Looking north from Fire Island

Looking north from Fire Island
Continuing the cooking articles I write every summer

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Better Chicken Than The Kernel's

Most cooks like to put flavor on their chicken, but this technique puts it in the meat where it belongs. Throw out those injector syringes; they’re useless. I made some beautiful grilled chicken last night. It was juicy, tender, and flavorful throughout, not just the outside. Read on.

Since the chicken parts were large, I cut them in half. The thighs across the bone, which needed a cleaver and a mallet. Skinned them too. The breasts were cut in half but skin left on, bones on. Don’t ever bother with skinned and boned chicken. Always cook the meat on the bone for real chicken taste.

The small pieces gave better, faster, more even cooking, more grill flavor on the outside, and were easy to eat with the hands. Careful watching, rotation, and cooking only to the point of just done. Remember meat continues to cook after you take it off the fire.

Then I did two things. I salted the meat using kosher salt, letting it sit for a few hours in the fridge. Sprinkled generously but not buried in salt. Then I marinated it with crushed garlic, oil, and ground black pepper.

Brought up to room temperature, and ready for the grill, it got more oil, and a shower of ground black pepper, and allspice 4:1 . Also a shake of Adobo seasoning. The grill was on low instead of high, letting the meat take its time. Nasty flare ups were at a minimum thanks to the lower fire.

My crappy grill has cool and hot spots. The meat had to be moved around almost constantly. When I saw April grill like that and taste the results, I was sold.

The salt marinade gave the inside of the meat a wonderful, rich flavor. PS, it’s how kosher chicken tastes.

Forgot to mention this is much better the next day, perfect for picnics, etc; don’t try to eat it with utensils. Hands rule here.


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