Roasted Chicken Legs with Plum Chili Salsa

4-8 servings

I usually marinate the meat overnight. This marinade is light, lively, and flavorful. It is also seasonal, but if you despair of going a whole year without, I have frozen the marinade for use in the dead of winter with good success. The chicken can be served hot or cold, depending on the occasion. I have also used this with marinade with a pork tenderloin and it was outstanding. Although the recipe calls for oven roasting, I have always cooked this on the outdoor grill (just watch out for bees--they like plums too, but they don't like smoke -- so throw a few bits of mild wood on the coals).

For the Marinade

Make the marinade:

In a food processor, puree the plums, the garlic paste, the oil, the soy sauce, the orange juice, the vinegar, the sugar, the jalapeno, the gingerroot, the mustard, and black pepper to taste until the mixture is smooth.

In a large saucepan bring the marinade to a boil, simmer it, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until it is reduced to about 2 cups, and let it cool.

In a large shallow dish arrange the chicken, pricked in several places with a fork, in one layer, pour the marinade over it, reserving 1/4 cup for the salsa, and let the chicken marinate, covered and chilled, turning it once, for at least 1 hour or, preferably, overnight.

Transfer the chicken to an oiled rack set over a foil-lined roasting pan, spoon the marinade over it, and roast the chicken in the upper third of a preheated 450 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is cooked through.

For the Salsa

Make the salsa:

While the chicken cooks... In a bowl stir together the plums, the onion, the coriander, the mint, the jalapeno, the lime juice, the sugar, some of the reserved marinade to taste, salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the chicken on a heated platter, garnish it with the plum wedges, the lime wedges and the mint leaves, and serve it hot or at room temperature with the salsa