Grilled Chicken Breast with Asparagus and Plum Salsa
Plums are in season from May through October, so this recipe can be enjoyed all summer long. It's important to pick ripe plums, which should yield to gentle pressure and be slightly soft at the stem area. This quick and easy recipe is particularly nice with a fruity, medium-bodied merlot, like the Garden Row Merlot from My Wines Direct.
6 ripe plums, pitted and cut into small chunks (about 2 cups)
1/4 red onion, finely diced, soaked in water for 10 minutes, and drained (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 — 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (depending on how spicy you want the salsa)
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, mint, basil, or a combination of herbs
6 boneless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches asparagus, tough ends trimmed
2 Tbsp. chopped orange zest
Prepare the plum salsa by combining the plums, red onion, jalapeño pepper, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, and fresh herbs in a bowl. Season with salt to taste and set aside.
Preheat your outdoor BBQ grill for at least 10 minutes. The grill is hot enough when you can hold your hand an inch above the grill grates for no more than 2 to 3 seconds before you have to pull it away. Rub the chicken with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken breasts for 6 to 8 minutes per side. The chicken should be firm to the touch and have an internal temperature of 165°F when cooked through.
While the chicken is grilling, toss the asparagus with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Using a grill basket, grill the asparagus during the last five minutes of grill time for the chicken, tossing occasionally. Sprinkle the asparagus with orange zest as soon as you remove it from the grill, and drizzle it with more olive oil if desired.
When the chicken breasts have cooked through, remove them from the grill and let them rest for about 2 minutes. Serve the chicken with the grilled asparagus and the plum salsa spooned over the top or on the side. Serves 6.