I was away having fun fun fun for the weekend. We all were happy to see each other when I got home, which is the goal, right? Anyway, to express my appreciation for being home, I asked the Man if he had any special request for dinner. "Something I've never had before!" was his answer. I love this! If I lived with a picky eater it would be a problem.
As to dinner, we had this sandwich at a local pub recently: it was pumpernickel bread smeared with goat cheese, orange marmalade, and bacon. So good! And simple! I could not get it off my mind. I don't think bacon belongs in chocolate bars or ice cream, but on a sandwich? With some tart/salty cheese and sweet/bitter jam? Yes please. So, with this in mind, and pleasant weather, I concocted this recipe for grilled chicken wrapped in bacon with a marmalade glaze:
1. Brine chicken pieces* (I use one package of thighs and one of drumsticks) in one cup orange juice, 2 cups water, 1/4 cup each white vinegar and balsalmic, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 2 T salt, plus 4 or 5 cloves of mashed garlic. If you're doing a lot of chicken, adjust so that the pieces are covered. Brining is trendy, but unlike bacon or liver in your ice cream, this is a good trend. It makes chicken juicier and much better. Put it in a big heavy duty zip lock (or dish with a lid) and leave it in the bottom drawer of the fridge for half a day or so.
2. To make the glaze, melt 1 cup of marmalade, 2 T brown sugar, 1 T balsalmic, salt (I like a lot) 3 cloves of minced garlic, and a cup of white wine in a saucepan. While it thickens, rinse the brine off the chicken. Pour about 2/3rds of the glaze over the chicken and roll the pieces around to coat.
3. When it's time to grill, wrap each piece in a strip of bacon, or two, securing with toothpicks.
4. Place the chicken on a hot grill and hover over it, turning to get an even brown char, then set the pieces on a sheet of foil and turn the heat down (or move it to the side if you're using charcoal), and put the lid on.
5. Finishing: about halfway through the cooking process, brush a little more glaze over the chicken and bacon and put the lid down again. Use a couple of tablespoons of the glaze to dress some sliced zucchini**--wrap in foil and put on the grill to cook.
6. Serve with couscous. If you want to be fancy add some diced feta and currents to the couscous, but plain with a little butter is just dandy.
* I think you could use pork or shrimp with equally great results. If you don't eat bacon I feel very sorry for you, but you could make do with sprigs of rosemary.
**Is anyone else getting sick of asparagus? I didn't think it was possible, but I may have overdosed this spring. Also the thing where your pee smells weird grosses me out.