Grilled chicken with asparagus sauce

It isn’t always asparagus season. But as far as we’re concerned, it’s always a good time to grill some chicken thighs and serve them with a delicious asparagus sauce. We don’t often see a sauce made from asparagus, and we really wonder why.

This sauce has a concentrated asparagus flavour that we love. This sauce goes great with a nice smoked ham, a piece of fish or these grilled chicken thighs.

This time we use chicken thighs with skin and bone. Skin because we love a crispy crust and bone because the chicken thigh keeps its shape. We sprinkle the dry rub over the chicken thighs in advance to give the salt time to remove the fat from the skin. This gives the skin the best chance to get nice and crispy. We put the chicken thighs uncovered on a fine mesh in the fridge overnight.

Officially, the asparagus season runs from the end of April to the end of June. Then they are at their best. But you can find good green asparagus from greenhouses from the end of January. So nothing stands in the way of making this recipe in the winter.

We use asparagus tips for the asparagus sauce. These have a more intense flavour than the whole asparagus. Of course, you can also use the entire asparagus if you want. Just grill them in a bit of olive oil until they are soft. Be careful they don’t burn. A dark edge here and there is fine, but you shouldn’t overdo it.

You then throw everything in a blender and pulse it until you have a thick sauce. If you want a finer sauce, just push the button a bit longer. A little lemon juice is added to the sauce to make the sauce a bit fresher.

When the sauce is ready, the chicken thighs go on the grates. We insert the Smoke thermometer into the meat and set the temperature to 75ºC (167F). Chicken breast is at its best at a core temperature of 70ºC (158F). We cook fattier chicken thighs or wings a lot further.

These chicken parts are not only fatter but also contain more connective tissue. This connective tissue is broken down during the cook and at a higher core temperature. We cook these thighs low and slow at 150ºC (302F).

Then the plate setter is removed from our kamado, and we grill them until the skin is golden brown and crispy. There is enough room on the grates for some extra asparagus. Sprinkle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill them until soft. It won’t get any easier.

These are our grilled chicken thighs with asparagus sauce. If you will make them too, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you made.


  • 4 chicken thighs with bone
  • olive oil

For the dry rub

  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp garlic granules
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika powder
  • 2 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp onion granulate
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp tarragon
  • 1 tsp chipotle pepper
  • 1 tbsp sea salt salt

For the asparagus sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200 grams of asparagus tips
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Lemon juice from half a lemon
  • Salt to taste


  1. Mix the ingredients for the dry rub. Brush the chicken thighs with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with an even layer of the dry rub. Leave it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Grill the asparagus tips and the garlic clove in a bit of oil in a cast iron skillet.
  3. Put everything in a blender with the lemon juice until you have a coarse sauce. Then season with salt and pepper.
  4. get your barbecue ready with an indirect temperature of 150ºC (302F). Place the chicken thighs on the grates and cook them to a core temperature of 75 to 80ºC (167 to 176F).
  5. Then grill them over direct heat until the skin is golden brown.
  6. Let them rest for a while, and serve them with the asparagus sauce.

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