Sweet Summer Corn and Grilled Chicken with Lime Adobo

It’s definitely summer here in Southern California and the farmer’s markets are overflowing with gorgeous fruits and vegetables.  It’s so hard for “someone like me” to even go into the farmer’s market.  Did you see that movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic?”  She walks the streets of New York and the mannequins reach out to her calling her name, luring her in to come in and shop. Then when she gets home and opens her closet the clothes spring out like a jack in the box.  This is me walking the aisles of the farmer’s market trying to be logical about how many apricots, strawberries, and plums one person can actually eat in a week.  Then I saw the corn and  I smelled it.  Yes,  I smell things at the market, don’t laugh.  If a tomato doesn’t smell like the earth, like the vine it grew off of, I won’t buy it. But the corn was just so fresh you could smell the stalk and the sweetness of the corn beneath. Once I brought it home I found myself standing in my kitchen with my eyes closed taking it in one breath at a time.  As I began shucking stalk and removing the silk I  was taken back by the delicate beauty of the corn hidden beneath the silk.  It was as if the stalks were an elaborate gift wrap folded neatly and tied in a bow. 
After unwrapping each ear of corn stripping it down to it’s barest form, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the LA street vendors selling their corn on a stick.  I’ve never been a fan of their corn slathered in mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese but the flavors of Mexico and corn go mano y mano.  Adobo is a combination of many spices, chilies, and vinegar used frequently in Mexican cooking.  My adobo has all the flavors I like, including cinnamon and cloves.  It’s an out of the ordinary combination but the deep layers of smoky flavors pair perfectly with grilled foods.  The roasted limes squeezed over the corn was my favorite part. I used it as a marinade for the chicken as well as quick seasoning for the corn.  The only thing missing was a margarita. 

1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoon ground California or New Mexico chili
1 Tablespoon Chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 cup white vinegar
Juice of 2-3 limes
2 Tablespoons olive oil

6 whole chicken legs
6 ears of corn
4 limes- cut in half
kosher salt

queso fresco

  • In a small bowl combine all ingredients- whisk to combine completely
  • Reserve 1/4 cup of marinade for vegetables and for brushing chicken on the grill
  • Rub marinade onto chicken and place in a Ziploc bag for  4-6 hours
  • Season chicken lightly with salt and grill on indirect heat for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through (keep an eye on it- dark meat with the skin on likes to catch on fire)
  • Brush corn and limes with desired amount of reserved marinade, season with kosher salt  and grill until tender
  • Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and queso fresco
10 comments… add one
  • 12th Man Training Table June 15, 2010, 11:40 am

    I grew up in the southeast, and had the mistaken impression that this is where all real produce comes from. After all, amongst the 13 original colonies, Georgia and it's neighbors were the ones who grew all of the food for the rest of the country. And I really believed that California was just taking advantage of its sunny weather by growing the things that really wanted to be grown in GA, FL, and SC.

    After moving to Colorado, I realized what I had been missing. And while I'm proud of my new home state, I also realize that the biggest thing we have going for us here is that we're close to California! I can walk around a CO farmer's market for hours … I'm afraid moving to CA would send me into some sort of sensory overload, kill me on the spot.

    Grilled limes, melon, avocado … things I never would have even considered just a few years ago, and now things that get my mouth watering just reading about it. BBQ sauce has it's place, but I'll take your lime adobo any day of the week.

  • Cooking with Kait June 15, 2010, 3:17 pm

    That is a delicious meal! I smell things at the farmer's market too and the corn was so good last week I could eat it raw. Thanks for sharing your adobo sauce with cinnamon and cloves.

  • Nicole June 15, 2010, 4:15 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing. We're totally on the same wavelength… I have some grilled corn with chili lime butter lined up for my blog. I'm bookmarking this, really want to give your
    Adobo a try!

  • The Teacher Cooks June 15, 2010, 4:38 pm

    What a delicious looking meal. Who would not want this corn and chicken. Drool.

  • Julie Church June 15, 2010, 6:55 pm

    Yum! The photos are awesome! I will definitely try some of this corn! Julie


  • Louise June 15, 2010, 7:06 pm

    Julie, thank you for the encouragement… I'm learning more and more about photography as I go. It's so much fun.

  • gibknitty June 16, 2010, 1:29 am

    The corn looks so amazing. The last time I had something like this was from a vendor in NYC at the Redhook Ball Fields in Brooklyn—but it was more like the mayo/cheese kind-blah! I will be sure to try your version, thanks for sharing it!

  • Nicole Schwartz June 16, 2010, 1:34 am

    Looks sooo good. Mouth open and ready to eat… I must look like my 7 month old. Please keep posting and thank you!!! I am actually applauding right now ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 12th Man Training Table June 16, 2010, 9:33 pm

    Just whipped up the adobo. Going to fire up the grill in about four hours. Smells amazing already!

  • Pretty. Good. Food. September 1, 2010, 9:30 pm

    This looks delicious! Your photographs are beautiful as well!
    I've recently launched my own blog, I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! ๐Ÿ™‚ http://www.prettygoodfood.com Thanks and Happy Cooking!

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