The best barbecue is anti-corporation. This simple barbecue dish is too. It flies in the face of everything corporate barbecue wants you to believe, that good barbecue requires hours of cook time under experienced supervision and employs the use of special equipment. It does not.
Barbecue itself has been around far, far longer then the backyard barbecue grill. It is Native American food. It became plantation food meant for celebrations, pit food meant for cooking a whole pig or cow. It was for a big events and large crowds. More often then not slaves were the pit men of the plantation. When African-Americans left the rural south for cities barbecue went along for the ride and far be it from home cooks to leave favorite foods behind.
The attitude of home cooks has always taken a no-special-equipment-required mentality and it didn’t take long to figure out how to scale barbecue down to family size, how to cook it in the oven, in a cast iron skillet, a pressure cooker, and eventually a slow cooker. It wasn’t until the early 70’s that backyard barbecues began popping up like mushrooms after a hard rain and barbecue went back to the open flame.
A recipe like this falls prey to age old adages like, “more is better.” Don’t succumb to those temptations. Keep this one simple, you will be glad you did.
Cast Iron Barbecued Crispy Thighs (Makes 4 servings)
8 (5-oz.) skin-on chicken thighs
1 cup Stubb’s Original barbecue sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
Fresh ground black pepper
Lots of green onion
- Season the thighs with salt and black pepper on all sides. Set the chicken aside while the salt absorbs into the skin and flesh.
- Heat the oven to 400˚F.
- Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, it will shimmer and shake. Add chicken thighs skin side down. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté thighs until crispy and dark brown on both sides, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the thighs from the pan. Drain fat from the pan into a heat proof container. Place the skillet back onto the stove and deglaze the pan with chicken stock. Let the stock reduce to 1 tablespoon. Add barbecue sauce and let it reduce to [3/4] cup.
- Nestle the thighs into the sauce being careful not to submerge them. Place them into the oven and bake until cooked through, tender, and the sauce has become sticky, 15 minutes. Top with lots of green onion and serve.