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Grilled Chicken with Plum-Jalapeño Relish

Grilled Chicken with Plum-Jalapeño Relish
A lightly spicy, sweet-tart fresh plum relish (use whatever plum variety is ripe and flavorful) adds dimension to chicken cooked on a hot grill. The warm, citrusy fragrance of toasted coriander seeds and the pepperiness of fresh ginger act as a bridge between the smoky nuances of the grilled chicken and the fruity taste of the relish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large plums, about 3/4 lb. total, halved, pitted and cut into 1-inch
      pieces
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 chicken, about 4 lb., cut into 9 pieces
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Canola oil for grilling

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine half of the plums with the onion, ginger, jalapeño, garlic and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the plums have broken down into a sauce, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining plums and cook just until they are heated through, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. When the plum relish is ready, transfer it to a heatproof bowl and nest the bowl in the ice water bath. Let cool in the ice bath while preparing the chicken.

Toast the coriander seeds and pour onto a plate to cool. Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, finely grind the coriander. In a small bowl, stir together the ground coriander, the 1 1/2 tsp. salt and the pepper. Brush the chicken pieces with the olive oil, then season with the coriander mixture.

Prepare a grill for indirect-heat cooking over high heat. Brush the grill grate with canola oil.

Arrange the chicken pieces, skin side down, on the grill grate on the cool side of the grill. Cover the grill and cook the chicken for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over, cover the grill and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast meat, away from the bone, registers 160°F, about 20 minutes more.

Meanwhile, season the cooled plum relish with salt and transfer to a serving bowl.

When the chicken is ready, transfer the pieces to a warmed platter and serve immediately. Pass the relish at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Chicken, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2008).