Why did it take someone so long to think up chicken thighs with balsamic barbecue sauce? Simple, easy, and made with pantry staples, such as ketchup, honey, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce, this meal comes together quickly. Take advantage of late-season corn to round out the meal.
If you haven’t yet discovered the joys of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, this is the recipe to take you there. Juicy and so much more flavorful than breast meat, they taste great slathered with this addictive, tangy sauce. It’s definitely worth the few minutes it takes to mix it up, but if you are super pressed for time, use your favorite bottled barbecue sauce instead. This dish works really well cooked on the grill too, which makes it ideal for hot summer evenings.–Carla Snyder
Chicken Thighs with Balsamic Barbecue Sauce
For the barbecue chicken and corn
- 4 ears sweet corn
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon store-bought Montreal steak seasoning*
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Cook the chicken and corn
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) or preheat the grill on medium-high.
- Husk the corn. Slather the ears with butter and sprinkle with Montreal steak seasoning and a few grinds of pepper. Wrap each ear of corn individually with aluminum foil. Season the chicken thighs with 1/2 teaspoon steak seasoning.
- If using an oven: Line a large rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil and place it in the oven to preheat. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and arrange the chicken thighs on one side of the hot pan and drizzle with olive oil. Place the wrapped corn on the other side of the pan and roast until the chicken registers 165°F (75°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes. If using a grill: Grill the chicken thighs and corn, turning once or twice, until the chicken registers 165°F (75°C) on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes.
Make the barbecue sauce
- While the chicken thighs and corn cook, in a medium bowl combine the ketchup, balsamic vinegar, honey, soy sauce, and garlic.
Finish the chicken and corn
- Brush the chicken thighs with the barbecue sauce and return to the oven or the grill just until lightly charred, about 5 minutes more in the oven or just 1 minute more, turning once, on the grill.
- Remove the chicken and corn from the heat and brush the chicken once more with the sauce. Pile the chicken and corn on a platter and pass the remaining barbecue sauce on the side.
*What is Montreal Steak Spice?Originally, it was made as the spice concoction that covers the outside of Montreal smoked meat, a cured and smoked beef brisket. There are many recipes for blends but they usually have the same base including dill, pepper, onion, garlic, paprika, salt, cayenne, and coriander. It became popular in delis and then started making its way onto steaks and ribs, in Montreal and beyond. It’s also really good on chicken, vegetables, and French fries—seriously, just try it.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This chicken thighs with balsamic barbecue sauce is a wonderful and super easy one-pan meal that’s sure to be a hit! The chicken thighs roasted up perfectly juicy and the individual foil-wrapped buttered corn on the cob results in very sweet, tender corn with that characteristic “pop” when you bite into it.
I’m not particularly fond of Montreal Steak seasoning on chicken or corn. I found the flavoring very overpowering on both, so I'll opt to omit this seasoning the next time around. The balsamic barbecue sauce was good but had a much better and more complex flavor after it was cooked on the chicken and became a nice thick glaze. I'll also substitute powdered garlic for the raw minced garlic since the brief five-minute glazing doesn’t have time to mellow the bite of the garlic in the sauce. I think simmering the sauce while the chicken roasts will greatly improve the flavor profile of the sauce, especially as it’s also to be used as a glaze when serving.
An overall great weeknight dish to add to the rotation, especially when fresh corn is in season.
This is the best rich and tangy barbecue sauce I’ve ever eaten! I cannot believe that it took me all of these years of home cooking to finally make my own barbecue sauce. I will never have bottled barbecue sauce again. What makes this recipe even more user-friendly is that it can be cooked as a sheet pan dinner with zero cleanup.
My kids and I gave the sauce and the chicken a score of a 10 and the corn only an 8 as the store-bought Montreal steak seasoning was too peppery for us (which is odd because we love black pepper)!
Originally published September 18, 2018