|Grilled Chicken Thighs with Lemon Glaze|
No, I haven't forgotten about you. I've been busy with some other matters lately so I haven't had time to prepare dishes that have been blog worthy, however this recipe is timely, especially if you're grilling chicken this Labor Day weekend. I prepared this for some friends a couple of weeks ago and had some positive feedback so I wanted to share it here.
Successfully grill chicken evenly.
The grilled chicken method was adapted from pages 439-440 and the lemon glaze was adapted from page 448 of America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook Third Edition: Cookware Rating Edition
2 quarts water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, breasts or drumsticks (I used thighs)
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 6 lemons)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1. Prepare your brine: Add the kosher salt and white sugar to the water and whisk to dissolve. Add the chicken pieces and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Remove the chicken from the brine and discard the brine. Dry the chicken pieces with a paper towel and season with freshly ground black pepper.
2. Cook the chicken: Preheat your grill and oil it if necessary. If using a charcoal grill, prepare it for indirect cooking. If using a gas grill, turn the burners down to medium-low. Grill the chicken pieces, skin side down, covered, (on the cooler side with the vents open, if using charcoal) for 20 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden. If the skin isn't crisp after 15 minutes, increase the heat to medium and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
3. Prepare the glaze: Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and thyme in a small bowl while the chicken cooks over low heat.
4. Finish the chicken: Remove the cover from the grill and increase the heat to medium-high, turn the chicken over and cook (turn and place the chicken over direct heat if using charcoal), uncovered, until the second side is browned and the thickest portion of the chicken has reached the proper temperature (160° Fahrenheit for breasts, 175° Fahrenheit for thighs and drumsticks) 5 to 15 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, baste the glaze on the chicken.
The strategy here is to grill the chicken over low heat in order to render the fat that is naturally in the chicken pieces to avoid flare-ups that can easily burn the skin, leaving raw chicken under it. After this has occurred, the chicken is cooked through to finish.
On a side note, I had the opportunity to meet several other food bloggers that live here in the San Francisco Bay Area recently at Cosecha Cafe in Oakland. In attendance was Rose of Magpie's Recipes, Joanne of Fifteen Spatulas, Gina of SP Cookie Queen, Dianne Jacob, author of Will Write for Food and Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas, and Patty of Patty's Food. Thanks to Joanne, who doesn't live in the area, but was in town visiting and organized the lunch.
I don't do restaurant reviews, but I ordered the pork belly tacos which were flavorful and well balanced in flavor.