Kuku wa kuchoma na Jiko la Mkaa (Charcoal Grill Chicken With Sautee Onion and Red Peppers)

2 red bell peppers
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for liberal drizzling
2 medium sweet onions, sliced into wedges, root end attached
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced, fennel fronds reserved for garnish
3 to 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
12 small bone-in chicken thighs
Fennel pollen or ground fennel, for sprinkling
1 lemon, zested and juiced


Prepare your charcoal grill

Char the red bell peppers over charcoal grill  for 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally. Alternatively, char the peppers under the broiler for 7 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally, with the oven door slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Place the charred peppers in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When cool, peel and seed the peppers and slice lengthwise.

Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, fennel and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and sweet. Deglaze with vinegar and combine with the peppers.

Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and place the chicken thighs on it. Drizzle the chicken thighs lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and season liberally with salt, pepper, and fennel pollen. Grill the chicken thighs for 30 -30 minutes, turning occasionally. Dress the cooked chicken with lemon zest and juice.

Arrange the chicken on a platter and top with the onions and peppers.

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