Tamari-Ginger Chicken Thighs with Zucchini

In case you were wondering what was on the rest of the plate with yesterday’s strawberry rhubarb salsa…this was it!  This recipe is perfect for a potluck, because the sauce/marinade will make enough for at least 16 to 20 chicken thighs.  Or you can simply use all of the parts of about two or three whole chickens (cut up) to give a little more variety.  Either way, it’s a winner.  And at the tail end, I added some halved (lengthwise) zucchini brushed with leftover sauce to the grill for the last ten minutes to take care of my side dish at the same time.

Gather Up:

  • 16 to 20 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin removed (I only used 8 here, but there is enough sauce for more than twice that many).
  • 3/8 cup tamari (low sodium)
  • 3/8 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dark sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 1-1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped fine
  • optional: 8 zucchini, approx 6″ long, split lengthwise (not pictured)

Combine the tamari, coconut aminos, balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes to reduce the volume to about half.  Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.  Allow to cool, then whisk to incorporate the oil.  Separate and reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture in a small bowl.

Place the chicken in a large bowl.  Pour the remaining sauce into the bowl and toss to coat everything well.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (and up to about 2 hours).  If you like, you can soak a couple of cedar planks in water while the chicken is marinating as well.

Get the grill warmed up to medium/medium-high heat (375 degrees), indirect.  You can cook these on a cedar plank (like shown in the photo), but I honestly don’t notice any real difference when I’m cooking on the pellet grill.  You may get more noticeable results on a gas grill where you don’t normally have the smoky flavors – give it a try and let me know.  Arrange the thighs on the grill and set the timer for 20 minutes.  Go back in the house and brush the zucchini with some of the reserved sauce.

When the timer goes off, you can baste and turn the thighs.  Or, if you’ve got good indirect heat going, simply baste them and leave them sitting.  It is also time to put the zucchini on the grill.  Set the timer for 10 minutes longer and then check when the timer goes off (use a quick-read thermometer to check the meat).  Turn the zucchini, baste everything again with sauce, and keep grilling until the zucchini is tender and the chicken reaches 165 degrees inside (maybe 5 to 10 minutes longer).

Remove from the grill and arrange the chicken and zucchini on separate platters.  To serve, simply grab a thigh or two and a couple of slices of zucchini.  You can drizzle a little of the leftover sauce over top if you like.  And don’t forget that salsa too!