Grilled boneless chicken thighs are a nice alternative to grilled chicken breasts for those who prefer dark meat over white. You can create a variety of marinade options based on the flavor you want to have in your meal too.
Chicken Thighs Nutrition
When it comes to chicken thighs nutrition, it depends on whether you eat the skin or not. Skinless chicken thighs are high in protein and relatively low calorie. According to the USDA, a medium boneless, skinless chicken thigh, which is close to 3 ounces, contains 125 calories, 18 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat.
If you decide to eat the skin on a chicken thigh, according to the USDA, a medium chicken thigh with the skin eaten contains 184 calories, 19 grams of protein and 12 grams of fat.
If you can't decide between chicken breasts and chicken thighs, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that while they are both good sources of lean protein, dark chicken meat has three times more total fat and three times more saturated fat. While it doesn't seem like much, over time that can add up.
Easy Marinade for Grilled Chicken
If you're looking for an easy marinade for grilled chicken thighs, try our recipe for Fresh Mango Marinade. It will add a sweet flavor while providing health benefits from the mango. If you're not a fan of mango, there are a ton of other ways you can build a quick and easy marinade for grilled chicken thighs. Some ideas to try include:
- Barbecue sauce
- Buffalo sauce
- Italian dressing
- Cilantro, garlic and lime juice
You can also boost flavors without relying on spices with ingredients such as olive oil, salad dressings, honey, maple syrup or vinegar.
No matter how you choose to marinate your chicken thighs, you should place them in a freezer bag or other airtight container. Mix your marinade ingredients in a bowl and pour the mixture over the chicken thighs. Store in the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight. The longer the meat stays in the marinade, the more flavorful and tender the meat will be.
Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs
When you're ready to make your grilled boneless chicken thighs or your grilled skinless chicken thighs, preheat your grill. After allowing the charcoals to rest for about 30 minutes or allowing your indoor grill to reach temperature, remove the chicken thighs from the marinade.
Place the boneless skinless thighs on the grill. If using a charcoal grill, keep them away from the direct heat of the coals. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service says to cook until a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the grilled skinless chicken thighs reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The actual cooking time varies based on the thickness of the chicken thigh and the temperature of the grill, though it should take an estimated six to seven minutes per side.
Once the grilled skinless chicken thighs have reached the correct internal temperature, remove them from the heat and allow to rest before serving. Cutting too soon will drain the juices and could lead to dry chicken. Discard any leftover marinade.
- USDA FoodData Central: "Chicken, Thigh, NS as to Cooking Method, Skin Not Eaten"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Chicken, Thigh, NS as to Cooking Method, Skin Eaten"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Breast vs. Thighs Which Is More Nutritious?"
- USDA Food Safety anad Inspection Service: "Thermometer Placement & Temperatures"