I feel like there’s definitely a fight out there somewhere on the interwebs on whether rubs or marinades are better on certain foods. I’m picturing angry chefs wielding large kitchen knives typing ferociously on their computers about the benefits of rubs on chicken thighs or marinades on chicken wings. If I’m being honest, I’m not totally sure which side I’d be on. What I do know is that rubs can be super tasty and take like no time at all. Marinades might need some time to work, but you can slap a rub on some chicken thighs, throw them right on the grill, and still get a crap ton of flavor on them!
That’s the case with this chipotle chicken rub. You take big ol’ chicken thighs, coat them in a spice mixture, and get them right on the grill. The result is crisped up on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, flavorful chicken that’s perfect chopped up in burrito bowls, thin sliced on salads, or eaten as is with veggies & rice. I like to take mine right off the grill and chop them up thin. I store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and if you can fend off the vultures (aka brothers) then they might last up to 5 days!
Chipotle Chicken Rub
1 family case of chicken thighs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp oregano
¼ tsp parsley
Red pepper flakes
In a bowl, mix together garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano, parsley, and a pinch of red pepper flakes until well incorporated. To coat your chicken, you have two options… You can either lay all your chicken thighs out in a single layer in a pan/dish or cutting board & rub that stuff all over them with your fingers OR you can put all your chicken thighs in a gallon Ziplock bag and add in a small amount of rub into the bag at a time, shaking it all up after each addition. Don’t feel like you have to use all the rub. Some like it spicy and flavorful, and others like a milder flavor. Feel it out!
Preheat your grill. To keep my thighs from sticking, I like to hit them with some coconut oil spray before throwing them on the grill but that step is optional!
Once your grill is hot, get those thighs on there and let cook on one side for 3-5 minutes. Flip when chicken releases from the grates (no sticking) and let cook for another 3-5 minutes on the other side. Make you sure you get a good crisp on them and don’t take off until juices run clear and inside is cooked to 165 degrees F.
You can keep them whole or transfer your thighs to cutting board and chop them up thin (think like Chipotle’s chicken thighs, cut up for burritos). YUM serve with rice, in bowls, burritos, or tacos!