For this peach-glazed grilled chicken, sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and let it sit for at least an hour before cooking, for seasoning and to enable it to retain more moisture. Photo by: Joe Keller/America's Test Kitchen via AP
June 19, 2019 11:10:47 AM
Too many recipes for glazed grilled chicken give you meat that's scorched or sickeningly sweet -- or both. We wanted nicely glazed, unimpeachable peachy grilled chicken.
To start, we sprinkled the chicken with salt and pepper and let it sit for at least an hour before cooking to season the chicken and enable it to retain more moisture. Then we faced the main challenge: balancing real peach flavor with the necessity of not incinerating our dinner.
Cooking chicken covered in sweet preserves led to intense scorching on the grill, but just applying a glaze at the end of cooking didn't yield much flavor. We created a setup that cooked the chicken most of the way through in the sauce without exposing it to open flame by using a disposable aluminum pan.
We started the chicken skin side down to render some fat before flipping the pieces skin side up to dry off and crisp up. We then finished the meat over the coals for perfect browning.
A fresh peach and a jalapeno chile cooked alongside the chicken and incorporated into the sauce added heat and flavor to the finished dish.
Chef's Note: Leave the jalapeno whole for grilling. Note that the salted chicken needs to rest for 1 to 24 hours before grilling. Since the preserves cause the food to brown quickly, move the items around as necessary to manage any hot spots. If you'd like to use wood chunks instead of wood chips when using a charcoal grill, substitute one medium wood chunk, soaked in water for 1 hour, for the wood chip packet.
PEACH-GLAZED GRILLED CHICKEN
Start to finish: 1 hour, 20 minutes
3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half, drumsticks, and/or thighs), trimmed
Salt and pepper
1 cup wood chips
1 cup peach preserves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (13 by 9-inch) disposable aluminum pan
1 peach, halved and pitted
1 jalapeno chile
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
-- For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Place wood chip packet on coals on 1 side of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 5 minutes.
-- For a gas grill: Remove cooking grate and place wood chip packet directly on primary burner. Set grate in place, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium. (Adjust burners as needed to maintain grill temperature between 350 F and 375 F.)
Nutrition information per serving: 488 calories; 97 calories from fat; 11 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 167 mg cholesterol; 430 mg sodium; 56 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 51 g sugar; 41 g protein.