Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peaches, Mint, and Almonds

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peaches, Mint, and AlmondsGood Things Come To Those Who Wait
Six years ago, when we moved into our current house, one of the first things we did (even before fixing the doors) was plant a fruit orchard on the Front 40 of our lot.

We originally planted 12 trees: 2 Peach, 2 Nectarine, 1 French Prune, 1 Sekel Pear, 2 Cherry, and 4 Apple. It’s been a painful process, often because we think we kinda know what we are doing—but we really don’t. Most of the time we just get lucky.

We lost one of the Peach trees to gophers, and have gone through multiple rounds of peach leaf curl. Last year we had quite a few prunes and apparently they were quite tasty. At least the squirrels thought so—since they ate them all.

This year things are looking up. The trees are bigger, and loaded with early signs of a decent crop: especially the Nectarine. It looks like we might actually get to harvest some of it. (Quick, somebody knock on wood!)

We usually head out to Brentwood to do our peach and nectarine picking this time of year, but I am hoping we can just eat our own crop. I have a feeling we will still end up in Brentwood. Peaches and nectarines do not last long in our house.

In the mean time I am keeping watch on the trees, and anticipating that first juicy, sweet bite. I am looking forward to a summer of recipes like this Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peaches, Mint, and Almonds adapted from Michael Symon’s cookbook Carnivore. The chicken is good, but the real reason I make this is for the peach salad. It’s such a great match for anything grilled.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peaches, Mint, and Almonds
Adapted from Carnivore by Michael Symon
Serves 10

1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Kosher Salt
10 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/2 C thinkly sliced red onion
6 peaches, pitted and each cut into 8 pieces
1 jalepeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced
Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
2 cups arugula
1 cup thinly sliced fresh mint
1/2 cup Marcona almonds, chopped

Combine coriander, paprika, and 1 tablespoon salt in a large zip-top bag. Add the chicken thighs, turn to coat on all sides, and refrigerate overnight.

Allow chicken to come to room temperature foe 30 minutes before cooking. Pat the chicken dry.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill so that one side is medium-high and the other is very low.

Brush the chicken thighs with a little olive oil and put skin side down on the hot side of the grill. Cover the grill. After 2 minutes, remove the lid, flip the chicken, and put it on the cooler side of the grill. Put the lid back on and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken hits an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the onion, peaches, and minced jalapenos. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and a good pinch of salt. Pour the dressing over the peaches and gently toss to combine. Add the arugula, mint, and almonds and toss once or twice.

To serve, arrange the chicken thighs on a large platter, Top the chicken with the peach mixture, and serve immediately.

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