A Different Style of Barbecue for Independence Day

Ample Bites has made and cooked with Memphis-style, as well as, Asian, Kansas City and Carolina barbecue sauces and I must admit … I love them all. The marinade and barbecue sauce in the recipe below is fruit-based. The mangoes in the sauce could easily be replaced with peaches, papaya, cherries or berries. The chimichurri finishing sauce gives the chicken dish another layer of flavor from the cilantro and the acidity of the lime and vinegar. The combination of the fruit-based barbecue sauce and the chimichurri will also work very well with pork chops

Chipotle-Mango Barbeque Chicken with Cilantro Chimichurri
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Guy Fieri & The Food Network Magazine, July/August 2012)

Serves 4 to 6

For the Chicken:
3 mangoes, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 ¼ cups loosely packed fresh cilantro, not chopped, stems and all
3 chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, plus 1 tablespoon sauce from the can
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
4 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp light brown sugar
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 ½ Tbsp canola oil, plus more for the grill
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 pieces skin-on, bone-in mixed chicken thighs and drumsticks (about 5 lbs)

For the Chimichurri:
1 ½ cups fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 scallions, white parts only, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
½ cup grapeseed oil
½ cup canola oil
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp agave syrup
¼ cup fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the chicken: Put the mangoes, cilantro, chipotles, adobo sauce, vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, lemon juice, canola oil, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Toss the chicken with half of the mango mixture in a zip-top plastic bag and massage to coat the chicken with the sauce. Refrigerate at least 6 hours to marinate.

Put the other half of the mango mixture in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until thick, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Season with salt. Set some of the simmered mango sauce aside for serving and use the rest for basting.

Preheat the grill to medium and brush the grates with canola oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade, brushing off the excess marinade so it doesn’t burn, and put the pieces on the grill. Grill the chicken, turning, until cooked through, about 30 minutes, basting with the simmer mango sauce during the last 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the chimichurri: Combine the cilantro, parsley, scallions, garlic, oils, vinegar, agave, lime juice, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a food processor and pulse to roughly chop. Continue processing until the sauce is finely chopped but not smooth. Set aside at least 15 minutes before serving.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve with the chimichurri and the reserved mango sauce.