You know this recipe is going to be good—it has the word "picnic" in its name, conveying something breezy and fun, transportable and finger-licking good. A look at the ingredient list confirms this: There are six cloves of garlic (never a bad thing) and a knob of fresh ginger (intriguing!). It calls for a mix of thighs and drumsticks, so you can be sure the meat will taste moist and flavorful. But the thing that'll really hook you on this easy-as-1-2-3 dinner? It calls for a handful of chilies—either red jalapeños (which are green jalapeños that have been left on the vine longer to ripen) or the similar-tasting Fresnos—which have a fruity, smoky flavor that makes this meal a summer classic. If you can't find these, you can use the ubiquitous green jalapeños instead.

As for the process itself, this dinner is really just three simple steps. You puree the peppers, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, ginger, salt and olive oil in a blender until they emulsify into a smooth and spicy sauce. With a sharp knife, you cut a few slashes through the skin of the chicken pieces and rub half the sauce over it. Let the meat marinate in the fridge anywhere from two hours to a day. Lastly, you roast the chicken on a wire rack set over a baking sheet for 45 minutes. The drumsticks and thighs turn golden and the fat drips onto the pan, so the meat is nice and crisp. As for the rest of the sauce? You can brush it over the finished meat, or serve it on the side to add more kick.

The tangy, spicy chicken is a winner whether you serve it hot or at room temperature, and you can gobble it up cold for lunch the next day. We love a hot dog or hamburger as much as anyone could, but for a no-grill, take-it-anywhere, goes-with-anything chicken, this dish has our vote.

Get the recipe: Spiced Picnic Chicken


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