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Clinched and Planked Chicken Thighs

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford
Hands-on time 1 hr, 5 mins
Total time 9 hrs, 5 mins
Yield Serves 8 (serving size: 1 thigh and 2 teaspoons dressing)
You can improvise on the board dressing, adding grated garlic or shallots (use a Microplane grater), finely chopped chiles, chopped green onions, or chopped herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and sage.

Ingredients

  • Basting liquid:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • Basic Brine (see below)
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, each sliced to the bone in a few places
  • 2 (15 x 6 1/2 x 3/8-inch) cedar grilling planks
  • 1 bunch thyme sprigs
  • 1 bunch rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bunch sage sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

Nutrition Information

  • calories 335
  • fat 25 g
  • satfat 5.8 g
  • monofat 13.8 g
  • polyfat 4 g
  • protein 22.8 g
  • carbohydrate 3.1 g
  • fiber 0.3 g
  • cholesterol 136 mg
  • iron 1.3 mg
  • sodium 502 mg
  • calcium 20 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare basting liquid, combine first 10 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; refrigerate in an airtight container overnight or up to 2 days.

  2. Combine Basic Brine and chicken thighs in a large bowl; refrigerate 3 hours. Drain; discard brine and solids. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

  3. Immerse and soak the cedar planks in water for 1 hour; drain.

  4. Preheat a charcoal fire to high heat. Let burn 30 minutes or until flames subside and coals are glowing. Spread coals to an even 4-inch thickness; fan excess ash from coals with a piece of cardboard.

  5. Tie herb sprig bunches tightly to the handle of a long wooden spoon.

  6. Arrange thighs, skin sides down, directly on the coals; grill 2 minutes, without moving. Turn, baste with basting liquid using herb brush, and grill 2 minutes. Repeat procedure twice. Remove thighs to a platter, skin sides up, and baste. Let stand 5 minutes. Add vinegar and juice to remaining basting liquid.

  7. Arrange 4 thighs, skin sides up, on each plank. Baste thighs. Place planks directly on the coal bed; cover grill. Grill 11 minutes or until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork. Singe herbs for 5 seconds after final basting. Finely chop herbs; reserve.

  8. Combine parsley, 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and reserved chopped herbs on a cutting board. Add thighs to oil mixture; turn to coat. Sprinkle with tarragon; let stand 3 minutes. Serve thighs with dressing.

  9. Basic Brine: Combine 5 cups water, 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon sugar, 8 garlic cloves, 3 bay leaves, and 1 halved lemon in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; cool. Refrigerate brine overnight.