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May 21, 2013

Easy BBQ Chicken and Corn Salsa

Grilled BBQ Chicken and Corn Salsa
My mother used to make the best, stickiest oven BBQ chicken in the world. She'd make it with bone-in chicken breasts and layer it in coat upon coat of sweet BBQ sauce. It's still one of my favorite dishes and it's the reason that I have such a fondness for sweet BBQ sauces. Next time I visit her, I'll have to see if I can't talk her into making a batch up for me.

I have my own BBQ sauce that I've been perfecting over the years. When I make a batch, I literally make up a vat and then portion it out into freezer containers so I can go on enjoying the fruits of my labor for more than one BBQ.

Sauce, however, is saucy—and sticky—which is the point, but not something that I often feel like getting involved in on a regular weeknight and not at all when it's hot outside and it's somehow already 7 p.m. and I haven't even started on dinner yet. To overcome those sorts of obstacles, I developed a quick take on BBQ chicken. It's got all the flavor, but it's not messy and when it's topped with a pile of my corn salsa with basil, it's a refreshing and modern take on an old classic.

Fire up the coals; this one's a keeper.

Grilled BBQ Chicken with Corn Salsa

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded out
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt

1. Put pounded chicken breasts into a zip bag.
2. Pour in apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
3. Zip the bag shut, making sure to remove all the air.
4. Massage the spices and sugar and vinegar into the chicken breasts through the bag until all the chicken breasts are covered and the spices, sugar and vinegar are well-distributed.
5. Set chicken breasts off to the side for 45 minutes to allow them to marinate. While waiting, heat the coals and make the corn salsa.
6. After chicken is done marinating, grill over high-heat until chicken caramelizes and cooks through; top with corn salsa.

Corn Salsa

2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 large, ripe tomato, chopped
1/2 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 large cucumber, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 tablespoons green onion tops, finely minced
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
 2 fistfuls of basil leaves, stemmed, rinsed and finely shredded
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1. Mix vinegar, oil, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper.
2. Add corn, tomatoes, green pepper, celery, cucumber, red onion, green onion and garlic.
3. Allow to 'stew' for 30-45 minutes.
4. Just before serving, taste for seasoning, then stir in basil and feta cheese.


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