Peach-Glazed Grilled Chicken
To avoid incinerating dinner, we start these glazed chicken parts in a disposable aluminum pan on the grill with plenty of peach preserves and cayenne for heat. When it’s nearly cooked through, we grill the chicken over direct heat to crisp the skin and caramelize the sweet peach glaze. A fresh peach and a whole jalapeño—grilled alongside the chicken and then chopped—add freshness and heat to the sauce, and a splash of cider vinegar brings welcome tang.
- Leave the jalapeño whole for grilling. Note that the salted chicken needs to rest for 1 to 24 hours before grilling. Since the preserves cause the food to brown quickly in step 5, move the items around as necessary to manage any hot spots.
- 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half crosswise, drumsticks, and/or thighs), trimmed
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup wood chips
- 1 cup peach preserves
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (13 by 9-inch) disposable aluminum pan
- 1 peach, halved and pitted
- 1 jalapeño chile
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Adapted from cookscountry.com
Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with 2 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place in zipper-lock bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Just before grilling, soak wood chips in water for 15 minutes, then drain. Using large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap soaked chips in foil packet and cut several vent holes in top. Whisk preserves and cayenne together in disposable pan. Place peach halves (cut side up), jalapeño, and chicken (skin side down) in pan.
FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Place wood chip packet on coals on 1 side of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 5 minutes.
FOR A GAS GRILL: Remove cooking grate and place wood chip packet directly on primary burner. Set grate in place, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium. (Adjust burners as needed to maintain grill temperature between 350 and 375 degrees.)
Clean and oil cooking grate. Place disposable pan with chicken over side of grill opposite wood chip packet. Cover grill (position lid vent over chicken if using charcoal) and cook for 10 minutes. Flip chicken, and rotate pan 180 degrees. (Open top and bottom vents fully for charcoal grill.) Continue to cook, covered, until breasts register 155 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 170 degrees, 10 to 14 minutes.
Flip chicken, peach halves, and jalapeño to coat with preserves, then transfer to grill grate (skin side down for chicken). Leave pan on grill to let preserves thicken and caramelize slightly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes, then remove pan from grill.
Meanwhile, cook chicken, peach halves, and jalapeño until well browned on first side, 2 to 5 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until chicken breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees and peach halves and jalapeño are well browned on second side, 2 to 5 minutes. Return chicken, skin side up, to pan with preserves, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Transfer peach and jalapeño to plate to cool slightly.
Remove any loose skin from peach halves and jalapeño (no need to remove all skin); then chop peach halves, seed and mince jalapeño, and transfer both to bowl. Arrange chicken on serving platter. Pour preserves from pan into bowl with chopped peach halves and jalapeño; stir in vinegar. Season glaze with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon glaze over chicken and serve.
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