Grilled Jerk Chicken with Mango Cilantro Salsa

Winter was my favorite season as a kid.  My family had snowmobiles and a cabin in Cle Elum and we were always playing in the snow.  As a skier, I was happiest on the mountain and in the depths of summer I was pining for powder.  Now, as an adult (and as a parent with small kids), warm weather is a welcome sign of playing outside, camping, grilling, and a sense of ease, of slowing down.  With spring upon us warmer weather is approaching and sunlight shines past 5pm.  We seek bright flavors, Bob Marley in the background, and maybe a mojito (disclaimer: ice, lime, and mint are paleo, rum is not).  This is a great meal for the changing of the season.  Bobby Flay is notorious for having a long list of ingredients but don’t be intimidated, you probably have most of these on hand.  And it takes 10 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes to cook.

Grilled Jerk Chicken with Mango Cilantro Salsa (from Bobby Flay)
½ cup olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 scallion, coarsely chopped
1 large Scotch bonnet pepper, stem and seeds removed (I left out for the kiddos and topped my chicken with crushed red pepper flakes)
1 T fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 T finely chopped fresh thyme
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T honey
¼ t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
Pinch cloves
1 t allspice
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
1 t lime juice
4 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
4 drumsticks, skin on (I used 10 thin cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts)

Puree all ingredients, except the chicken, in a food processor or blender until almost smooth.  Pierce the chicken with a fork to make tiny holes.  Place the chicken in a large baking dish and rub the marinade into the chicken.  Cover and refrigerate 24-48 hours, depending on how intense you want the flavor.  Grill chicken on each side 5-6 minutes or until cooked through (165 degrees).

Mango-Cilantro Salsa
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
2 T chopped cilantro
3 T lime juice
3 T fresh orange juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the mangoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and orange juice in a bowl and gently mix.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.













Like with all fruit, you want to be careful you don’t overeat as they are high in fructose which causes your blood sugar levels to rise.  If you’re going to make this dish, this could be your fruit for the day.

Mangoes are a versatile fruit and can be either sweet or savory.  Serve on top of salads, alongside pork, chicken or fish, mix with BBQ sauce, with curry, topped with nuts and honey, on top of ice cream, or all by itself.  Mangoes from Mexico are in season now through September.  Make sure they are soft to the touch and smell ripe and fruity.  Mangoes are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.  If you can’t transport yourself somewhere topical, eat a mango and it’s almost as good.

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