With major holidays in Canada (July 1) and the US (July 4) coming up soon, I thought I’d share a few tips on working with chicken on the grill. These are from my experiences and though I don’t claim to be an expert… I do have guests licking their fingers when they’ve had the opportunity to experience my artistry on an open flame. My absolute favourite meat besides a good NY Strip steak to cook on the grill is chicken. But not just any old piece of chicken, it must be leg quarters. I love the flavour of dark meat, plus it stands up best to the high-direct heat of grilling.
To make breast quarters grill more quickly and evenly, cut through the wing joint to break it and bring the wing closer to the grill. If you’re cooking dark meat like leg quarters, pierce the thick parts a few times with a pairing knife. I usually go in near the joints. Here’s a pic of some leg quarters brushed with sticky honey-garlic sauce.
If you’re dieting and want to remove the chicken’s skin, do so after cooking, not before. Without some kind of covering, the chicken will dry out and toughen before it finishes cooking.
Turn chicken frequently, about every 5 minutes to insure even doneness and to prevent blistering.
If flare-ups occur, remove the food for a few moments and sprinkle water lightly over the flames, or smother them by covering the grill.
Cook white-meat poultry until juices run clear and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 170 to 175F and dark meat to 180 to 185F on a meat thermometer.
Grill whole birds and larger parts using the indirect method in a covered grill. Place a drip pan beneath the bird; the pan should be slightly larger than the bird. Fill the pan halfway with water or you’ll find that the drippings or grease will flare up as well. Keep adding water as needed so the pan is never dry.
Chicken should be well-done. If you don’t want to take the usual time it takes, cook your chicken partially by steaming it on low heat on a stove top or (I can’t believe I’m saying this) microwave.
Purchase one of those metal BBQ sauce cups so you can place the BBQ sauce you’ll be using to heat while the chicken is cooking. Never take bottled BBQ sauces from the fridge and brush directly onto your grilled meats and vegetables. I place my sauce cup on top of the BBQ while I cook. the heat is very low, so the sauces gets to slow heat and be ready for basting when the time arrives.
The final product… had to add some chicken flavoured rice and a wonderful Greek salad.
Leave me a comment below if you have any questions or would like to contribute further to this post.