30-Minute Grilled Chicken Thighs with Watermelon and Feta Salad

A few time-saving techniques make a complete grilled chicken dinner doable in under a half hour: Grating the garlic is faster than chopping it with a knife, and adds more garlicky flavor to the dish. Massaging the marinade into the chicken works its flavors into the meat, cutting down on marinating time. And you can make the sweet-and-savory watermelon salad while the chicken marinates.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

5 large garlic cloves, 4 grated, 1 whole

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the grill grates

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon dried oregano

4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)

1/2 medium watermelon (about 3 pounds)

1 garden cucumber, peeled (8 ounces)

One 4-ounce block feta

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 baguette, halved length-wise

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn into large pieces

Directions

  1. Prepare a grill for medium heat.
  2. Put the grated garlic into a large resealable bag. Add 1/4 cup oil, the lemon zest and juice, oregano and the chicken. Seal the bag tightly and use your hands to vigorously massage the marinade into the chicken, making sure that the chicken is evenly coated. Marinate for at least 10 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the rind from the watermelon, cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes and put it in a large bowl. (You should have about 6 cups total.) Quarter the cucumber lengthwise and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Place on top of the watermelon in the mixing bowl. Cut the feta into 1/2-inch cubes, put on top of the cucumber and top with the olives. (Do not mix yet.) Set aside.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on a plate. Lightly oil the grill grates. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and place the pieces skin-side down on the grill, leaving some space between the pieces. Cook until the skin is lightly charred and releases itself from the grill, about 2 minutes. Rotate the chicken about 90 degrees so that the skin won't burn and cook another 2 minutes. Flip and cook 5 minutes longer. Cover the grill and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a platter and rest for at least 5 minutes. 
  5. While the chicken rests, brush the cut sides of the baguette halves with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the bread cut-side down on the grill until lightly charred and warmed through, about 2 minutes. Halve the remaining garlic clove and lightly rub the cut sides of the garlic onto the hot bread. Halve each piece of baguette. 
  6. Scatter most of the mint over the watermelon mixture. Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil and a large pinch of salt and pepper and gently stir to combine. Divide the watermelon salad, chicken and bread among 4 large dinner plates. Garnish with the remaining mint.

Cook’s Note

If using a charcoal grill, be sure to allow a little extra time to let the coals reach the proper temperature.

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