Major Mustard Thighs

Grilled meats are typically slathered with sauce towards the end of cooking, so added sweeteners (sugar, honey, molasses, etc.) don’t blacken and burn over the fire. This time-honored thinking is solid, but what if you want your chicken to sing with more sauce? Marinating chicken thighs (or drumsticks) in Major Mustard infuses the meat with a bright, tangy flavor and results in a richer texture. To avoid the scorched skin scenario, “grill-roast” the chicken over indirect heat in a closed grill.

Major Mustard Thighs 

Serves 4

  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon The Usual 
  • 1 cup Major Mustard sauce, plus more for serving

Place the chicken thighs in a mixing bowl, drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly coat, and season with The Usual. Use your hands to gently toss the chicken and ensure each thigh is evenly coated with seasonings, and then transfer the chicken to a sealable plastic bag. Pour the Major Mustard sauce over the chicken, seal the bag, use your hands to disperse the sauce; refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to one day in advance. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator an hour before cooking. 

Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire. Clean and oil the grill grates. When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, place the thighs over indirect heat (the side of the grill with no coals), close the grill, vent for smoking, and cook for 7-8 minutes, until the chicken skin is lightly charred. Baste the thighs with additional sauce and rotate around the heat as needed for even cooking; close the grill and cook for another 10 minutes. Baste again, close the grill and continue cooking until the skin is nice and crisp, and an instant read digital thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, about 25-30 minutes total. 

If the chicken skin needs additional crisping, move it to direct heat for the last few minutes of cooking, flipping as needed to prevent the skin from becoming overly black. Remove from heat, allow the thighs to rest for at least 10 minutes, then serve as desired with additional Major Mustard sauce.

Grill-side banter provided by food writer, cookbook author and grilling enthusiast, Paula Disbrowe.

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