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ISO: IMpressive, yet idiot-proofed, r...

sysop_'s picture

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ok y'all, here's your chance to exact some revenge on me for taking away your discussion for nigh an entire fortnight.

I used the interim to purchase, and experiment on, a kettle grill, and whilst i feel i'm beginning to understand the intricacies of grilling steak over hardwood (mostly involves buying really good meat, using a subtle spice rub and oil, and not mucking around with the fire too much), i know nothing of how to bbq / grill chicken. any ideas, recipes, wisdom, or surreptitiously funny tricks you can tell me?

hurry, i want to start cooking before the negative reviews of < Obsolete Link > phantom menace reach critical mass and i find myself catatonically depressed (tho i ahd a really bad feeling all along about < Obsolete Link > jar jar).

thanks!

sean.

Carolina's picture

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Sean:
I'm too lazy to stand over a grill for the lenght of time it takes to cook chicken, much less try to remember all that stuff about indirect/direct heat, so I cheat. I bake the chicken in the oven first until it's almost done, then slap it on the preheated grill to finish it up.

This way I know the chicken is throughly cooked and we won't come down with beri-beri or whatever. Also, the chicken stays moist and juicey, but still has that great charcoal-cooked flavor.

Tip: When using a sauce containing sugar, such as Texas-style BBQ sauce, wait until the last few minutes of grilling time before you slather it on.
Otherwise, all you'll get is a mouth full of cinders with that first bite of chicken.

Sandra_'s picture

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Sean, if you have the time and inclination, check out some of the discussions about brining, first. The turkey brining recipe in FC -- issue 24, I think -- gives all the basic info. Play around with the flavouring agents,(I tried star anise, Chinese 5 Star seasoning, and fennel -- result was, IMNSHO, spectacular) then brine the chickie for a few hours (four or five, maybe) then cook it slowly over indirect heat.

If that's too much like work, just nuke the sucker until it's about 2/3 done, then slap it over the coals, slather on some barbecue sauce or whatever, and finish it off. May the Force be with you!

Smittyroo_'s picture

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Sean, OK here is one way among hundreds..place 25 charcoal briquets on either side of the lower grate.Place a small aluminum pan in the middle of the rack, not directly over the coals. wood chips can be added through the handles of the meat grate.Put wine, beer or apple juice in pan,I like to use apple juice in a spray bottle to baste while the chicken is cooking seems to keep it from drying out.Use a chimney charcoal starter to start charcoal and when adding more charcoal to the grill. use a long handled pair of tongs to handle hot coals and oven mits when handling the meat...go here and get some chicken rub. http://www.charcrust.com/ use it and enjoy your chicken. Smitty

aussiechef's picture

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All these will give you great chicken. Couple more tips for beginner grillers: Cut the chicken up first. Chicken breasts take shorter time than you think to cook and chicken legs/thighs take longer. Don't bother marinading, just brush with lemon juice on skin while cooking.

Chiffonade_'s picture

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Hey Bud...Hope you enjoy your grilling experience. While most people advise not
i undercooking
chicken, I will also advise not
i overcooking
it. My dad, great cook that he is, unfortunately is riddled with paranoia when it comes to undercooked meat and tends to lean toward the other extreme. If there is any
i trace
of juice left in the chicken, he calls it raw. I disagree.

Par cooking chicken will cut grilling time for you but it is not absolutely necessary. Grill chicken parts over medium heat (keeping in mind breasts cook quicker than leg/thigh) until nearly done, then brush with sauce. Or alternatively, use a dry rub at the very beginning of the process (before putting it in the oven if you choose to pre-cook it).

b HINT:
When in doubt, try this to test for doneness. With your tongs, gently squeeze a piece of chicken. If the juice runs clear, it is done.

Given you mention a kettle grill, I suggest you get one of those light-the-coal gizmos that looks like a huge tube. It will evenly light all your coals so you don't have one or two spots of hot coals and the rest unlit.

Here are a few ideas for food...

Get a
i Kielbasa,
slice on the bias, quickly grill and serve with mustard(s) and toothpicks. This will keep your guests busy while you ready the rest of the food.

c (*) (*) (*)

My S.O. Loooooves this...It's fool proof and quick...

c Sesame Chicken

c 1 package Boneless Chicken Breasts, sliced thin
c 2 Cups Terriyaki Sauce
c Appx. 2/3 cup Honey
c 2 Tbsp. Oriental Toasted Sesame Oil
c 1/2 tsp. 5 Spice Powder

c Garnish with sesame seeds

Whisk all marinade ingredients thoroughly. Taste mixture. If too sweet for you, add more Terriyaki. If not sweet enough for you, add honey. Slip chicken breast slices into marinade and place in refrigerator 2 hours or overnight. (I find it helpful to put everything in a ziplock bag and squish it around a little to distribute everything.)

Grill over med-high heat till opaque, between 5-8 minutes per side. Chicken will be rigid when lifted with tongs. Set on a platter and garnish with Sesame Seeds.

c (*) (*) (*)

c Sausage or Hot Dog Onions

c 4-5 Medium Onions
c Dash Red Wine Vinegar
c 12 Oz. Tomato Sauce
c 1/2 t. Oregano
c 2 to 3 Tablespoons Oil (can be corn, olive, veg)
c S&P to taste

Slice onions and saute in oil until shreds of onion come loose (about 5-6 minutes). Add tomato, vinegar and oregano and simmer until onions are soft about 10-15 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adjust with S&P if needed.

c (*) (*) (*)

This is really quick and involves almost no work...

c Antipasto Pasta Salad

c 1 Jar Italian Roasted Peppers (reserve juices)
c 1 Cup Calamata Olives, pitted and halved
c 2 Jars Marinated Artichoke Hearts (reserve juices)
c 1 Lg. Jar Marinated Mushrooms (reserve juices)
c 1 lb. Multi-colored or Flavored Short Pasta of your choice, Boiled, Drained & rinsed in cold water to refresh
c 1/2 t. Oregano
c 1/2 t. Basil

The peppers may have to be torn or cut into one inch pieces. Halve the artichoke hearts. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl with the reserved juices and the oregano and basil. Refrigerate.

c (*) (*) (*)

Grilled veggies are a hit too...I used to make really big platters of them. I think with all the feedback you have gotten, you have great ideas at your disposal. Let me know if you want any veggie tips.

Big_Daddy's picture

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I use the same approach as Smitty. But only up to the point of preparing the meat. While I use rubs on pork, or if I'm smoking a whole bird, I prefer to marinade my chicken pieces. Use the marinade below. A few hours before grilling pierce the meat in several places with a fork and then cover with the marinade. The vinegar and mustard will work their wonders and you'll end up with tasty, juicy chicken.

Withe the indirect method Smitty describes I find the chicken will need 1 to 1-1/4 hours in a closed kettle (turning every 15-20 minutes). If you plan on using a finishing sauce, put it on for the last 15 minutes to allow time for it to bake on.

Cheers,
BD

Carolina Style Marinade and Mopping Sauce

2 C water
1 C white vinegar
1 C cider vinegar
½ C prepared yellow mustard
¼ C lemon juice
1 T liquid smoke (hickory flavoring)
1 t Worcester sauce
1 T dried onion flakes
1 t dried mustard
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
½ t cayenne (optional)
1 t celery salt
1 t mild chili powder