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Healthy Cooking: Make this revolutionary grilled chicken

For bone-in chicken cooked to perfection, place hot coals on only one-half of the grill, then move the chicken between the hot and cooler sides as needed. CONTRIBUTED BY KELLIE HYNES
For bone-in chicken cooked to perfection, place hot coals on only one-half of the grill, then move the chicken between the hot and cooler sides as needed. CONTRIBUTED BY KELLIE HYNES

Today, we declare our independence from dry, boring chicken. Today, we walk away from boneless, skinless chicken breasts languishing on our freezer shelves. Today, we will pick up a whole chicken and a pair of really good cutting shears. And we will grill our chicken perfectly, neither burning the skin nor leaving it raw at the bone. Because this chicken, right here, is revolutionary.

First, clip the wings and legs off the body. Cut the thighs away from the drumsticks at the joint. Remove the breast and ribs from the back, and divide the breast along the center bone. Then cut the breast halves again, cross-wise, into quarters. This makes the breast pieces roughly the same size as chicken thighs, so they cook faster and more evenly than if they were left whole.

Next, prepare your grill for indirect cooking. Friends, this is how the magic happens. Start by browning your chicken over the lit coals or gas. Once the chicken is golden, move the pieces to the cooler side — with the thicker parts facing the heat — and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. During the last few minutes of cooking, brush the chicken with yummy peach sauce.

The Peach Hot Sauce recipe is courtesy of “The Peach Truck Cookbook,” a new read by Jessica N. Rose and her husband, Georgia native Stephen K. Rose. Spicy habanero chiles offset sweet fresh peaches, making a glaze that sends fireworks to all of the senses. In an abundance of caution, I initially used only half of the hot peppers. That was a mistake. Unless you plan to eat the sauce with a spoon (admittedly a plausible scenario), go ahead and use at least three habaneros; the intensity fades when it is spread over the chicken. The Peach Hot Sauce recipe makes 3 cups, which is enough to use also with pork, tofu or as a stellar appetizer when drizzled over brie or goat cheese. Unless you forget to wear plastic gloves when cutting up the peppers, you really can’t go wrong. And that’s something to celebrate.

Excerpted from “The Peach Truck Cookbook” by Jessica N. Rose and Stephen K. Rose. Copyright © 2019 by S&J Rose LLC. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc.

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