The wonderful weather we have been having this year has inspired me to get outdoors and enjoy evenings around the BBQ with wonderful wine, friends and new seasonal tried and true recipes! The Pepper n’ Spice Chicken is a perfect dish for your Summer get together. Easy, great served warm or cool and sure to please a crowd! The hint of spice pairs wonderfully with our crisp, fruit-forward 2013 Albarino while also standing up to the more rich and structured 2010 Tempranillo.
Pepper ‘n’ Spice Chicken
4-5 quarter cut chicken thighs (you can also use your refrigerated leftover grilled chicken pieces)
2 T toasted sesame oil
Fragrant Asian rub
4 whole star anise
1 t Szechuan peppercorns
1 t fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick, broken
2 garlic cloves finely chopped (I like to add one or two more)
Grated zest of two unwaxed limes
1 t salt
Pepper ‘n’ spice dipping sauce
6 large red chilis, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 t peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 t sea salt
½ c rice wine vinegar (more if needed)
½ c sugar
Fragrant Asian rub…Toast the whole spices in a dry skillet over low to medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until golden. A good indicator is when they become very aromatic. Remove from the pan, set aside and let cool. Transfer to small food processor or spice grinder and crush into a coarse powder. Add the spices to another bowl and add lime zest, garlic, and salt. Mix well. Set aside to infuse.
Pepper ‘n’ Spice dipping sauce…put the chilis, garlic, ginger and salt into a food processor and blend to coarse paste. Transfer to a saucepan, add vinegar and sugar, bring to a boil and simmer gently partially covered for 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes a thin syrup. I like to add a bit more vinegar. Remove from heat and let cool.
Prepare the chicken…Place chicken into a dish and add the rub and sesame oil working into the chicken pieces. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours but return to room temperature before grilling.
Preheat your grill and cook chicken over medium hot coals for 15-20 minutes turning after 10 minutes. If using leftover pieces of cold pre-grilled chicken, you can warm on BBQ without drying out for half the grill time. Squeeze with a bit of lime juice if desired and serve with Pepper ‘n’ Spice dipping sauce.
This recipe serves roughly 4.