Every night is grilling night in the summer. None more so than Father’s Day, which this year falls on June 17, a perfect day for grilling chicken with some hoppity hop.
For those who like it hot, this grilled chicken dish has just the right amount of heat, balanced by a tangy sweetness, or a sweet tanginess. I can’t decide. I need another helping.
At any rate, it calls for purchasing two whole chickens and cutting them up yourself, which is the most economical way to go, but don’t let that scare you away from trying this recipe. If you don’t want to do the deed, pre-deconstructed chickens are available in most grocery store meat cases. Just buy six to eight of the chicken parts you like (I’m partial to thighs and drumsticks), and fire up the grill — or the oven, if you must.
Whip up the sauce and give it time to simmer, letting the flavors meld. This isn’t a quick dish, but the flavors are worth the extra time. You can make the sauce a day ahead and refrigerate it if you have other things going on the day you’ll serve the chicken. Like talking to Dad.
Caramelized Chipotle Chicken
Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes; active time: 1 hour; serves 6
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo (from a 7-ounce can)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 whole chickens (about 3½ pounds each), each cut into 8 pieces
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook garlic, stirring constantly, until golden, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown, about 15 minutes.
Add garlic and remaining ingredients, except chicken, to skillet with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 25 minutes. Reserve ¼ sauce for brushing at the table.
Preheat oven to 450 F with rack in middle. Alternatively, preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high on one side for indirect cooking. Clean and oil grate.
Coat chicken with half of the remaining sauce, then roast, skin side up in a 17-by-11-inch heavy rimmed baking sheet 25 minutes. If grilling, cover with half remaining sauce and cook on opposite side of grill from flame/coals, 25 minutes, keeping the grill cover closed as much as possible.
Remove from oven and brush with remaining sauce, then continue roasting until chicken is cooked through and well browned in spots, 20 to 25 minutes more. If grilling, turn chicken once and brush with remaining sauce. Cook until meat registers 175 degrees at its thickest point.
— Adapted from www.epicurious.com
— Jennie Geisler can be reached on Twitter: @ETNGeisler.