This week marks the first week in ages that I have felt like I could possibly still be a human being. Up until very recently, I've been going through the motions and doing only what absolutely needs to be accomplished. Or, accomplishing tasks that don't need to be accomplished, but forcing myself to do them. A lot has been piling up, both in my mind and on my list of tasks. A few days ago I caught myself thinking about completing tasks that were above and beyond the "bare minimum" level, and I squealed with delight. Is normalcy on the horizon? Could it be? Will I finally have the desire to fulfill the items on my to-do list, instead of forcing myself to do them? It makes me sad that I have lost, in a sense, half of my summer. But I refuse to dwell, and I will enjoy what is left.
Summery meals like this one are now fun to pull together. There is something to be said for enjoying summer. And food. And life.
I have been cooking with mangos more than usual lately. Perhaps I have been subconsciously wishing myself to a location where mangos are grown? At any rate, mangos are delicious. I treat every piece of mango flesh with utmost care. I don't waste a single morsel of the juicy fruit.
I had grilling, summer and mangos on the brain, and came across this delicious grilled chicken recipe from Guy Fieri. We added a quick salad to our plates, along with buttery grilled potatoes, and my desires were fulfilled.
To make the chicken..
Add the following ingredients to a food processor:
1 1/2 cups mango, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
3/4 cup fresh cilantro (stems and all, not chopped)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Puree until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Add 2 pounds of chicken thighs and drumsticks (bone-in and skin on) to a resealable plastic bag, along with half of the mango mixture. Massage to coat the chicken with the sauce. Refrigerate at least 6 hours to marinate.
Put the other half of the mango mixture into a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until thick, stirring often, about 15 minutes.
Set some of the simmered chipotle-mango sauce aside to serve on the side, and baste the chicken every few minutes with the rest of the sauce.
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat and brush with canola oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and put it on the grill.
Grill the chicken, turning and basting every 5 minutes until cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the reserved mango sauce.
I love you, summer. And more than that, I love that I am finally loving you.