By Chef Michael Schwartz:
1 Cup Bourbon
1 T Apricot preserves
1 t Lemon zest
2 T Lemon Juice
1/2 t Thyme
2 t Honey
2 T + Olive oil
Kosher Salt (or sea salt) and Fresh ground Pepper
1 3/12 lb Chicken with backbone removed
Vegetable oil for grilling
3 small Apricots, halved and pitted
1 small Red Onion, cut through the bottom into 6 wedges
3 Cups Packed Baby Arugula
1/4 C Smoked Almonds, chopped
1 T Champagne Vinegar
1. In a small saucepan, carefully simmer the bourbon over moderate heat and reduce to 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Apricot preserves, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey and thyme, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Let the marinade cool completely.
2 Pour all but 1 tablespoon into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Light a grill and brush with vegetable oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and turn it skin side up: flatten breast bone with the palm of hand.
Season the chicken with Salt and Pepper. Turn off the heat on half the grill. Place the chicken breast side down over indirect heat and weight it down with a large cast iron skillet. Grill the chicken until browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Flip the chicken and grill it directly over low heat until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 F, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Brush the chicken with reserve marinade and transfer to a work surface. Let rest for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, brush the apricots with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat until lightly charred and the onion wedges are just softened, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop apricots and onion.
5. In a bowl, combine the grilled apricots and onion with the arugula and almonds. Add the venegar and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Carve the chicken and serve alongside the salad.
The flavor in this dish is definitely worth the extra effort! It also works well with Pork or Portabella Mushrooms. I would recommend a nice Pinot Grigio or Grenache shiraz, depending on your tastebuds.
For more information about Chef Michael Schwartz and his restaurants: