Coffee-Spice Chicken and Fruit-Basil Salsa

  • Yield 8 servings

A jerk-style seasoning of Jamaican allspice and java gives this Caribbean chicken its caffeinated kick. Balancing the heat: a cooling summer salsa of just-picked nectarines and juicy watermelon.



3 cups seedless watermelon cubes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 large ripe nectarine, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons instant coffee
1 tablespoon grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 -- skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped


1. In medium bowl, combine watermelon, nectarine, red onion, and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate while preparing chicken. Makes about 4 cups salsa.
2. Prepare outdoor grill for covered direct grilling over medium heat.
3. In large bowl, with spoon or fingers, press coffee to pulverize. Add ginger, oil, allspice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir to combine. Add chicken and toss to evenly coat with spice mix¬ture (you may need to pat spice mixture onto chicken with fingers).
4. Place chicken breasts on hot grill rack. Cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until juices run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced with tip of knife, turning once. Transfer chicken to cut¬ting board and let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, stir basil and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt into salsa. Slice chicken crosswise and serve with salsa on the side.

Reprinted with permission from Light and Healthy Cooking by The Editors of Good Housekeeping, Hearst Books.