Sweet, spicy, and sticky grilled bone-in chicken thighs are the way this summer! Chicken Thighs are one of the most flavorful pieces of poultry. Smothering the chicken thighs in a simple chipotle apricot glaze makes this Chipotle Apricot Grilled Chicken Thighs recipe.
This inspiration for this chicken recipe came from a meal kit I tried recently. The meal was Baked Chicken with a simple apricot glaze. I enjoyed the chicken with the glaze so much that I had to replicate the recipe but make it my own. So, one day I felt like grilling some chicken and I figured I’d try my glaze concoction on grilled chicken thighs. Summer is approaching and it is time to get grilling!
What makes this apricot grilled chicken delicious is not just the glaze, but it’s how the glaze carmelizes on the chicken as it is cooking! That flavor gets deep in the skin and the meat and you can taste the flavor throughout every bite.
Ingredients in the Chipotle and Apricot Glaze
The ingredients in this glaze are quite simple and may already be in your kitchen pantry. Those ingredients are:
- Chipotle Adobo Sauce
- Apricot Preserves
- White Wine Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Olive Oil
- Minced Garlic
To create the most amazing sauce, all you are going to do is add these ingredients to a small saucepan on medium heat, allow everything to combine, and WHO-LA! You have a sweet and spicy glaze that you will want to put on everything.
Tips on how to grill chicken thighs
I’ll be honest, I don’t grill chicken thighs a lot because of the among of fat that renders from the thighs as it always causes grill fires, which necessarily isn’t a bad thing. But, they are the best part of the chicken that tastes amazing from a grill and that is because of all of the flavors that come from the fat from the chicken. Here is how I grill and season chicken thighs:
- Allow the apricot chicken thighs to sit at room temperature for, at least, 30 minutes. This will allow the chicken skin to become relaxed and become crispier as it grills.
- Season the chicken thighs with a great mixture of seasonings and spices such as garlic powder, sea salt, coarse black pepper, onion powder, smoked paprika, seasoned salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Rub all of those seasonings over the grilled chicken and add two hefty dollops of mayo and coat with the chicken thighs. Why the mayo? The mayo seals in the flavor and helps the chicken skin to become crispy.
- Cook the chicken until an internal temperature of 165℉ is reached. Be mindful that the meat of the poultry can still look a little pinkish, but shouldn’t be raw.
- Cook on both sides for 7 minutes on both sides or until the chicken is cooked through. If you are using boneless chicken thighs, it will take less time to cook evenly. This recipe will also work for grilled chicken breasts.
Commonly Asked Questions
Sure! I think you can use this to make beforehand and coat the chicken. It will caramelize as the chicken cooks.
It will take about 7-8 minutes on both sides. It took about 15-20 minutes to cook an entire batch of chicken thighs. I will say keep a close eye on the chicken thighs because as the fat starts dripping, it will make the charcoals react more causing the fire to the flame.
For this recipe, you can use peach or strawberry preserves. You may even be able to use cherry preserves if you want a sweet, spicy, and tart flavor.
Yes! Once you begin to prepare the chicken thigh and they are baked, add the glaze to the chicken and bake the chicken thighs further for an additional 5 minutes. You can bake the chicken thighs at 375 Degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Chipotle Apricot Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 8 1x
Apricots preserves are the perfect complement to chipotle chiles in this sweet and spicy chicken dish.
- 8 Bone-In Chicken Thighs
- 1 tbsp. Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tbsp. Coarse Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp. Seasoned Salt or BBQ Seasoning
- 1 tsp. Garlic powder
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 Lemon, juiced
- 1/2 c. Mayo
- 11 oz. Apricot Preserves
- 2 Chipotle Adobe Peppers + 2 tbsp. Chipotle Sauce
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. White Wine Vinegar
- 1/4 c. Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
- Pinch of salt
- Garnish: chopped cilantro
- Place chicken thighs in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with the seasonings and spices (kosher salt, black pepper, seasoned/ BBQ salt, onion and garlic powder, smoked paprika, Italian Seasoning, and Cayenne pepper). Use your hands and rub the Seasoning over the chicken thighs.
- Add the lemon juice and mayo, and use your hands to coat the chicken thighs with the mixture. Set the chicken thighs out at room temperature uncovered for at least 30 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, add the ingredients to the glaze (apricot preserves, chipotle peppers and sauce, garlic cloves, white wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt), whisk, and turn on medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, prepare the charcoal grill according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Of course, you can use a gas grill if you prefer.
- Spray the grill rack with non-stick spray, and when the grill is ready, place the chicken thighs on the grill starting with skin side up and grill on both sides for 7 minutes. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 Degrees internally.
- As you are grilling the chicken and you become closer to remove from the grill, brush on both sides with the glaze. When you have about 2-3 minutes, the ice will caramelize. Remove and place on a baking rack or serving tray. Brush the chicken thighs on both sides and cover with aluminum foil until ready to serve. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve.
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 miutes
- Category: Main Dishes
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: American
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