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Grilled Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Za'atar

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Za'atar
  • Meal


  • Cusine



6 T fresh squeezed

2 tsp. lemon zest

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 T Za’atar 

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

fresh lemon pieces to squeeze on at the table


If you don’t find pre-trimmed chicken thighs, trim excess fat and skin from each piece of chicken, leaving only the top flap of skin on each chicken thigh. (I don’t worry about internal fat for chicken thighs cooked on the grill because it keeps the chicken moist, and a lot of fat drips out.)Mix together the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic powder, Za’atar, salt, and pepper, and then whisk in the olive oil to make the marinade.Put the trimmed chicken into a Ziploc bag or plastic container with a snap-tight lid, add the marinade, and let chicken marinate in the fridge all day if possible. (Or put chicken in the fridge to marinate when you go to bed at night and cook after work the next day.)When it’s time to cook, drain the chicken in a colander placed in the sink and let it come to room temperature before you cook it.Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat, spraying the grill with olive oil or brushing with a high-smoke point oil. If you’re preparing a charcoal grill, or a gas grill where you can have different temperatures on each side, make one side medium-high heat and the other side medium heat.When the chicken has reached room temperature, lay each piece skin-side-down at an angle to grill grates and let it cook without moving for about 4 minutes (or until you see nice grill marks on the skin when you lift up the edge of one piece.)When you have nice grill marks, rotate each piece of chicken so it’s at the opposite angle to the grill grates to create criss-cross marks, and cook about 4 minutes more.Turn chicken so skin side is up and turn down heat to medium or move chicken to a cooler part of the grill.Cook 20-30 minutes more (depending on how thick your chicken is.)For bone-in chicken I would definitely use an instant-read meat thermometer to make sure the chicken has reached the safe internal temperature of 165F/75C. (All the juices should be clear and not pink when you cut into a piece of chicken.)Serve hot, with piece of lemon to squeeze on at the table if desired.