August 19, 2022

A la Carte: Sweet and Sticky Grilled Chicken Always Hits the Spot

Lee White

This weekend was fun.

My friend, Conrad Heede, and his mother, Jayne, came over and I gave a lesson for Conrad on making crème brulée. He likes sweets and wants to learn to make desserts.

Crème brulée uses only four ingredients, but you learn patience in making it and even more patience because its needs to cool, then be refrigerated for many hours. The brulée itself is done at the dining room with a big propane torch.

Later in the afternoon, I made noodle kugel and invited them and another friend for dinner, serving the kugel along with good bagels, cream cheese, sliced tomatoes and thinly sliced onions. In many Jewish homes, this is called a dairy meal, since meat and dairy are never served at the same time. A dessert of crème brulée made the dinner pretty festive.

The next day I called Whittle’s to see if sweet corn is in yet. I hate the fact that I get so antsy for the fresh Connecticut shoreline produce, but I so wanted sweet corn. I understand that it is only July, but I also know that farms in the middle of the state get sweet corn sooner;  maybe, just maybe, Whittle’s has some.

Sad to say, it is closed today. I will call tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, as Shakespeare says. Maybe he was impatient, too.

Instead, because the weather is simply gorgeous and my Weber beckons, I can grill some peaches for dessert to go with the last few tablespoons of strawberry ice cream.

What to make for dinner?

A few weeks ago I made a chicken dish in the oven, although the recipe calls for the grill. I used breasts and legs. This time I had a 4-pound, cut-up chicken; leftover chicken will be incredible on a salad for two or three days.

Sweet and Sticky Grilled Chicken

From Bon Appetit, June, 2022

Yield: serves 4

Photo by Atharva Tulsi on Unsplash.

1 3½-4 pound chicken, halved, or chicken breasts, halved, and legs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup orange marmalade or seedless jam of choice
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for grill
Flaky sea salt (if you have some)

Generously season chicken with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, or chill up to a day. If chilling, let sit at room temperature 1 hour before grilling.

Whisk marmalade, mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, jalapeno (if using) and garlic in a small bowl to combine. Set glaze aside.

Prepare grill for medium-high indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off). Lightly oil grate. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then rub with 1 tablespoon oil. Place skin side down on indirect hear. Cover grill and grill chicken, turning halfway through, until skin is lightly browned and instant-read thermometer inserted in thicken part of t high registered 120 to 130 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes.

Uncover grill, turn chicken over and move over direct heat. Brush chicken with reserved glaze. Grill, turning often and brushing generously with glaze (move to indirect heat if browning too quickly), until charred in spots and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registered 150 degrees (it will climb to 160 as chicken rests), 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer chicken, skin side up, to a cutting bread; let rest 15 minutes.

While chicken is resting, transfer any remaining glaze to a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until bubbling and slightly thickened, about 5 minute es. 

Curve chicken and transfer to a platter; sprinkle with sea salt and serve with sauce alongside.

About the author: Lee White has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant. She currently writes Nibbles and a cooking column called A La Carte for LymeLine.com and the Shore Publishing and the Times newspapers, both of which are owned by The Day. She was a resident of Old Lyme for many years but now lives in Groton, Conn. Contact Lee at leeawhite@aol.com.