Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Brown Sugar Grilled Chicken Breasts

Do you ever have a day where you spend it doing what you love? Today was one of those days for me since I spent it in the kitchen feeding my passion for various food things. I started my day by tracking down a food mill so I could make my blackberry jam in a much quicker and easier fashion. Without the food mill, I was faced with the process of pressing 10 containers of blackberries though a sieve to strain out the seeds. Since I wanted to end up with 9 cups of blackberry puree, I decided the food mill was the way to go and I was definitely right. The ease of turning a handle back and forth versus pressing crushed berries through a sieve was remarkable. I added 7 jars of blackberry jam to my collection of strawberry jams. Since this particular jam had no pectin added to it, the process took quite a bit longer for it to get to the gelling point before canning. I loved the learning process.

I ended up with a couple of extra blackberry containers, so I decided to puree them in my new food mill and use the puree to make blackberry ice cream which turned out perfectly delicious. I'll try to post both of these recipes in the next few days.

I then realized that it was time to either feed my sourdough starter or start the process of making a couple of sourdough loaves. I chose to make the bread so at the moment I have two round sourdough loaves rising overnight in the refrigerator. They will be ready to pop in the oven first thing tomorrow morning.

In addition to all of this I tried a new recipe for dinner which turned out beautifully. I made Brown Sugar Grilled Chicken Breasts with Grilled Roasted Rosemary Potatoes and both were quite easy and very flavorful.

I started with taking bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves and pounding them (bones included) to about 1/2-inch thickness. I dried them off and set them on a rack on a baking sheet and into the refrigerator they went for a few hours.

I brought them out of the refrigerator just before I had Gerry light the grill and as I started the sauce. The chicken was brushed with canola oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled for about 5 minutes and once flipped over, the skin side was then basted with a barbecue sauce. The chicken continued to be flipped and based until tender and the sauce had caramelized.

This chicken dish is sure to make a frequent appearance on my menu this summer.

Brown Sugar Grilled Chicken Breasts (Serves 4)

4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Sriracha

Rinse and dry the chicken. Trim any excess fat and place, skin side up between two heavy duty plastic bags. With a meat mallet, pound the chicken vigorously until flattened evenly and approximately 1/2 inch thick. Pat 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, combine the butter, sugar, lemon juice, marmalade, mustard, Sriracha and smoked paprika. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved and 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.

Preheat the grill to medium high.

Brush the skin of the chicken with the canola oil and season both sides generously with kosher salt and pepper. Clean and oil the grill grates. Place the chicken skin side down. Cover the grill and cook until the skin is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Flip chicken so that the skin side is up and, using a basting brush, brush with some of the sauce. Cover and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken again and brush underside with more sauce. Cover, lower heat a bit and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Turn chicken one more time and cook until done, about 4-5 minutes, or until the breasts register 150 degrees, checking to make sure the sauce isn't caramelizing too quickly. If it is, move the chicken to a part of the grill that has indirect heat.

(The temperature will continue to rise as the chicken rests). Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, brush with additional sauce, and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with the reserved warms sauce.


Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine blog

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