It’s hard to resist cooking on the grill when the temperatures head north of 60. And this spring, there already have been several days when the weather has cooperated, which is nice since I’m not one of those who grill year-round.
Luckily this past winter, there were a few days when the weather was nice enough for me to fire up the old barbecue, so I didn’t get too rusty. And now that we’ve apparently turned the corner weather-wise, I can foresee a whole lot of grillin’ going on.
Just this past weekend, we had some tasty elk/beef burgers and potatoes cooked on the grill. And about two weeks ago, we feasted on some marinated pheasant, duck and sharp–tailed grouse.
Now, a nice recipe has come my attention that has me contemplating another round soon. It’s for glazed chicken breasts, which are one the most popular foods to grill. The glaze is made with apricot preserves or jam, which is handy because we just happen to have some that we canned last year.
Chicken Thighs with Spicy Apricot Glaze
8 small chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
Salt and pepper to taste
¾ cup apricot or peach preserves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Cilantro sprigs for garnish
Preheat the grill to medium-high for direct heat. Coat the grill rack with a flavorless oil, such as canola. Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. In a small saucepan, stir apricot preserves, red wine vinegar, olive oil, jalapeño, garlic and red pepper flakes. Heat until melted.
Remove 2 tablespoons of the apricot glaze and add to chicken thighs in the bowl. Toss to coat thighs. Set remaining glaze aside.
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and place on the grill, skin- side down. Grill until you get nice grill marks on the skin side. Turn over and brush with some of the glaze. Close the lid on the grill and grill until the thighs are cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes depending on how big the thighs are. Baste occasionally with more of the glaze if desired.
The thighs are done when the internal temperature of the thickest part is 165 to 170 degrees.
Remove the chicken thighs from the grill and transfer to a serving platter. Pour remaining glaze over the chicken and sprinkle with green onions and garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Note: You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, if desired. They will take about half the time to grill over direct heat.
Yield Serves 4 (2 thighs each).
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 423 calories, 44 percent of calories from fat, 21 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 40 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams protein, 260 milligrams sodium, 96 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.