I’m going to let you in on a secret; one of those behind-the-scenes kind of deals. This is my kitchen table. The blue pitcher you see in the background is usually in the center of the table, only getting moved to the empty place mat while we eat.
There are no windows in the kitchen eating area. It’s a nice space but it’s definitely made for eating a meal (or coloring, painting, puzzle-making and other summer keep-her-busy activities between food consumption times) not for any kind of picture-taking.
The only time I ever take a photo of food on this table is when my family is really hungry and I know their patience will be overly tested by my carrying a plate of dinner to a window to get some of that ‘natural light’. Taking the time to set up the food with doodads and other little frufru things? Grounds for staging a coup.
So, when you see this table, know that there are vegetables and potatoes pushed to the side so you can’t see them. The Tigger salt shaker and Pooh pepper are also displaced momentarily. Behind the camera, two family members are impatiently waiting, commenting, pushing their luck.
Such a simple photo. So much going on.
To tell the truth, the two best bits of instruction for this recipe don’t come from the ingredient list or the directions. The first come from the little blurb right underneath the title.
“Customize the glaze according to what you have on hand.” Since I’m not a mango fan and have no mango jam in the house, I customized the glaze by using apricot jam instead. In fact, I used Garam-Masala Apricot Jam that I got from Gina, the SP Cookie Queen. It was the perfect flavor to go along with the Sriracha.
The second instruction was a ‘kitchen how-to’ that didn’t work so well even though I followed it. It has to do with how easily sweet glazes can burn and how the food should be grilled over indirect heat.
I know how to grill and have a nice big smoker grill so my chicken was way on the other rack from where the coals were glowing. The meat got toasty dark anyhow because the inside of the grill just got that hot. Sometimes it happens.
Could I have prevented it by keeping the lid up a bit and the temperature down. Absolutely. But the chicken takes and hour and a half to cook and it was already late and sometimes things happen.
The directions for grilling this sweet/spicy glaze are spot on. It’s just important to try and keep the temperature in the 350-400 range. I think mine crept up around 500 at one point. You’re not slow cooking the chicken, but you’re not microwaving it either.
I hope you don’t judge the recipe by the photo because this was absolutely phenomenal. Even though there are two tablespoons of hot sauce in the glaze, you’d never guess it. Dudette ate a fair amount before she asked if I had put spice in it. The balance between sweet and heat is perfect.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
Even with a grilled recipe that allows you to put the lid down and walk away for a while, it’s important to have the time to let the meal cook at the correct temperature. I’d keep a closer eye on my chicken.
- ⅔ cup mango jam
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 (12-ounce) bone-in chicken leg-thigh quarters, skinned
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare grill for indirect grilling. If using a gas grill, heat one side to medium-high and leave one side with no heat. If using a charcoal grill, arrange hot coals on either side of charcoal grate, leaving an empty space in the middle.
- Combine mango jam, chives, vinegar, and Sriracha, stirring until smooth. Reserve ¼ cup mango mixture; set aside.
- Brush oil evenly over chicken. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
- Carefully remove grill rack. Place a disposable aluminum foil pan on unheated part of grill. Carefully return grill rack to grill. Place chicken on grill rack over unheated part. Brush chicken with about 2 tablespoons remaining mango mixture. Close lid; grill 90 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165°, turning chicken and brushing with about 2 tablespoons mango mixture every 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Drizzle chicken with reserved ¼ cup mango mixture.
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