I realize we celebrated an important holiday this past weekend, that amazing thing called Independence Day, but if you live in the Pacific Northwest, second maybe to Independence Day, is summer, our summer, which we joke doesn’t begin until after July 5th. So many, many years it’s no joke. Cold, rainy springs bleed into cloudy, rainy June-uary; both feel neverending. And that’s often after an entire winter of ceaseless rain. Even today as I write this, it’s 60 degrees and raining outside.
When July arrives, it’s like we can breathe. We grab onto summer and wring every single drop out of it as it stretches before us, warm and dry and sunny and beautiful, into October if we are lucky. We spend so much time outside. I take my morning coffee out into the garden; I read outside; the kids play outside all day as long as the hose and bugs and their made-up games are involved. We grill and eat dinner outside, and we stay up late, gathered around the fire pit, drinking wine and eating s’mores. Fresh peaches, squash blossoms, corn on the cob, wine spritzers and homemade ice cream, yum! I can’t wait to try this Frosé recipe from Bon Appétit. I’m already drooling when I think about ricotta, lemon and honey on grilled bread. I gather the ingredients for my favorite Summer Sangria Swizzle recipe, make popsicles with berries from the garden, and then there’s grilled chicken. Not just any grilled chicken, but this Sambal Chicken Skewers recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine’s 2015 special edition, Grilling: The Ultimate Backyard Manual.
It is hands down the best grilled chicken I’ve ever had, spicy and sweet, a bit smokey and the glaze gets all caramelized on the charred parts of the chicken. So delish. We don’t even cut up the chicken and skewer it, because summer also means lazy around here. I just toss the boneless, skinless thighs in the marinade for half an hour or so, fire up the grill, reduce the marinade and baste the thighs as they are grilling. It’s so amazing, I’ve been known to battle Lily over the last piece. Sometimes we serve it with a bunch of grilled broccoli or asparagus, sometimes we eat it over rice. Either way it is simply the best spicy grilled chicken I’ve ever tasted.
- 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal olek)
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup Sriracha
- 2 tsp. finely grated peeled ginger
- 1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs. (Optional, if making skewers, cut chicken into 1 1/2-2 inch pieces
- (optional: 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water at least one hour)
- Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Whisk brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha and ginger in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. (If you're making skewers, this is where you thread the chicken pieces onto skewers.)
- Transfer marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half (about 1 cup), 7-10 minutes.
- Grill chicken, turning and basting often with reduced marinade, until cooked through, 10-15 minutes. (8-10 minutes for skewers.)
- Serve with rice or grilled veggies and enjoy!