little salt, a dash pepper, and a hot bed of coals.


5 responses

  1. Ain’t nothing wrong with simple chicken thighs. You, Sir, have a way with words that paint a picture in the reader’s mind!

    January 15, 2013 at 9:51 am

  2. SmokieButGoodie

    Ain’t this the truth! Sometimes, basic can be the best, especially if you can rustle up a quality hunk of chicken or meat. Salt, pepper, smoke, roasted over coals. Yum.

    This line you wrote cracked me up… “Had I the proper equipage, I might have done a carbon 14 dating process on the meat, but seeing I had no such device, why not let ignorance be my ally….” Haha

    Btw I just discovered your Smoke Log, so now I’m a happy camper because I have plenty to read now (in chronological order no less). Especially since, as you comically put it in another post, I keep finding myself using the political section of the newspaper to light my chimney starter….and lately, more and more sections of the paper end up in there too!

    June 20, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    • Nothing burns so sweetly as the political section. Glad to see you’re getting the hang of it, mate! Likewise, were honored and tickled pink too, that you’re delving back into the archives. Lots of good stuff back in there. And plenty of reading ahead of you. We will not be offended either, if you need to read some prose on the toilet even. These are the times we live in, after all. Do what you gotta do.

      Enjoying your banter! Keep it up!


      June 20, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      • SmokieButGoodie

        Haha yes the times they are a changin’ aren’t they? Remember the good ol’ days when the phone was wired to the wall, and the phone did nothing but act like a telephone?

        I suppose today’s phones definitely have some serious advantages, luxurious even, but in the old days, I never had to ask the person on the other end of the line “hey tell me that I didn’t just hear a toilet flush? Please?! Because nothing I have to say is THAT important that you have to talk to me this instant!”

        June 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

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