And the hits just keep on-coming… Monday evening, when I arrived to pick Emily up from her Flag Football game, she was balancing herself on her left leg with the foot of her right leg barely touching the ground — just enough so that she could stand. She half-limped/half-hopped to the car and climbed in. Apparently, during the game, she had collided with one of her teammates while they were both trying to grab a flag. Of course, the other girl walked away with nary a scratch.
Scott advised that we should ice it, compress it and elevate it. So far, so good. I propped her on the couch with pillows and ice packs and commenced to setting the table and getting dinner ready. About an hour later, Scott said she should probably ice the ankle again. We unwrapped the ace bandage from her foot and realized it was now the size of a tennis ball and turning colors.
Long story short, Emily and I spent the rest of the evening in the ER. Three hours later, after being diagnosed with a bad sprain (nothing broken) she had an air cast, crutches and a script for 800 milligrams of ibuprofen. (Head shaking.)
Bleary-eyed, the next day I wanted the easiest way to put dinner on the table — short of dialing 976-papa. These chicken thighs were the perfect choice. They only take ten minutes of prep and then a few hours to marinate in the fridge. Put the rub on the chicken in the morning, it will be ready to cook when you get home.
Speaking of cooking, Scott is responsible for the crispy skin and perfect grill marks on this chicken. He is my grill-master — that’s why the grilling instructions below are straight from the horse’s mouth. If you don’t have a grill, (or grill master) you can just as easily roast your chicken in a hot oven.
- 1 teaspoon whole red peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 lb chicken thighs with skin and bones (you can use breasts, legs and wings too)
- In a small bowl combine first 8 ingredients.
- Using a sharp knife, trim any excess fat from the chicken. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Liberally sprinkle rub onto both sides of chicken and press with your fingers so that it adheres to the bird. Place chicken on a platter and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for at least two hours and up to 8.
- Take chicken out of the fridge 15 minutes before cooking.
- To grill: Preheat grill to 375 degrees. Place thighs skin side down for 6 minutes. To prevent flare ups and maximize the flavor of the rub, do not leave grill unattended with skin side down as the drippings can trigger a flare up that may burn the skin. After six minutes turn chicken and continue cooking for approximately 12 minutes.
- For roasting: preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Set a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Place chicken on rack. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until skin is crispy and browned and flesh is cooked through, but still juicy.
- This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
- You can use drumsticks, wings, breasts, or spatchcock chicken -- adjust the cook time accordingly.