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Grilled Chicken with Apricot-Balsamic Glaze

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Serves 6-8

This simple lick-your-fingers, glaze-y chicken is perfect for a small cookout. The glaze has just the right amount of sweetness and can be made ahead. To get the mix of thighs, drumsticks, and breasts you’ll need, buy two whole chickens and cut them into parts yourself, or you can look in your butcher’s display case for bone-in parts that are about the same size—legs about 5 oz. each, thighs about 6 oz., and breast halves a little more than a pound each.

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves (preferably without corn syrup; I like St. Dalfour's)
  • 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil for the grill
  • Two 4-lb. chickens, each cut into 8 pieces, or 5 to 6 lb. good-quality bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, drumsticks, and breasts, each breast half cut into two pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the preserves, vinegar, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and a large pinch of salt; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. (If making ahead, store covered in the refrigerator. Before using, warm over low heat to loosen the consistency.)

Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. Using a stiff wire brush, scrub the cooking grate thoroughly. Dip a folded paper towel into vegetable oil and, using tongs, rub it over the grill grate.

Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Set the parts skin side down on the grill. Cook, covered, until the skin is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stay near the grill, especially during the first 10 minutes, to manage any flare-ups, by moving pieces out of the way. If the chicken is browning too quickly, turn the heat down slightly or close the vents partially. Flip the chicken and cook until an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F in the thickest part of each piece, 5 to 10 minutes more. The thighs, legs, and thinner breast pieces are apt to cook a little faster than the thicker breast pieces. Transfer each piece to a platter when done and tent with foil.

When all the chicken is done, brush it with the glaze on all sides. Return the chicken to the grill and cook for another minute or so on each side to caramelize the glaze. Brush the chicken with any remaining glaze and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

The apricot glaze can be made up to a day ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator. Before using, warm over low heat to loosen the consistency.

Serving Suggestions

To start things off, let the guests nibble on Grilled Flatbreads with Lemon-Garlic Oil with Herbs and serve the chicken with Potato Salad with Olives, Scallions & Garden Herbs and Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes, Arugula & Basil Dressing with Lemon-Buttermilk Pudding Cakes for dessert.
 

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 590; Fat (g): fat g 32; Fat Calories (kcal): 290; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 10; Protein (g): protein g 59; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 14; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 470; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 195; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Just so yummy! I made it with some flattened chicken breasts on my outdoor grill but next time I'm going to use it on pork, just to see if it's as good. It was SO good and my neighbor liked it, too. This recipe is a keeper. Easy and delicious!

Also outstanding on pork shoulder roast on the gas grill. Slow cook the roast on indirect heat. When internal temp reaches 120, begin basting with the glaze every 20 degrees of heat until it is done.

Sounds amazing but I'm curious to know if anyone has tried this with boneless skinless chicken. I prefer not to eat the skin and peeling it off you lose the glaze. I bet the glaze would also be good on pork tenderloin or BBQ Baby Back Ribs!

I love this recipe. I use more red pepper flakes most of the time, more balsamic sometimes, more rosemary when I've got it in the garden. I use it on every cut of chicken and it is great baked or grilled. I marinade it in the glaze, sometimes for a few days and I always brine my chicken (makes all the difference for any recipe). This time I'm using it for satays.

Great recipe. I used chicken thighs and did them in the oven. Doubled the sauce recipe. Tasted fantastic

My family and I loved this dish. I used chicken thighs instead of whole chickens, and I roasted them in glass casserole pans in the oven at 425 degrees. When the thighs were cooked, I drained the juices, glazed the thighs and put them back in the oven for a minute. To serve, I put Bazmati rice on a platter and heaped the glazed thighs on top, drizzling the small amount of remaining glaze and juices from the second turn in the oven over the thighs and rice. AMAZING!!!

This glaze was great, I doubled the recipe so that there was extra sauce. It was a huge hit.

Recipe works well with chicken thighs as well.

Rather than cook individual pieces, I cut a whole chicken up the back and flattened it and cooked it on the grill - I used a baking sheet to avoid flare-ups. The chicken was good, but I didn't really feel that the glaze imparted much extra flavor. I think in the future, I might add the glaze earlier in the cooking process - possibly starting with some on the bird from the beginning, and brushing more on throughout.

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