Cajun Chicken with Grilled Corn Salsa

 

Summer is rapidly coming to an end and so let’s enjoy every possible way to use Lepp’s fresh, sweet corn.

We often joke that you’ll find the grocery items in Aisle One (we only have one aisle in the market!), also referred to as “Charlotte’s pantry.”  When we started the market, my dream was to build a place where I could source all my favorite products needed to prepare a home-cooked meal, and this recipe highlights one of my favorite products, Spiceworks.

As our grocery section has limited space, we are quick to remove a product that doesn’t sell well and try something new, but Spiceworks has easily held its spot since opening day and continues to be one of our best-selling lines. This family-operated South Surrey company was created by Nina and Dennis after they sold their successful gourmet food store but wanted to keep Nina’s favorite ethnic dishes available to the public. Their hand-blended spice mixes are quick and easy to prepare, using all natural ingredients, no added MSG and are gluten-free.

Since many ethnic dishes frequently call for a long list of exotic spices, Nina has done the work for you, and often all you need to add is one or two common pantry ingredients to create a delicious dish. The Peri-Peri marinade featured in this recipe is mildly spicy, and the fresh flavors of the herbs, lime, and smoky sweet corn make for a dinner that will be sure to become one of your family’s favorite meals!

 

 

If you’re feeding a bigger family, or especially hungry people, you may want to the entire chicken leg in this recipe instead of just the thigh. But for perfectly grilled drumsticks or thighs that aren’t burnt on the outside and raw on the inside, the best method is a two-step, two-temperature approach. First, cut the legs into 2 pieces, separating the drumsticks and thighs and trim away any loose, fatty skin. If you’re using a gas grill, turn half (or even just one) of your burners on high and leave the other ones off. Place your chicken leg pieces directly over the heat for a few minutes on each side, searing them beautifully. Then move them to the indirect heat, close the lid and cook them low and slow until they’re done, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees. You could also cover and bake them at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Ingredients

For the Cajun Marinade:

3 tbsp Spiceworks Peri Peri marinade
3 tbsp water

3 tbsp olive oil

(Or a Cajun rub of your choice, mixed with some olive oil)

 

For the Cajun Chicken:

8 chicken thighs (I prefer bone-in thighs but you can use boneless as well)

 

For the Corn Salsa:

⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup each chopped fresh basil and fresh parsley
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 cobs Lepp’s corn, husked
¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper (approx)

To Serve With (Optional):

Flatbreads, lightly grilled (such as pita or naan)
4 lime wedges
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (if you or someone you’re serving this too doesn’t do well with spice, serving with yogurt will really help to offset that)

Method

 

In large bowl, mix the Peri Peri marinade, water and oil. (Alternatively, use a Cajun rub of your choice, mixed with some olive oil.) Add chicken; turn to coat.  


(Locally produced Spiceworks makes a delicious line of ethnic spices and marinades, using all natural ingredients, no added MSG and are gluten free!)

In small bowl, whisk together remaining ⅓ cup olive oil, basil, parsley, lime zest and lime juice and Parmesan – this will be the sauce in your corn salsa. Lightly brush corn cobs with some of the basil mixture.

 

Place chicken on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning chicken once, until no longer pink inside, 8 to 10 minutes. If using bone-in thighs, it’s best to grill over indirect heat or on a Grillstone.

Meanwhile, add corn cobs to grill; grill, turning frequently, until lightly charred, 8-10 minutes. Let cool enough to handle. If serving with flatbread, lightly oil both sides and grill for approx 30 seconds on each side, or until desired doneness.

Cut kernels from corncobs; stir into basil mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with chicken, grilled flatbreads, lime wedges and yogurt (if using).  

It’s corn season so why not cook extra corncobs for future use! Cut the kernels from cooked and cooled cobs and portion into freezer bags to enjoy all winter long in soups and chilies.