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Chicken is spicy and crispy

October 05, 2009|By SCOTT C. ANDERSON / Special to The Herald-Mail

This dish came about when I was really wanting a bright, fresh, flavorful, spicy chicken on the grill. I just received a new infrared grill and wanted to see what it could do in the way of mouthwatering grilling.

I put mango in the sauce for its rich, not-too-overpowering taste and blended it with the chili and General Tso's sauce for that spicy orange bite. It's then smoothed out with the addition of the plum sauce to deepen the fruit flavors and really give the chicken a nice, crispy, grilled skin with loads of flavor through the meat.

The secret to the recipe is to cook over indirect heat, which is what the infrared grill does best.

Zesty finger-lickin' mango chicken



For the sauce:

2 large ripe mangos, peeled and chopped
1 cup sweet chili sauce (see cook's note)
1/2 cup General Tso's sauce (any zesty orange sauce can be substituted) (see cook's note)
1/4 cup spicy plum sauce (see cook's note)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon blackened-steak seasoning (see cook's note)

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10 chicken thighs (see cook's note)
10 chicken legs (see cook's note)
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Fresh cilantro for garnish

At least 1 hour before grilling chicken, process chopped mango in blender or food processor. Should make about 1 cup of mango puree.

Thoroughly combine puree with remaining sauce ingredients. Place in an airtight container and leave in the fridge to blend flavors.

Preheat grill to 325 degrees.

Wash and rinse chicken. Season lightly with pepper and salt. Place on preheated grill skin side down. Cook undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip chicken and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees and juices run clear.

Remove from the grill, turn off center burner or side burner. (See cook's note.) Place the chicken onto a large platter and drizzle some of the sauce over the chicken. Brush to evenly coat each piece. Do not put the brush into the sauce; you could contaminate sauce with undercooked chicken.

Transfer the chicken back to the grill on the side with the heat turned off. Grill with the lid closed for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Keep the remainder of the sauce for dipping when finished.

Remove chicken from the grill when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with your favorite rice and fresh grilled veggies.

Cook's notes: The spice blend and prepared sauces used in the sauce are available in selected area grocery stores. I prefer chicken thighs and legs for this recipe; they are juicier and more flavorful than breasts and wings. If you have an infrared grill, you can keep all the burners on and simply cook as directed in the grill manual.

- Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services.

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