Indonesian Grilled Chicken Thighs with Mango-Peanut Salsa

June 3, 2013 by andrea | Filed under Asian, Chicken, Grilling/BBQ, Main Dish, Recipes.

A simple spice rub and a fresh mango salsa turn ordinary grilled chicken thighs into a vibrant, super-flavorful meal. I loved the combination of sweet, ripe mango, the spicy heat of the jalepeno, and the pungent cilantro…delicious!

If you don’t use coriander or turmeric on a regular basis, it’s best to buy only what you’ll need for this recipe in the bulk spice section (sometimes in the natural foods area) of your grocery store.

I let the chicken marinate in the spice paste for several hours before grilling. Serve with Coconut Rice. Enjoy!

Indonesian Grilled Chicken Thighs with Mango-Peanut Salsa
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine 

Boneless chicken thighs are ideal for grilling, since they keep their juiciness better than breasts. These are rubbed with a sweet-and-hot spice paste and paired with a vibrant, chunky salsa. Serves four to six.

1 Tbs. ground ginger
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1-1/2 tsp. turmeric
1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 Tbs. vegetable oil; more for the grill
1 Tbs. Asian chile paste (like sambal oelek)
1 Tbs. dark brown sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
2-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 large, 10 medium, or 12 small), trimmed of excess fat
2 cups small-diced fresh mango (from 2 large mangos)
1/2 cup small-diced red bell pepper (from 1 small pepper)
1/2 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions (white and green parts of 4 to 5 scallions)
3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro or mint or a combination
1 Tbs. seeded, minced jalapeño
2 to 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice

Mix the ginger, coriander, turmeric, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in an 8-inch skillet over low heat. Add the spices to the hot oil and heat until they bubble and become fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Return the spice blend to the bowl; stir in the chile paste, brown sugar, and salt. The mixture will be thick and pasty. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly.

In a medium bowl, mix the mango, bell pepper, peanuts, scallions, cilantro or mint, jalapeño, and the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Add the lime juice to taste. Set aside. (You can season the chicken and make the salsa up to 2 hours ahead and refrigerate.)

Prepare a hot charcoal fire or heat a gas grill with all burners on medium high for 10 min. Clean the hot grate with a wire brush and then lubricate it with an oil-soaked paper towel. Put the chicken on the grate and grill (covered on a gas grill or uncovered over a charcoal fire) until one side has dark grill marks, 5 to 6 min. for large thighs or 4 to 5 min. for medium and small thighs. Turn and continue to grill until well marked on the other sides and cooked through, 5 to 6 min. longer for large thighs or 4 to 5 min. for medium and small thighs.

Move the thighs to a platter, let rest 4 to 5 min., and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with the salsa alongside.

Variations:
To prepare as kebabs: Trim the thighs and then slice them lengthwise into 1-1/2- to 2-inch-wide strips. Toss with the flavorings; then thread the chicken onto six 8- or 12-inch skewers (soak wood skewers in water for at least 20 min. first), folding each strip in half as you skewer it. If some strips are very thick, cut them in half crosswise rather than folding them so that all the pieces of chicken are roughly the same size. Grill the kebabs, turning them every 4 to 5 min. as dark grill marks form, until cooked through, 12 to 15 min. total.

 

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