Easy Chicken Thighs

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Easy Chicken Thighs with Cumin, Cayenne, and Citrus is a great weeknight recipe.


Easy Chicken Thighs

Easy Chicken Thighs with Cumin, Cayenne and Citrus is a great weeknight recipe. Chicken thighs have a huge advantage over lean breasts. The skin browns nicely and the meat stays juicy even when thoroughly cooked, which makes them ideal for grilling or broiling.

Serve with a baked potato and Quick Southern-Style Baked Beans from Pioneer Woman, Sauteed Spinach & Garlic or Creamed Kale.

  • Author: Mark Bittman
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 50


  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or other oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • About 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, or 2 pounds thighs with bones
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Preheat a gas grill, start a wood or charcoal fire or preheat a broiler; the fire should be moderately hot, and the rack should be about 4 inches from the heat source.
  2. Combine the garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, cayenne, cloves, salt, pepper and oil in a blender or small food processor, and blend until fairly smooth. Add the juices, taste and adjust seasoning; the flavors should be powerful.
  3. Smear sauce over chicken; if time allows, marinate 30 minutes or so. Grill 6 to 8 minutes a side, or until meat is nicely browned and cooked medium or better on the inside. (Thighs with bones will take longer, about 20 minutes total.) Serve, garnished with the cilantro.


  • Serving Size: 4
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