Butter Bath BBQ Chicken Thighs

I routinely purchase chicken thighs and am always searching for new ways to prepare them. It’s my favorite cut and other than roasting a whole bird, it’s also extremely economical. I am a huge fan of the portion size because it’s just right for me (although my husband always needs 2). The recipe below is beyond exceptional. Yes, it takes some time, but the end result is moist, delicious, beautifully barbecued chicken that is company worthy.

It begins with a marinade, then the thighs are put in a butter bath in a Dutch oven on the grill. This keeps the thighs from drying out. Then they are removed and grilled, dipped in a yummy barbecue sauce, grilled again to set the sauce and you will not be able to get it to your plate soon enough.

The sauce you select is vital to success. I am thoroughly addicted to Bratton Sauce, which is made right here in middle Tennessee (Williamsport, TN in Hickman County) by my good friend Bonnie Bratton. Her late husband perfected this recipe and perfect it is with just the right mix of sweet, spice, tang and wow.


Make the recipe this weekend because the flavor forecast is fantastic!     

 Butter Bath BBQ Chicken Thighs

Yield: 6-8 servings

8 bone-in chicken thighs
8 ounces Italian salad dressing
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons poultry dry rub of your choice, divided
1 cup Bratton Sauce or BBQ sauce of your choice
1/4 cup apricot or peach preserves
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce


Place the chicken in a large zip-top bag and add the dressing. Seal and refrigerate for 3 hours. Preheat your grill to low and remove the chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Place a large Dutch oven on the grill grate. Add the butter, water and salt and increase the heat to 350. Cover the Dutch oven and close the lid for 10 minutes. Add the chicken with the skin-side down. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the poultry dry rub over the chicken. Cover the Dutch oven and close the grill lid. Cook for 45 minutes. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the grill and let the chicken rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, decrease the grill temperature to 300. Remove the thighs from the butter bath and sprinkle with the remaining poultry dry rub.


Place back on the grill with the skin-side up for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the BBQ sauce, preserves, vinegar, honey and soy sauce. Dip each thigh into the sauce to evenly coat and return to the grill for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.


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