I love chicken thighs and think I do a pretty good job on cooking them. I have tried techniques that give crispy skin but have decided I like bite through the skin better. Skin that is not at all flabby, has a nice texture and doesn’t pull of the thigh when you bite it. I have come close but never got it quite perfect.
I have heard lots of techniques of taking the skin off, scraping the fat and putting it back on. I have resisted as it seemed like a Pain In the Anterior (PIA). Finally, I decided I had to give it a try to see if it would give me that perfect skin.
I started by taking the skin of the thigh and trimming any large pieces of fat off the thigh.
I used a very sharp knife almost parallel to the skin to scrape the fat off the skin.
I quickly learned that the fat forms a paste that coats the edge of the blade and you have to wipe it off frequently while scraping. You will rapidly develop a messy goo of chicken fat.
I sprinkled the skinned thigh with barbecue rub. I used my Basic BBQ Rub.
I wrapped the scraped chicken skin around the thigh.
I gave it a coating of SPOG (salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder).
Another PIA factor. To get really good skin, it is recommended you cook it in butter skin side down in a pan to render more fat from the skin. I am cheap and added some oil to the butter. I took a roasting pan and added melted butter 1/8 inch thick. Then I added another 1/8 inch of oil.
I put the chicken in, skin side down. I put it in a preheated 275 F smoker.
I smoked for 45 minutes and then turned the thigh over and dipped the non-skin side in the pan and put the chicken directly on the rack.
I smoked for about 45 minutes more to an internal temperature of 175 F.
I brushed the chicken all over with Koss Sauce. You can use the barbecue sauce of your choice.
I cooked for 10 to 15 minutes more and put the chicken under tented foil for 10 minutes.
The finished result.
Here it is on the plate.
I loved when I took my first bite. I bit through the skin and it didn’t pull off the thigh.
Darn it. This was perfect. The skin was tender and not flabby. It was a tasty coating on the meat, not a a rubbery covering. The taste was incredible with the rub under the skin and the SPOG on the surface.
Even though it is a PIA, I will need to make this my go to chicken thigh method. Sigh.
The Old Fat Guy
- 8 chicken thighs
- barbecue rub of your choice
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) pepper
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) onion powder
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) garlic powder
- butter to cover the bottom of your pan to 1/4 inch
- oil to cover the bottom of your pan to another 1/4 inch
- barbecue sauce of your choice
- Remove the skin from the thigh.
- Trim any large pieces of fat.
- Using a very sharp knife, scrape the fat layer off the skin.. You will need to remove the fat from your knife blade frequently.
- Apply barbecue rub to the chicken thighs.
- Wrap the chicken skin around the thigh..
- Sprinkle the skin with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
- Put enough melted better in a roasting pan to cover it 1/4 inch deep.
- Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan another 1/4 inch.
- Put the chicken skin side down in the roasting pan.
- Put the pan in a smoker preheated to 275 F.
- Smoke for 45 minutes.
- Turn the thighs in the pan to coat with the fat in the pan.
- Put the chicken directly on the smoker rack, skin side up.
- Smoke to an internal temperature of 175 F, about 45 minutes.
- Brush the thighs with barbecue sauce.
- Smoke for 10 more minutes.
- Bring the chicken in and tent it in foil for ten minutes before serving.