DEVILED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH SUMMER SQUASH–ZUCCHINI SALAD WITH FRIED ALMONDS, FETA, AND HERBS
SERVES 6–8, OR 4 WITH LEFTOVERS
The perfect mid-summer grilled supper, this menu does double-duty if you’re the type who loves leftovers. We typically grill more chicken and vegetables than we can eat in one sitting so the next day we’ve got lunch covered. The zucchini gets even better with a day in the fridge, and the cold chicken can be cut from the bone and mixed with homemade mayo and some celery for a delightful chicken salad sandwich.
8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
6 cloves garlic, grated
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1½ teaspoons sea salt
20 grinds of black pepper
zest and juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse, dark cane sugar, like Demerara or Turbinado
1 teaspoon minced thyme
2 teaspoons minced rosemary
For the salad:
3 medium zucchini
3 medium yellow summer squash
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, grated
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon maple syrup
½ cup sliced almonds
4 ounces sheep’s milk feta
½ cup chopped mint leaves
½ cup chopped basil
1 lemon, half in wedges and half to squeeze over the chicken
Trim any excess fat or hanging skin from the chicken thighs and place on a platter. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and add chicken, using your hands to coat each piece thoroughly. Marinate at room temperature for an hour or overnight in the fridge.
Slice the zucchini and squash lengthwise into thin strips, about ¼-inch thick. Rub each strip with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Mix together the grated garlic with the balsamic, syrup, and 2 tablespoons olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Light a charcoal grill with a cool side and a hot side and prepare the grates for grilling. Sear the chicken, skin-side down, on the hot side of the grill until nicely charred, 4–5 minutes, then flip and move to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking.
Using the hot side of the grill again, cook the zucchini and summer squash, charring on both sides. Remove them to a platter as they’re cooked, and when all are finished, cover the chicken with the grill lid and let cook until the internal temperature has reached 165°F, another 10–20 minutes, depending on size of the thighs. Keep checking to avoid flare-ups.
While the chicken cooks, finish the salad. Drizzle the balsamic dressing over the hot vegetables. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet and add the almonds; cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned (be careful, though, as nuts can go from raw to burned in no time flat!). Pour the almonds and oil directly from the skillet over the dressed zucchini and squash (they will sizzle a little), then crumble on the feta and scatter the herbs on top. Set aside for the flavors to mingle.
When the chicken is cooked through, transfer to a platter and squeeze the half lemon over the top, then serve with lemon wedges at the table and the vegetable salad.
Sarah Blackburn is a home cook, recipe developer, vegetable gardener and managing editor of Edible Boston. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org