Tonight, we combined two recipes into one meal, making the kitchn’s (www.thekitchn.com) Honey & Chili Chicken Thighs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce and Melissa D’Arabian’s (www.melissadarabian.net) Spicy Grilled Corn. Tony describes how he did it:
Kim has made the honey and chili chicken thighs dish before, but I hadn’t, so I didn’t realize how easy it was. There are basically three steps: 1) marinate the chicken, 2) make the sauce, and 3) cook the chicken.
The marinate step is very simple, because while there is some measuring involved (honey, chili powder, beer, and so forth) there is very little chopping to do, especially if you skip using the cilantro as garnish. It took me maybe 10 minutes from the time I got a large bowl out of the cupboard to when I put that same bowl, now with marinated chicken in it, into the fridge. The best part was that since I was cutting the recipe in half, I only needed to use 1 ounce (or 1/8 of a cup) of beer to marinade the chicken, leaving 11 ounces with which to marinade myself…
The cilantro sauce may seem intimidating at first, but it is just as easy as the marinade: everything goes into the food processor and gets blended together until it is smooth. You may have to adjust the taste a bit, but that’s about all there is to it. If you are patient and are willing to put in the time to chop the cilantro very, very finely, I think you could make this sauce even without a food processor – but it would be much, much harder!
The last step, cooking the chicken, is the easiest step of the three. The chicken just goes into a 450 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until it reads 165 on a meat thermometer.
While the corn isn’t part of the chicken recipe, we thought it would be a great accompaniment. This is another simple recipe. The only trick is to remember to take the butter out of the fridge before you need it; I took it out along with the chicken. If the butter has a chance to soften, it will, of course, be much easier to work with. I mixed the paprika and red pepper flakes, plus salt and pepper, into the butter, then spread the butter all over each ear of corn. (You can see what this looks like in the photo above.) I wrapped each ear in a piece of aluminum foil and put it on a pre-heated grill pan and let it cook for the same amount of time as the chicken, turning it every five minutes.
Everything about this dinner was great. The chicken was moist and flavorful and cooked perfectly. The corn – which, after the first time we had it, is pretty much the only way we make corn – was rich and spicy without being too hot. The star of the show, however, was the cilantro sauce. It gave depth to the chicken and was a nice, cool balance to the corn. (I put it in a squeeze bottle and after I had finished my dinner, I kept squirting a bit onto my finger and licking it off.) We’re going pair these chicken and corn dishes a lot while corn is in season – we hope you will too!