Grilled Ginger Spiced Chicken Thighs
Chicken,  Dinner,  Food

Grilled Ginger Spiced Chicken Thighs

I was looking for a different way to prepare chicken thighs the other day, and found myself clicking through Food Network’s site in search of some inspiration.

Lately I’ve been buying bone-in, skin on chicken thighs because I think they have the most flavor. But I happened to stumble across a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs on sale at the grocery store, and I couldn’t pass them up.


So, as I perused the Food Network site, one recipe that caught my eye was this one from Bobby Flay:

Smoked Ginger Chicken with Cardamom, Cloves and Cinnamon

I had most of those ingredients on hand, or at least the “feel + taste” of those flavors. Inspiration had arrived!

Here’s the difference between our two recipes:

1. My soaked liquid included water, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, ground cardamom and crystallized ginger (I don’t typically keep fresh ginger on hand).

chicken thighs, grilled ginger spiced chicken thighs

2. I used a grill pan rather than our charcoal grill. I love a good piece of grilled chicken, don’t get me wrong, but on this particular day it was raining so I had to be inside.

3. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of a whole butterflied chicken (although I’m sure that would be tasty!).

Grilled Ginger Spiced Chicken Thighs

Grilled Ginger Spiced Chicken Thighs

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3 pieces of crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon black whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, cloves removed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/8 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Add 1/2 cup water, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, peppercorns and cardamom to a small bowl and set aside to soak for 1 hour. Strain the water and keep it for the next step.
  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it's soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mustard seeds and continue cooking for 30 seconds longer. Add the 1/2 cup of reserved water, lime juice, salt and pepper, and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue cooking for 1 more minute, and then transfer the liquid to a blender.
  • Blend the mixture on high until it's the consistency of a smooth paste (add more water if it's too thick). Let it cool completely.
  • Pour the paste over the chicken thighs, coating them completely. Cover and marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour, but up to 4 hours. Remove the chicken 30 minutes before you're ready to grill.
  • Preheat your outdoor grill on high OR heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with a little salt and pepper, drizzle them with olive oil, and then place them on the grill or grill pan and cook for 4 minutes. Flip the chicken and continue cooking for another 4 minutes. (My chicken thighs were on the small side and flattened out in the pan. If you're using a larger chicken thigh, you may want to add 1-2 minutes per side to ensure they're done.)
  • Remove the chicken and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Did you make this recipe?

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    Hi, I'm Liza, a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting sucked into whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life, and as a foodie at heart, I relish the chance to both cook and eat. (No picky-eater here!) Always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect mojito and time to finish my novel!


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