One of the best things about this recipe, from the editor of UK BBQ Mag, is that it does not serve a crowd. But it’s easily scalable, if that’s what you need to do. There’s no marinating, and the dish comes together fairly quickly.

He prefers using boneless chicken thighs because their skin cooks up crisper, and because they lie flatter and cook more evenly than bone-in.

You’ll need a thermometer for monitoring the chicken.

Serve with pickles on the side.


  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Vegetable oil or cooking oil spray
  • 2 teaspoons dry rub seasoning blend for grilled meats or poultry seasoning blend (your choice)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 pickled gherkins, finely chopped, plus 1 tablespoon of their jarred liquid
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 medium clove garlic, mashed to a paste
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish (white)
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground or cracked black pepper
  • Generous pinch fine sea salt

Step 1

For the chicken: Prepare the grill for direct heat. Preheat to medium-high (375 degrees).

Step 2

Lightly coat the chicken thighs with oil, then rub the seasoning blend all over them (meat and skin). Place on the grill, skin sides down; close the lid and cook for about 10 minutes, so the fat renders a bit and the skin becomes crisp. Turn them over; close the lid and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until their internal temperature registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Step 3

While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce: Stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, chopped gherkins and their juice, mustard, sugar, garlic, horseradish, pepper and the pinch of salt in a medium bowl, until well incorporated.

Step 4

Serve the chicken thighs with a drizzle of the pickled white barbecue sauce, and more for passing at the table.

Adapted from “Food and Fire: Create Bold Dishes With 65 Recipes to Cook Outdoors,” by Marcus Bawdon (Cico Books, 2019).

Tested by Andy Sikkenga; email questions to

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.

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The nutritional analysis uses half the sauce.


Calories: 570; Total Fat: 51 g; Saturated Fat: 11 g; Cholesterol: 145 mg; Sodium: 420 mg; Carbohydrates: 4 g; Sugars: 2 g; Protein: 25 g.