Grilled Sriracha apricot chicken

A basting sauce of Sriracha, apricot preserves, hot chili sauce, rice vinegar, and fish sauce gives this grilled chicken a tangy, slightly spicy kick.

Blue Kitchen
Apricot preserves help balance the Sriracha sauce and hot chili paste in this fiery marinade.

Flipping through "Bon Appétit" magazine’s grilling issue, I came across some spicy chicken skewers basted with an interesting mix of flavors. I played with those flavors considerably, keeping the Sriracha, hot chili paste, rice vinegar and fish sauce of the original, but tweaking amounts and using apricot preserves instead of brown sugar for the sweetness and adding chopped chives for a wild green note. 

And instead of skinless, skewered bites of chicken, I opted for meaty bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks and thighs. Much of the skin’s fat cooks off during grilling, but not without naturally basting the flesh as it does. The end result is moist, tender and juicy.

The recipe that inspired this one involved cooking the basting sauce to reduce it a bit. Other recipes I consulted either included this step or didn’t. I chose not to, even though it was less thick and clingy as a basting sauce. Next time I make it, I might reduce it – or I might not.

Grilled Sriracha apricot chicken
Serves 4

4 each, bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks and thighs

1/2 cup apricot preserves

3 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce

1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (see Kitchen Notes)

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

5 teaspoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare your grill for both indirect and direct grilling. Remove chicken from fridge about 1/2 hour before you’re ready to cook and trim excess skin and fat. Set aside on counter. If you’re using charcoal, you can do this when you start the coals.

2. Combine preserves, Sriracha, chili sauce, rice vinegar, and fish sauce in a medium bowl, mashing out any lumps in the preserves with the tines of a fork. Stir in the chives.

3. When the grill is ready, pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Brush the grill rack lightly with oil and place chicken skin side up on the side of the grill away from the heat source. Cover the grill and cook chicken for about 5 minutes; this will render some of the fat. Move chicken directly over the coals skin side down, cover grill and cook until skin begins to crisp and brown, about 5 minutes (or longer, if needed).

4. Move chicken away from heat and turn skin side up. Brush with basting sauce, cover grill and cook, turning every few minutes and basting, until chicken is cooked through, another 10 to 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should register 165 degrees F when inserted in the thickest part. Transfer chicken to platter and let it rest for 5 minutes or so, then serve.

Kitchen Notes

How hot? When you sample the basting sauce as you’re mixing it in the bowl, even without the hot chili paste, it will seem fiery. Once it’s applied to the chicken during grilling, it calms down considerably. If you like heat, definitely include the hot chili paste. You might consider pressing it through a mesh strainer, though, to remove the seeds. They’re the source of much of the Asian condiment’s fire.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.