Indian Grilled Chicken with Fresh Peach Relish

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Sometimes I avoid cooking with peaches so I don’t have to deal with removing the skin. It’s lazy and ridiculous, I know.  And my loss to not be slicing, chopping and cooking with this luscious, melt in your mouth fruit. Particularly at their absolute finest time of year, which is now.

Inspired to combine the earthy and spicy flavors of Indian spices with the cool, sweet flavors of fresh seasonal peaches, I cast my lazy habit aside. The result is a curry, cumin, ginger and lemon wet rub brushed on chicken breasts or thighs for as briefly as 15 minutes or longer if you have the time. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs because they cook quickly. But bone in and skin on chicken can be used, they’ll just take a little longer to cook.

The relish should be all about the peach flavor, so there’s just cilantro, a bit of very thinly sliced sweet white onion and a pinch of cayenne pepper to enhance their naturally sweet and cooling flavor. I’m not sure whether I like better, serving the grilled chicken whole or thinly sliced with a heaping large spoonful of the peach relish on top. Either way, this is an easy weekday recipe that can also be served to guests for a weekend dinner.

Set aside about 10 minutes to remove the peach skin. You’ll need a pan of boiling water and a bowl with a handful of ice cubes and a little water to make the ice bath. Immersing the peaches just briefly in the boiling water, then transferring them to the ice cold water “blanches” the skin and makes it easy to peel off. Follow my instructions in the note section of the recipe and you’ll see how easy and quick it is.

Indian Grilled Chicken with Fresh Peach Relish
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • Wet rub:
  • ¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (save the remaining juice for the relish)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs (bone in and skin on breasts or thighs can be used)
  • Fresh peach relish:
  • 4 medium peaches, skin and pit removed (see below for instructions) and chopped (4 cups)
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup very thinly sliced white sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. For the wet rub: stir together all ingredients except chicken; brush on both sides of chicken. Allow sitting 15 minutes to 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
  2. For the peach relish: Stir together all ingredients; allow sitting 15 to 30 minutes to blend flavors.
  3. Cook chicken on a medium hot grill until cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes, turning once after about 5 minutes (is using bone in and skin on chicken, allow about 25 minutes total cooking time).
Notes
To remove peach skin: Set up an ice bath in a bowl by putting a few handfuls of ice cubes and enough water to cover peaches in a medium size bowl. For blanching the peaches, bring water to a boil in a medium size stockpot. Lightly make an X with the tip of a sharp knife in the bottom of each peach and add peaches to the water for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peaches to the prepared ice/water bath to stop the cooking. After a few minutes, remove peaches and peel using a paring knife.

 

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Make a small X on the bottom of the peach.

 

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Lower peaches into boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes.

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Remove and transfer to an ice bath.

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Peel away skin.

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