Island Spiced Grilled Chicken

05bIslandChickenbfLOWHICH island?

I’m not sayin’ – since I get zapped by someone with nothing better to do with themselves most times I label a recipe by region, especially SOME regions, if you know what I mean.

So. Let us call this Islands Spiced Chicken, since the influences come from lots of places: pineapple juice, low sodium tamari, allspice, and more; and it’s all very, very good on the grill!

•1 cup buttermilk*
•1 tbsp smoked brown sugar
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
•2 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce (or your fave hot sauce, to taste)
•1/2 tsp garlic powder
•1/4 tsp Vadouvan French Masala Curry
02bAddLiquidsbfLO•1/4 cup veggie oil
•6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
•Additional veggie oil, for the grill

Grilling Sauce:
•1/4 cup diced sweet onion
•1 tbsp turbinado (raw) sugar
•1/2 tsp red chili flakes
•2 tsp cider vinegar
•2 tsp low sodium tamari
•1 tbsp pineapple juice**
03aChickenDrainbfLO•1/4 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp allspice
•1/2 tsp dried thyme
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp paprika

*No buttermilk? NO PROBLEM! Simply add one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a measuring cup, than add milk to measure one cup. Stir, then set aside to rest for five minutes. Voilà! You have now made buttermilk.

**OR, you might could try orange juice.

03cChickenSeasonedbfLOCombine the marinade ingredients together in a gallon sized zipper bag, then add the chicken, seal the bag, and toss to coat.

Arrange on a rimmed plate or pan (to catch any possible drippages) and stash in the fridge for a few hours or – always more better – overnight; flipping the bag over when you think to.

04bIslandChickenbfLOWhen ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade (discard the marinade) and rinse out the zipper bag before returning the chicken to the bag.

Stir the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the chicken in the bag. Seal the bag and toss to coat evenly.

Warm a grill pan over medium-high heat, then brush with veggie oil.

05aIslandChickenbfLOAdd the sauced chicken pieces and cook for four minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for another six minutes, flip again and cook for another four minutes, or until cooked through.

Note: I used chicken thighs, but feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken breast, if you prefer. One of the best things about the buttermilk marinade is that even breast meat will come out nicely moist and tender after grilling.

A bit of yellow rice and a tossed salad with Italian dressing on the side made me almost forget it was midwinter in Northeastern Illinois.

02bChickenBakedbfLOAlmost. Then, I had to walk the dog…

Another Note: this grilling sauce would also make a fine roasting sauce, brushed over a buttermilk or lemon, olive oil, and rosemary marinated spatchcocked roasted whole chicken.

Options are good.

Moist, tasty chicken is better.

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