'QUICK BRICK' ADOBO CHICKEN WITH GRILLED FARM STAND APRICOTS, ARUGULA CHIMICHURRI AND QUESO FRESCO

Adobo Marinade and Chicken

Ingredients Weight Measure
Olive oil 1/4 cup
Garlic cloves, minced 3 bulbs
Orange, juice only 1/2 cup
Limes, juice only 6 ea.
TABASCO® brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce 5 oz.
Dried thyme 1 Tbsp.
Dried oregano 1 Tbsp.
Ground cumin 2 Tbsp.
Salt 1-1/2 Tbsp.
Black pepper 1-1/2 Tbsp.
Baby chickens or Cornish hens (12-16 oz. avg.) 12 ea.

Arugula Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients Weight Measure
Extra virgin olive oil 2-1/4 cups
Garlic, minced 2 bulbs
Arugula, washed, chopped 5 cups
Parsley, washed, chopped 3 cups
TABASCO® brand Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce 1 Tbsp.
Limes, juice only 1-1/2 ea.
Red onions, finely minced 1-1/2 ea.
Salt 1 Tbsp.
Black pepper 1 Tbsp.

Garnish

Ingredients Weight Measure
Apricots, halved and pitted 12 ea.
Olive oil 2 tsp.
Salt 1/4 tsp.
Black pepper 1/4 tsp.
Queso fresco or mild feta cheese, crumbled 1-1/2 cups
Cilantro sprigs (optional) as needed
Aluminum foil–warpped bricks* 6 ea.
*Cast-iron skillets may be substituted. Place aluminum foil between the chicken and the skillets when grilling.

Method

  1. To prepare the Adobo Marinade, place the olive oil and garlic into a food processor; run until the garlic is finley chopped. Add the orange juice, lime juice and TABASCO® Chipotle Pepper Sauce. Process until mixture is emulsified. Transfer marinade into a stainless steel bowl. Add the thyme, oregano, cumin, salt and black pepper; whisk thoroughly. Cover and reserve.
  2. Butterfly the chicken by placing the chicken breast-side down on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears or a chef's knife, cut along one side of the backbone down the entire length. Cut along the other side of the backbone and remove it. With the palm of your hands, press the chicken flat. Cut off the first two joints of the wings to prevent burning. Place each chicken in the marinade to cover the chicken, cover with plastic wrap and marinate from 30 minutes to overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. To prepare the Arugula Chimichurri Sauce, place the olive oil and garlic into a food processor; run until the garlic is finely chopped. Add the arugula, parsley, TABASCO® Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce and lime juice. Process until minced; texture should be visible. Transfer sauce to a stainless steel bowl. Fold in the onions, salt and black pepper; mix thoroughly. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Notes: The chimichurri sauce can be made the night before.
  4. Preheat an outdoor grill to 375°F. When hot, spray grill grates with nonstick spray or oil. Wrap bricks with 2 layers aluminum foil; reserve. Remove chicken from the refrigerator; allow the excess marinade to run off. Place chicken on the grill, skin side down. Place the foil-covered bricks evenly over the chicken and cook for 12-15 minutes. Turn the chicken skin-side up, weight again with the bricks and cook for an additional 12-15 minutes until the thickest part of the chicken is cooked through. Skin should be golden brown. Remove chicken from the grill, cover with aluminum foil and rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  5. While chicken is resting, prepare the apricots. In a stainless steel bowl, toss apricots with olive oil; season with salt and black pepper. Grill the apricot halves over high heat for about 4 minutes, giving a quarter turn once, until lightly charred and softened.
  6. To serve, cut the chicken into quarters. Spoon the Arugula Chimichurri Sauce down the center of each plate. Arrange in the center 1 breast and 1 leg, followed by another breast and leg. Garnish each plate with 2 apricot halves and crumbled cheese. Top with cilantro sprigs (optional).

Yield: 12 servings