Chef John's Cherry Bomb Chicken

19 June 2013

Chef John's Cherry Bomb Chicken
Chef John's Cherry Bomb Chicken

Another All Recipes Allstar project.  This time from the grill and SPECTACULAR!

One of the projects for the month was to do a recipe on the All Recipes site from the grilling section.

Mind you, I never thought I'd say this in JUNE, but I thought that just may not happen the way the weather's been here in upstate New York.  I mean, who thinks of grilling when your heat is coming up?  Mine was just a day or so ago.

Anyway, today was a bit more seasonal and we seemed to bypass the almost-daily MONSOONS we've been getting pretty much each day for the past week, so I struck while the gas grill was hot LOL.

The recipe calls for 3 habanero peppers for the brine.  I didn't have those so I used some home-grown Thai chiles that I had on ice in the freezer.  Curiously, those who'd reviewed this recipe said despite the type and amount of the peppers in the brine, the chicken was NOT powerfully hot.

I adjusted this recipe some (since I don't like cumin and it called for more than I can handle) but you can find the original recipe at All Recipes.  What follows is my adjusted recipe.

Chef John's Cherry Bomb Chicken

  • 1 whole (4 lb) chicken cut into quarters
  • Brine:
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 hot peppers (I used thai chiles)
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • Herb Oil:
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Glaze:
  • 2 tbs pepper jelly
  • 1 tbs Sriacha hot chili sauce

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, kosher salt and the sugar.  Heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Remove from heat; cool.

Add the cherry tomatoes, garlic, hot peppers and allspice to a blender.  Pour in the cooled brine.  Process until completely pureed.  You may use a stick blender or a Ninja too for this step.

Make 1/8-inch deep slits on the skin side of the chicken (2 or 3 will do per piece) as this helps the marinade to infuse the chicken.  

Place chicken in a large re-sealable container.  Pour marinade over chicken.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 4-6 hours.

Mix the oil and the herbs.

Preheat one side of the grill to very hot.  If you have a thermometer in the cover, grill should be about 450 to 500 degrees F.  Oil the grill grids.  Brush each piece of chicken on both sides with the herbed oil mixture.

Place chicken, skin side down over direct heat of grill.  Grill for about 5 minutes, or until grill marks are present.

Move chicken to the UNLIT side of the grill (indirect heat) and continue cooking for 35-40 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is nicely brown.

Mix pepper jelly and hot sauce.  Brush over chicken.  

Remove chicken from grill and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Chef John's Cherry Bomb Chicken
Che John's Cherry Bomb Chicken


Deanna Mitchell said...

Great idea! We have plenty of homemade jam that we cook with. Will try adding some pepper sauce and making a glaze!

Judith Hannemann said...

I was lucky enough to have a small jar a neighbor had gifted me with so that's what I used!!! I also put in a drop or 2 of that Huy Fong Sriachi--the sauce with the rooster on the bottle...DELISH!!!


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