chipotle chile in adobo sauce
Teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
Cup table salt
bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 12 ounces each) *
ground black pepper
vegetable oil for cooking grate
To help ensure that all the chicken breasts finish cooking at approximately the same time, try to buy pieces of similar size. Don’t use boneless, skinless chicken breasts—the bone and skin protects the easily overcooked breast meat from becoming dry and chalky, and the skin gives the glaze a surface to cling to. If you purchase kosher chicken, omit the brining step.
Prepare Glaze Grate 1 teaspoon zest from 1 orange. Squeeze 2/3 cup juice from 1 or 2 oranges (use zested orange first). Peel and mince 1 small shallot. You should have about 1 tablespoon. Mince 1 or 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. You should have 1 to 2 tablespoons. Mince enough thyme leaves to yield 2 teaspoons. Combine zest, juice, shallot, chile, and thyme in small saucepan. Whisk in 1 tablespoon molasses and 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch. Simmer mixture over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Reserve half of glaze for serving and use other half for brushing on chicken while grilling. Prepare and Brine Chicken Trim ribs off 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Trim excess fat from each chicken breast. Dissolve 1/3 cup table salt in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Submerge chicken in brine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour. Rinse chicken under cold water. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Season chicken with pepper. (If using gas grill, proceed to step 25.) Prepare Charcoal Grill Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal (6 quarts, or about 100 briquettes). Allow to burn until coals are fully ignited and partially covered with thin layer of ash, about 20 minutes. Build modified two-level fire by arranging all coals over one half of grill, leaving other half empty. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, and let grate heat up, about 5 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Grill is ready when coals are medium-hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grate for 3 to 4 seconds). (Proceed to step 29.) Prepare Gas Grill Turn all burners to high and heat with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s). Grill Chicken Cook chicken over hotter part of grill until lightly browned all both sides, 6 to 8 minutes for charcoal grill or 10 to 14 minutes for gas grill. If constant flare-ups occur, slide chicken to cooler side of grill and mist fire with water from spray bottle. Move chicken, skin side down, to cooler side of grill, with thicker side of breast facing hotter side. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Cover grill and continue to cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 150 degrees, 15 to 25 minutes longer. Brush bone side of chicken with glaze. Move chicken, bone side down, to hotter side of grill and cook until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Brush skin side of chicken with glaze. Turn chicken over and continue to cook until browned and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 160 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to plate. Let Chicken Rest and Serve Tent chicken with foil. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve, passing remaining glaze separately.