Prior to last year, I was a total chicken snob and only ate chicken breasts…and chicken fingers if that counts. Then I tried Honey Dijon BBQ Chicken Thighs, followed by one of my all time favourite recipes on the blog, Chicken Snap Pea Skillet. I still love a good grilled chicken breast, but I have to admit that chicken thighs are hard to resist when they’re so moist and tender. They’re also super quick to cook, meaning I can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes.
Dry rubs are easy to make and they lend a lot of flavour to the meat, with no need to marinate. I’ve had great success with Memphis Dry Rub Ribs (done in the oven!), Disappearing Pork Tenderloin and Texas Dry Rub on steaks. They usually pair a little sweetness with some spice, and the secret ingredient in this one is one you probably wouldn’t have thought of for meat – cinnamon! It gives the rub a little warmth and goes great with the sweet brown sugar and the kick from cayenne.
Makes 4-6 servings (2-3 thighs per person) · Printable Version
What you’ll need:
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 3 lbs chicken thighs, about 12 thighs
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cumin, garlic powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, black pepper and cayenne.
Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet either by greasing it or lining it with parchment paper. Trim the chicken thighs and then fold them back up into themselves into neat little packages. Arrange on the baking sheet.
Rub the spice mixture all over the surface of the thighs. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the largest thigh reaches an internal temperature of 170-175°F. If you use bone-in thighs, you’ll need to cook them about 10 minutes longer. You can also cook these on the barbecue!
I served it up with a simple side salad, but this would be awesome with a Light and Creamy Potato Salad with Balsamic Yogurt Dressing or for a low-carb side dish, try the Cauliflower “No Potato” Salad.