Let's grill chicken thighs with harissa and garlic! Learn how to prepare grilled chicken thighs that are juicy and delicious with my tips and tricks.
Grilling season is one of my favorite times of year and I love sharing all of our grilling recipes with you. If you're looking for a delicious grilled chicken recipe, you've got to try these chicken thighs! Serve them with a bright tabouli salad and vermicelli rice for a complete meal!
Table Of Contents:
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- All the flavors: With lots of garlic and a few heaping tablespoons of harissa, these chicken thighs are bursting with flavor in every bite!
- Easy: Just like our grilled spatchcock chicken, this recipe is as simple as marinate and grill. Trust me, this isn't rocket science.
- Make ahead: You can marinate the chicken up to a day in advance, which makes this recipe perfect for a summer cookout.
- Chicken thighs: I love bone-in skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe because of the extra flavor, but you can also use boneless skinless thighs.
- Harissa: You can use my homemade harissa recipe to make your own or use store-bought.
- Garlic: Don't be shy when it comes to garlic for grilled chicken, it's all flavor!
- Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is perfect for this recipe.
- Spices: You only need some salt, oregano and paprika.
How To Make Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Prepare the chicken: Using a sharp knife, cut a couple of slits on the chicken thighs. This is for the chicken to cook evenly and all the way through.
- Marinate the chicken thighs: Place the chicken thighs in a bowl and add the harissa paste, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and spices. Mix and make sure every piece is coated with the marinade. Cover and marinate in the chicken for 4 hours up to overnight.
- Prepare the grill: When you're ready to grill, take out the chicken out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Preheat the grill to two-zone heating, meaning you should have direct and indirect heat. If using a charcoal grill, place all of the coals on one half of the grill and keep the other half empty. If using a gas grill, turn on the heat on the two ends of the grill and keep the heat in the middle of the grill off.
- Grill the chicken thighs: Place the chicken thighs on direct heat for 5 minutes on each side so they get a nice color. Then move them to the indirect heat, close the grill lid and grill for another 30 minutes until fully cooked and the internal temperature registers at 175 degrees F.
Tips For Grilling Chicken Thighs
- Cut the slits: Make sure to cut the slits through the skin and the meat for the chicken to cook completely.
- Patience: Bone-in chicken takes longer to cook, so be patient and make sure it's completely cooked before serving.
- Manage the heat: Make sure you have both direct and indirect heat. This ensures the chicken will be golden with grill marks on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside.
Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To freeze uncooked marinated chicken thighs, place them in a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To grill, let the chicken thaw overnight, bring to the room temperature and then grill according to the instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
This depends on the size of the chicken thighs. It usually takes them between 30 to 40 minutes over indirect heat to cook completely.
Yes, to make it less spicy, add less harissa paste.
The chicken is fully cooked once an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers at 175 degrees F.
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Harissa Grilled Chicken Thighs
- 3 lbs chicken thighs bone-in skin-on
- 3 tablespoon harissa paste
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lemon juice of
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 ½ tsp oregano
- Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits on each chicken thigh. This is to make sure they cook through completely.
- Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl and add the harissa, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika and oregano. Mix to combine and make sure all the pieces are coated with the marinade. Cover and marinate for at least 4 hours up to overnight.
- When ready to grill, place the chicken out of the fridge so it comes to room temperature. Heat the grill to two-zone heating, meaning have all the coals on one half of the grill and keep the other half empty. If using a gas grill, turn on the heat on the two ends of the grill and keep the heat in the middle of the grill off.
- Place the thighs on direct heat and grill for 5 minutes on each side to get a nice sear on both sides. Then move to the indirect heat for 30 minutes until the internal temperature is 175F.
- You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. If you go down this route, cooking times will be shorter.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat in a pan or in the oven at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes.
- You can freeze the marinated chicken thighs for up to 3 months. Let them thaw in the fridge, bring them to room temperature and then grill.