GrilledChicken Thigh and Cucumber Salad

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With the heat wave coming through North Carolina, I’ve been looking for ceiling fans, sprinklers, ice coffee and easy recipes that require no use of the stove. Grills are the perfect solution, along with marinated chicken and interesting blends of summer vegetables. This salad recipe from Food & Wine Magazine was exactly what I was looking for while planning a casual supper at home last night after work.

I substituted a mixture of sweet small bell peppers for the red jalapeno – because I couldn’t find one. Mint from my neighbors from yard was perfect for a cold limeade cocktail and freshness to the salad.

You can find boneless chicken thighs just about anywhere now. They are so much more tasty than a boring chicken breast and perfect for summer grilling. I find an easy spice rub or citrus and fresh herb marinade a stand by in any grilling. Just get creative!

Grilled Chicken Thigh and Cucumber Salad, Food & Wine Magazine

  • 6 skin-on, boneless chicken thighs (2 pounds), pounded 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 small Fresno or red jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons chopped roasted unsalted almondsLight a grill. Rub the chicken thighs with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken skin side down on the grill and top with a sheet of foil and a weighted heavy baking sheet. Grill the chicken over moderate heat until the skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken skin side up, top with the foil and weighted baking sheet and grill for 3 minutes longer. Remove the baking sheet. Turn the chicken skin side down once more and grill until the skin is crispy and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to plates.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the vinegar with the shallot and garlic and gradually whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup 
of olive oil until well blended. Add the cucumber, onion, chile and chopped mint and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

Slice the chicken; toss with the cucumber salad. Garnish with the nuts and mint leaves.

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