Competition Style Chicken Thighs

Recipe Created By: Gettin' Basted  Gettin' Basted logo

Chicken thighs naturally have more fat and connective tissue than chicken breasts keeping them juicy and flavorful while giving you a wide margin for error. Trimming for competition, I remove the noticeable tendons and veins and pay attention to cutting them to a similar size. When I'm finished trimming, I pull the skin tight and wrap it around like I'm making a little chicken burrito and that's it!

Trimed Chicken ThighTrimmed and Wrapped Chicken Thigh

When you are ready to cook, sprinkle both sides of your newly formed chicken burritos with rub, place them in the foil pan and put in the butter. If you don’t like the idea of a half cup of butter heading straight to your waist line, feel free to substitute for chicken stock.

Put your chicken pan in a cool place while you tend to the fire. You will want to run your Gateway Drum at 275-300 degrees.

Chicken thighs in a pan with butter

Drop your wood chunks in the fire and set your chicken pan on the top rack. Shut the lid and let it go for about 45 minutes.

After the 45 minutes is up, open the lid and put the foil tightly on the pan. It is important to get it tight. At this point you are trying to steam the skin tender (yes, that is the big secret… I could have saved you a bunch of time and put it in the first paragraph!)

Go for 1 more hour. when you have about 10 minutes to go, heat your sauce gently in the sauce pan just to warm it. After the hour is up remove the foil and dunk your chicken in the sauce. At this point you can put it back on your Gateway directly on the rack (or use a cookie sheet) for 5-10 minutes just to tack up the sauce.

Pull them off the smoker, grab another beer, stand back and watch them get devoured by anyone lucky enough to be at your house that day! 

Boxed Competition Chicken Thighs


-Gateway Drum Smoker

-Blues Hog Lump Charcoal

-Blues Hog Champions' Blend Sauce