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Chicken thighs are already inherently juicy, but for even more tenderness, marinating them in a curry yogurt-based mixture adds next-level moistness.  When the chicken thighs first come out of the marinade, they won’t look like they could possibly get so crispy on the grill, but you will soon see that they really can. This recipe is a great change of pace for your grilling repertoire! You’re also going to want to take a gander at Indian-Inspired Lamb Kebabs.

Serve these chicken thighs with grilled vegetables and some rice for a perfect summer meal.

Grilled curry-marinated chicken thighs and veggies on plate.

Yogurt Marinade for Chicken Thighs

The marinade used in this recipe is inspired by the Indian mixture of yogurt and various curry spices. However, it takes a pretty serious shortcut with the addition of some premade curry powder.  If you are well-versed in Indian cuisine, you should feel free to sub in a tablespoon of whatever curry mixture you prefer or blend up at home.

Adding curry powder to bowl of yogurt marinade.

You can marinate the chicken in a container or in a large, sturdy zipper-top sealable plastic bag.  Marinate the chicken between 12 and 36 hours; the longer it marinates the deeper the flavor will be.

When you remove the chicken, allow any excess marinade to drip off.  Then, make sure to dump the excess marinade for safety reasons.  You don’t need to baste these thighs which they are cooking — between the dark meat, the bone-in and skin-on cut, and the yogurt marinade, these will be plenty juicy, believe you me.

Chicken Thighs with Indian Curry Yogurt Marinade: Tender and juicy, with a wonderfully crispy skin, these chicken thighs are a great change of pace in your grilling repertoire!

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How to Grill Chicken Thighs

You’ll want to heat the grill to medium or medium-high at the most when cooking chicken thighs.  This will allow the outside to get nice and crispy and browned, but not burned, while the middle cooks to tender juicy perfection.  

If you can, use a two-zone grilling system with one half of the grill at medium-high and the other at medium. You can then move the chicken pieces back and forth as needed. Move them to the hotter area when you feel they need more browning or cooler if the outside seems to be cooking too quickly.  This will allow the skin to crisp up nicely (even with the thick yogurt marinade!) and the interior to cook completely and evenly.  

Chicken thighs on grill over fire.

How Long to Grill Chicken Thighs

Turn the thighs as needed (check for flare-ups and hot spots) and start checking the thighs at 30 minutes. The skin should be browned and crispy, the underside of the thighs should be golden brown, and when you slide a knife into the thickest part, the juices should run clear.  Flip the chicken as you see fit, and keep moving them about if there are flare-ups or if a particular area of the grill seems too hot or too cool.  

An internal meat thermometer is a very smart investment for the regular griller or meat cooker.  The chicken thighs are done when the internal temperature in the thickest part gets to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute themselves in the meat.

Marinated chicken thighs cooking on hot grill.

Dealing With Grill Flare-Ups

If there are flare-ups (which there likely will be), just move the chicken away from the flames to a cooler spot on the grill. Move them back when the flames subside.  You can keep a little spray bottle of water near the grill, which can be handy for quashing a persistent flare-up.

What to Serve With Grilled Chicken Thighs

Plate of grilled chicken thighs and veggies on picnic table.

Other Grilled Chicken Recipes

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Chicken Thighs with Indian Curry Yogurt Marinade

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Marinade: 12 hours
Total: 12 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 4 People
Tender and juicy, with a wonderfully crispy skin, these chicken thighs are a great change of pace in your grilling repertoire!

Equipment

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Make the marinade in a container with a lid large enough to hold the chicken thighs or a large zipper top bag. Add the chicken thighs, turning to coat them well with the marinade. Cover or seal and refrigerate for 12 to 36 hours; the longer the marinating time, the deeper the flavor.
  • Heat the grill to medium-high, trying to leave some of the grill (gas or charcoal or pellet) a bit cooler. Carefully oil the grates. Remove the thighs from the marinade, allowing excess to drip off, then discard the marinade. Place the thighs skin side down on the grill. Cook for about 8 minutes (turn them earlier if they start to catch fire or smoke a lot), then turn the pieces over and cook for another 6 or so minutes, then flip every few minutes, until they are cooked through, with an internal temperature of 165 F (use an instant-read thermometer) and the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife. They should take about 30 to 40 minutes total; check them for doneness starting at 30 minutes. If there are flare-ups (which there likely will be), just move the chicken away from the flames to a cooler spot in the grill, and move them back when the flames subside.
  • Remove the chicken to a cutting board or a serving platter. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

The marinade used in this recipe is inspired by the Indian mixture of yogurt and various curry spices. However, it takes a pretty serious shortcut with the addition of some premade curry powder.  If you are well-versed in Indian cuisine, you should feel free to sub in a tablespoon of whatever curry mixture you prefer or blend up at home.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 114mg, Sodium: 177mg, Potassium: 317mg, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 245IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 83mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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