This is my family’s favorite preparation for grilled chicken. The spice paste is bold and full of flavor, and it’s further intensified by the heat of the fire. You can slather the spice paste on your chicken the day before, or even a few hours before grilling, and you’ll be rewarded with some pretty darn good chicken. Given the combination of flavors in the spice paste, the grilled chicken pairs with almost anything. The small amount of salt in the spice paste is intentional. I find it's easiest to get the salt right (with no need to worry about the length of curing time) if you add a mere 1/2 teaspoon to the spice paste, and then season the chicken by eye about an hour before it hits the grill. —EmilyC
smoked Spanish paprika
garlic powder (I like Penzey's roasted garlic powder)
kosher salt (plus more, to taste, to add before grilling)
Dijon or whole-grain mustard
3 to 4 tablespoons
olive oil, or enough to form a thick, spreadable paste
about 4 pounds
chicken (I prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for grilling)
In This Recipe
Mix the smoked Spanish paprika, cumin, coriander, fennel, garlic powder, salt, mustard, and olive oil together in a small bowl until well integrated. Slather the spice paste all over the chicken, including under the skin. (Spread the paste as evenly as you can, but don't worry about a few small clumps.) Cover and refrigerate chicken for a few hours, or up to 24 hours.
About an hour before grilling, remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Season the chicken generously with salt on each side, and let stand at room temperature until ready to grill.
Prepare your grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat and brush your grates clean. Grill the chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F., about 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.