The Washington Post

Grilled Chicken Thighs With Pickled White Barbecue Sauce

Grilled Chicken Thighs With Pickled White Barbecue Sauce 2.000

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Jun 19, 2019

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 they cook more evenly than bone-in.

You'll need a thermometer for monitoring the chicken.

Serve with pickles on the side.

Make Ahead: The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week; re-stir before using.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2 servings

  • For the chicken
  • 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)
  • For the sauce
  • 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


For the chicken: Prepare the grill for direct and indirect heat. Preheat to high (450 degrees).

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 8 to 10 minutes, so the fat renders a bit and the skin becomes crisp.

Move the thighs to the indirect-heat side of the grill. Turn them over; once the temperature decreases to 300 to 325 degrees, close the lid and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until their internal temperature registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

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.

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

Rate it

Recipe Source

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 the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (10)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (using half the sauce): 570

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 51g 78%

Saturated Fat: 11g 55%

Cholesterol: 145mg 48%

Sodium: 420mg 18%

Total Carbohydrates: 4g 1%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 25g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle