Zesty Italian Grilled Chicken Thighs

My mother was a very inventive and resourceful cook.  With 7+ kids and usually a few dinner guests to boot, she had to be pretty ingenious and creative.  She too, loved a good cookout and last night, I made one of her more "regular" recipes.   She would buy Zesty Italian Dressing by the caseful.  Not cause she loved Italian dressing, in fact, I cant even remember having a salad ever in our house with Italian Dressing.  No, this was her marinade.   Now remember, this was back a few years ago....before any of the dressing companies

got clever with their marketing their product as anything but what it was!  She would buy a family pack of chicken thighs, then throw them into several Ziploc bags (or before she used those, she would put the thighs into a large baking pan and pour the dressing over) and marinate for most the day.   There was nothing else you would need to do to it.  Nothing.

So in tribute to Arlene and summer grilling - Here is the very simple, very affordable and incredibly scrumptious recipe.

Arlene's Italian Grilled Chicken Thighs

1 bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing (I have tried several brands and I still come back to Kraft)
1 pckg of 8 Chicken thighs (can be in the bone or skinless-boneless if you like - just remember to reduce the cooking time and spray your grill well with Pam Grilling Spray.

Place the chicken thighs into a large gallon-size Ziploc bag.  Pour the entire contents of the dressing into the bag.  Seal, removing much of the air out of the bag.  Then roll the thighs around in the dressing, until well coated.  Place in the fridge and marinate overnight or all day, turning the bag occasionally to distribute the dressing.  

Fire up your grill.  Spray it liberally with Pam Grill Cooking spray.  Place the thighs on the rack, skin side down, and grill approximately 7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the thighs.  Watch them carefully, since the dressing contains oil and will have a tendency to burn a bit.  I don't mind a nice char on mine, but that is all personal preference.


As part of our dinner, we also had Grilled Zucchini and Carrots.  Here is the recipe for those tasty sides as well:

4 Zucchini - washed, ends trimmed and cut length-wise into quarters
8 large carrots - washed, peeled, ends trimmed and cut length-wide into quarters.
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper to taste
Italian Seasoning

Place the prepared zucchini and carrots onto a baking sheet, lined with aluminum foil.  Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, coating generously.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and italian seasoning. 

Place on the grill rack, ABOVE the main rack.  Too close to the flame and you will char these puppies!  Let cook at the same time as the chicken. By the time the chicken is done, so will your veggies!