Recently, I hosted a small gathering for supper. I knew that the crew I was hosting had an affinity for American-style Mexican food and that I wanted to serve everything family-style. Keeping those two things in mind, I began testing different recipes. I finally decided upon Chili and Onion Grilled Chicken Thighs. The marinade gave the chicken a sweet and savory smokey flavor, and the chicken thighs could be grilled up quickly as my guests arrived, allowing me to enjoy the company.
Chili and Onion Grilled Chicken, serves 4-6 for supper
1 red onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup of canola oil
5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you can also use breasts)
Prepare the marinade by combining all of the ingredients in a food processor and processing until smooth. To help the onions and garlic breakdown, you can pulse them first with salt and then scrape down the sides before adding the rest of the ingredients. It works if you add all of the ingredients at once as well, but you may have to process it for longer.
Next, place a gallon-sized zip-lock bag over a bowl. Add in a third of your chicken and a third of the marinade, and massage the bag until the marinade is distributed throughout. Repeat another two times until all of your chicken and marinade are in the bag and well incorporated. Seal and place the bag of chicken in the bowl and move it to an isolated area of the fridge. Allow the chicken to marinade for 30 minutes at minimum, overnight is best.
When you are ready to cook the chicken, heat the grill to medium-high heat and scrap off as much of the sauce as you can before placing the chicken onto the grates. Grill 5-7 minutes on each side until your chicken is cooked thoroughly. Remove from the grill and cover with foil for a few minutes to allow the juices to re-distribute.