Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Chicken? I Ain't Chicken! (Maybe I am)

Yes, kids, once again Yr Fthfl Blggr is back at the grill wreaking havoc. Or unleashing his cooking on an unsuspecting world.

Today we have some nice chicken breasts. Turns out these are Big Honkin Chicken breasts. They are really large, huge even.



What I'm-a-gonna do is grill em.

You will pardon me if I start referring to Our Victims here as "shicken." Dat is cause dat de way de late great Justin ("Joostan") Wilson would call dem "shicken" cause he got a Leesiana accent.

So we take our BBQ rub which we made and put it on ze shickens. The rub is the 'basic' one and is in virtually every Steven Reichlen book known to humankind. I make a batch periodically and put it in a jar so it's there whenever I need it.

And I need it NOW!

One helpful health hint: to avoid dying of salmonella poisoning, you'll see I put de rub in a bowl and take it from there, rather than take it from the jar with my now-contaminated-with-touching-the-raw-shicken hands.

Next we make a far. We make it hot, choo can see from de flames here it's almost ready to go.

Hokay, here come de mini-soapbox. If you gonna use a charcoal far, and I hope you does gonna do dat, choo wanna use a charcoal chimney like dis to get de coals started. I personally avoid starter fluid or chemical starters like the plague. I grill like this because of the taste, and I don't wanna taste petroleum in my shickens, dig?

My neighbor grills a fair amount, and he uses those starter products to get his coals going. You can smell it a block away. He usually cooks "Hot Dogs a la Petrol." No thanks.

After the coals are going, dump 'em in de grill. Put 'em on on either side, and put a drip pan or pans in the middle. I wound up with 2 pans because they were a bit small. The chicken will give off a fair amount of fat when it cooks, and if the fat were to get on the hot coals, it would make a smoky mess.

This way we'll have an indirect heat source for the main cooking, and a way to catch the chicken fat.

Next up, ve put ze grill grate on and let it sit - five minutes will do it. Use your grill brush to give it a quick cleaning.

Then I use a paper towel folded to make a pad dipped in vegetable oil and held in tongs to oil the grill. This will help in making grill marks (as we did on the steak) and it will also make the grate clean up much easier later.

Now ve put ze shickens skin side down right over the hot coals. We're going to brown them nicely then move them to the center to indirect cook.

Your browing time will vary - but if your coals are hot, it won't take more than 5 minutes, so watch the shickens closely. You don't want to let them burn - and they will brown fast. You'll also find that the fat from the skin will begin to drip off into the fire and may cause it to flame up. If that happens, just move the pieces elsewhere on the grill to prevent them from burning.

After the breasts are browned, turn them over, rib side down, and line them up in the center of the grill. Since these were so big, it's a close fit for 6 breasts.

You could also set up your grill with all the coals one one side and the 'indirect' area on the other - the main thing is to have a 'hot' side and a 'cool' side. My grill is an 18" Weber and this arrangement tends to work best for me.

When I get me one a dem big Texas smokers, I won't be so pressed for space.


After the chickens are in the middle, cover the grill. I usually close the vent holes to about 1/2 or 2/3 of the way. What we're trying to do is control the airflow so the coals will cool down a bit.

Essentially what we've done is brown the chicken breasts over the high heat to get some grill flavor, and now we're 'baking' them till they're done.

Simple, yes? So simple even Yr Fthfl Blggr can do it!

Your cooking time will vary, but usually I figure on 30-45 minutes. I started checking them at about 25 minutes or so. You'll want to cook them to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F for breasts, and 180 degrees for thighs and drums.

These are Lookin Purty Good at this point.

I strongly recommend an instant-read thermometer (less than $10) but you can also stick a knife in them and touch it to your mouth - if it's hot, they're done!

For the Piece Of Resistance, I'm gonna grill some potatoes at the end of the chickens' cooking time. I already boiled them till they were fork-tender and now we'll stick 'em over the hot heat and get a little grill action on them, yes?

With the cover removed, the coals will heat up a bit and give us a higher heat with which to brown the potatoes.

You can cook potatoes from raw on a grill but you need to do it indirectly. If you put them over direct heat, the outsides will be burned and the insides will be raw. Not too appetizing.

While the potatoes are cooking, I brush some barbecue sauce on the shickens' skin side, then flip em for a couple minutes. While the skin side is down to 'sizzle' the sauce, brush the other side and then flip back to the bone side down. You need to put your sauce on at the end and just cook it a little - otherwise the sugars in the sauce will burn and taste bad.

Hokay, now we ready to eat!


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