Monday, August 8, 2011

Grilled Chicken

Nothing like a little non work multi-tasking over the weekend aka manning the grill with some delicious brews. The wife came back from Turkey and brought back some delicious spices (earthy and bright), so I figured why not cut up some chicken and grill up some veggies. Something about manning a grill and cooking multiple items at once that is so satisfying. Also, these spices are so eff'n awesome, that I definitely need to make me some kebabs soon.

Some quick chicken cooking tips:
1) Brining - it makes a big difference when cooking breast meat. A good 2 hour soak in some salted water and thyme makes a huge difference - the thyme flavor actually permeates the meat completely and it'll ensure you have a juicy piece of chicken.
2) Clean and oil your grates - your chicken will not stick to the grates and it'll help get you some nice grill marks. Rubbing the grates with a paper towel dipped in canola oil will do the trick.
3) Medium Low Heat - a great heat to cook chicken. It'll give you plenty of time to crisp up the skin while ensuring the chicken gets fully cooked. It'll also give you a cushion if you're entertaining guests or prepping another dish. Cooking over medium or high heat and you have to be 100% focused on the bird otherwise it'll be blackened and nasty in no time.
4) Two zone cooking. Another way to ensure your chicken doesn't overcook or get too blackened. After getting the chicken nice and crispy on both sides over medium low heat, put the chicken on the part of the grill with no heat and cover. It'll minimize the chances of overcooking.
5) Rest the meat for 7-10 minutes. If you cut into it right away, you'll have some leathery chicken - no bueno.
6) Finish with some lemon zest - a nice way to brighten up the dish and makes you want to eat more. You can also top the chicken with olive oil and lemon juice, but make sure you do this right away before serving otherwise the skin you worked so hard to make crispy will be flabby.

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