This recipe is a family favorite. Sweet, just a hint of spicy, and that delicious flavor only grilling gives to chicken…it's a definite winner. Keep lots of napkins handy…you're going to need them.
The original recipe I had calls for using a whole chicken, which is then butterflied after the backbone is removed, pounded out to an even thickness and grilled. While that is my preferred method of preparing this dish, sometimes you just have to use what you have on hand (hence the 'pieces' in the pic, and not the whole chicken!). Either way, the chicken is floavorful and juicy, and the indirect cooking has even the delicate white meat moist and tender!
To butterfly your chicken, you need a good pair of sharp kitchen scissors and your whole chicken, thawed and rinsed and patted dry, with the innards removed. Here's a quick and easy how-to, complete with pics, courtesy of EatingWell.com:
Using your kitchen scissors, cut the chicken down one side of the backbone and through the ribs.
Place the bird cut-side down (skin-side up) and flatten it with the heel of your hand; use both hands if you need to apply extra pressure.
And that's it!
1 (3 1/2 – 4 pound) whole chicken, or 3lbs assorted chicken pieces (thighs, breasts, etc)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe peach or 3 ripe apricots, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground paprika
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 teaspoons sirhacha, if desired, for heat
If using a whole chicken, first butterfly it: using a pair of kitchen scissors, remove the backbone from the chicken and trim any excess fat or skin from the cavity. Turn the chicken skin side up and press the breastbone with the heel of your hand to flatten the chicken. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to lightly pound the breast to the same thickness as the legs and thighs.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and transfer to a rack set over a baking sheet. Refrigerate the chicken, uncovered, for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
Meanwhile, puree the peach or apricots in a blender or food processor. Combine with the butter, honey, lemon juice, mustard, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, and sirhacha (if desired). Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is thick. Transfer half of the sauce to a small bowl for basting and keep the remaining sauce warm over low heat until ready to serve.
If using a charcoal gril, prepare a charcoal grill using a chimney starter and lump hardwood coals. Spread the hot coals on one side of the grill bottom (indirect heat) and place an aluminum drip pan opposite the coals. Cover the grill, open the vents, and allow the grates to heat until hot, about 5 minutes.
If using a gas grill, allow both sides of the grill to preheat with the lid closed for 10 minutes, then turn off the gas ont he side where the chicken will be.
Brush the skin of the chicken with the olive oil and season both sides with with salt and pepper. Place the chicken skin side down over the drip pan with the chicken legs closer to the hotter side of the grill. Cover the grill and cook until skin is lightly browned, about 30-35 minutes. Using a basting brush, brush the flesh side of the chicken with some of the sauce. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken skin side up and brush the entire chicken with more sauce. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the chicken skin side down and gently slide the chicken directly over the coals or over the flame (on medium-low) to cook for another 5-10 minutes; checking to make sure that the sauce isn't caramelizing to quickly. If so, move the chicken to the cooler part of the grill. Cook until the breasts registers 150º F and the thighs register 160º F. (The temperature will continue to rise as the chicken rests). Transfer the chicken to a carving board, brush with additional sauce, and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with the reserved warm sauce. Enjoy!
recipe adapted from The Galley Gourmet