Refuse to let go of summer—you can keep your BBQ going well into the fall (and sometimes early winter)! This bright green herb sauce with roasted garlic makes a wonderful marinade for chicken thighs. Make the marinade and coat the chicken the day before, for an easy dinner the next day that can be pulled together in time it takes to heat the grill and cook the chicken. Throw a couple of peaches (or figs would be great too) during the final 5 minutes or so of grilling for nice contrast to the garlicky, herbacious chicken.
To roast the garlic, take a full head, and slice off the tops to expose the cloves. The cloves are at different levels so I cut the tops from each row/level separately rather than a straight cut across the top, to maximize the garlic. Drizzle or spray with a touch of olive oil, wrap in foil, and roast at 375° for about one hour, until the cloves are soft when pierced with a knife. Allow to cool, and pop out the cloves with a butter knife into your food processor or mini-chopper.
Clean and prep your herbs, no need to chop them as you’ll be putting them into a food processor to blend with the roasted garlic. Parsley and mint work well to offset the garlic and give the sauce it’s amazing green colour.
Add the remaining marinade ingredients into the food processor and blend until the herbs are finely chopped and the texture is smooth.
Next, loosen the skin on the chicken thighs and rub the marinade under the skin, and then all over the outside the chicken, before placing into a bowl. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least one hour—if you can do this the night before, even better.
Finally, remove the chicken about 30–45 minutes before grilling to take the chill off the meat for more even cooking. Heat the grill to about 400°, and brush with olive oil (or spray carefully with non-stick spray). Note: with all the olive oil in the marinade, the flames can really jump up when you put the chicken on the grill, so allow excess marinade to drip off into the bowl before placing the meat on the grill. Start the chicken thighs skin side down, and grill until the skin is nice and crispy, then turn down the heat and flip the chick over to finish cooking at a lower heat.
Plate with your peaches or figs, and serve!
Roast Garlic Herb Marinated Chicken Thighs
Tender grilled chicken with an herbacious-garlic kick and crispy skin. The marinade can be made in advance to make this a quick weeknight dinner you can get on the table in 30 minutes.
- 1 head roasted garlic cut top off garlic head, roast at 375°, wrapped in foil, for 1 hour until tender
- 2 cups packed parsley
- 3/4 cup packed mint leaves
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 chicken thighs with bones and skin
- freshly ground pepper
- 4 peaches, split into halves, pits removed
- olive oil
Squeeze cooled garlic cloves out of the head into a small chopper or food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Blend until herbs are finely chopped and a sauce forms.
Loosen skin from chicken thighs, and spoon herb sauce under the skin. Rub more sauce all over the outside of the thigh, and transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining meat. Cover and transfer to a fridge for a minimum of one hour, or overnight.
Remove chicken from fridge and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat a BBQ to 400°. Spritz grill with olive oil or cooking spray, then carefully add meat, skin side down, to the hot grill (all that olive oil can create big flames, so shake off excess oil/sauce before placing on the grill). Grill for approximately 10 minutes until the skin is well crisped and dark in colour.
Reduce heat to 300° and flip chicken pieces skin-side up, positioning them in indirect heat (turn a zone in the BBQ way down or off, placing chicken into that zone). Cook over lower heat for another 20 minutes or so, until the meat is cooked through. (Temperature should be 165°—I press down on the chicken with my tongs to get a sense of the firmness to see how cooked they are. Firmer meat means more cooked).
During the last seven or so minutes, mist the peach halves with olive oil and place on the grill, starting skin side up. Get some nice grill lines, then filp and finish cooking the peaches until juices are flowing and the fruit has softened.
Serve the chicken and peaches together on a platter.