There’s nothing I look forward to more after a long, dreary winter spent indoors than the first farmer’s market of the season.

The market starts out slow usually—there’s mushrooms, perhaps some spinach, and of course there’s always cheese. I go to the first market not expecting to take home a load of vegetables (that comes later on in the season), but instead to see Madison again. The city changes. The air smells good.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Ramp and Rhubarb Chutney | Things I Made Today

It’s not always at the first market, but for sure by the second or third, that rhubarb and ramps start popping up everywhere. The rhubarb will be around for a couple more months to come, but the ramps—you have to jump on those when you see them.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Ramp and Rhubarb Chutney | Things I Made Today

Ramps are wild leeks that taste somewhere in between a sweet onion and garlic, and they signify that life is about to get a whole lot more pleasant.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Ramp and Rhubarb Chutney | Things I Made Today

Because I really wanted to come at you screaming “HI IT’S TIME FOR SPRING CAN YOU HEAR ME?!?”, I’m combining all my favorite spring-y things here: rhubarb, ramps, and grilling. Missed opportunity: should have garnished these with tulips. Damn.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Ramp and Rhubarb Chutney | Things I Made Today

Rhubarbs are usually reserved for the dessert course, but I use them here in a chutney mixed with ramps and a bunch of spices. The recipe makes more chutney than you need, which is perfect, because you can douse it on other things you make later in the week.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Ramp and Rhubarb Chutney | Things I Made Today

I used a dry rub on the chicken, prepping both that and the chutney the night before. That way, when you’re ready to grill, you’re ready to grill (beer in hand required).

Smell that air Madison, it’s here!

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Ramp and Rhubarb Chutney
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
For the chicken:
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 - 2½ pounds chicken thighs
For the chutney:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 bunch of ramps, about 10, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and chopped
Instructions
Prep the chicken:
  1. In a large plastic bag, combine chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and salt. Drop in chicken thighs and toss until the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate chicken for at least two hours or up to overnight.
Make the chutney:
  1. Heat canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add ramps and cook until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add in coriander, cinnamon, and salt and mix well for 30 seconds. Stir in sugar, vinegar, and water. Add in rhubarb and bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and let chutney reduce, stirring occasionally, for about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Once chutney has thickened, transfer to a jar or small bowl and let cool slightly.
Grill the chicken:
  1. Heat grill (charcoal or gas) to a medium heat. Place chicken thighs on the grill, slightly away from the hottest part. Cover the grill and cook for about 8 minutes, then flip the chicken and cook for an additional 8 minutes.
  2. Generously brush the chicken with the chutney and transfer to the hottest part of the grill for about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a platter and serve with extra chutney on the side.

 

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