by Prof. Steve Holzinger
There are a couple of chickens out on the grill now, slow finishing, while I write. My family loves barbeque chicken, so I make it often. No doubt you do too. An extra chicken is on the grill, as always. Cold grilled chicken is as good as hot, and doing an extra one is a big time saver. All you need for the extra meal is a salad, and corn on the cob. The secret of barbequeing chicken is not to rush it, slow cooking.
Many people use too much coal, and far too much charcoal lighter. When I use charcoal, I use a # 10 can with the bottom cut out and holes punched along the bottom rim with a can opener, stuffed with two pages from the help wanted section (I'm retired) of the New York Times, and the charcoal on top of that. One match and no smelly dangerous benzine does the job. When the coals, only one layer deep, are covered with a grey ash is when they are ready. You can find more about this in the eGGsalad Archive, The Great American Steak, Part II.
I use a two burner propane grill, which I preheat on high heat for five minutes. I start the chickens skin side down, to grill mark them, and then do most of the cooking at medium heat on the underside of the bird. I paint them with any remaining marinade to cook on the flavor. My grill has a top shelf as well, so that when they are well colored by the grill, I can move them to the shelf and put the cover down to roast them to finish. This final stage is when I apply any wet or sweet sauce, and let it dry glaze on. This is also when I do things like a mustard crust. I paint the almost done chicken with a mixture of mustards, and sprinkle with a light gratin of buttered crumbs, and let the crumbs toast to form the crust. I try not to pierce the meat in the thick parts, and use a spatula and the back of my fork to turn them. I do pierce the leg where it joins the thigh (in the armpit, so to speak) to test for doneness. When the juices run clear, it is done. The final slow cooking keeps the birds very juicy, but it is hard to give a time, as broilers are very different, so you need to test for doneness. Also remember that the smaller the bird, the hotter the fire. A two pound broiler, or a cornish hen split for broiling can take a hotter fire and stay juicy. A larger bird needs a slower fire so the inside gets done before the outside burns. This lesson on Grilling Chicken continues with...
© 1997, Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.
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