Spicy grilled chicken is one of our families favorite dishes. The basic recipe provided below will work with a number of different spice pastes. I tried two last night (posted today) and plan to try more over the summer. The basic recipe is adapted from Cook's Illustrated (one of my favorite magazines). I brine the chicken for a short time, which seasons and firms up the texture of the meat, thus removing the need to marinate it. I then rub on a spicy paste. The result I think is tastier than any marinated chicken I've eater. I then sear the chicken over a medium-hot grill and then turn the grill to medium-low to finish the cooking. If you're using charcoal, you could cook over a direct flame initially, then move to indirect. This is nice because while I have to watch the flame a little for the first 6 minutes, I don't have to worry about it for the remainder of the cook time. And the chicken comes out as juicy and delicious as any other method I've tried. If you're in a rush, you can skip the brining. But the improvement in flavor is definitely worth the time if you have it.
- For Brine:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup salt
- 8-10 chicken legs or thighs (or a mix of both)
- Freshly ground pepper
- For Cilantro Spice paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
- tablespoon orange juice
- tablespoon pineapple juice
- tablespoon lime juice
- tablespoon olive oil
- teaspoon ground cumin
- teaspoon chili powder
- teaspoon paprika
- teaspoon ground coriander
- I small garlic clove
- 2 dashes hot sauce
- Dissolve sugar and salt in 2 quarts of cold water in large bowl or other container. Submerge chicken pieces in brine, cover, and leave for 30 minutes to l hour. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle chicken pieces liberally with freshly ground pepper.
- Combine all of the spice paste ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until liquified.
- Rub each piece of chicken with the spice paste, using your fingers to apply the paste under the chicken skin as well as on it. All exposed parts of the chicken should be covered.
- While the chicken is brining, turn all burners on your gas grill to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 5-10 minutes. Turn all burners to
- medium-high and clean and oil cooking grate.
- Place the chicken pieces on the grill skin side down. Cook covered for 5-6 minutes, flipping halfway through, until well browned on both
- sides. If flaring occurs, move chicken pieces around to reduce burning. Lower all burners to medium low and cook covered for another 18-20 minutes, turning pieces occasionally. If there is any leftover spice paste, apply it with a brush or spatula during cooking.
- Pieces are generally of different size, so I typically start moving the smallest pieces to the cooler part of the grill about half way through, or I take them off a few minutes early so they don't get dry.
- We generally serve spicy grilled chicken with a mix of brown and white japanese rice, and a stir fried vegetable or green salad. Enjoy!
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 197g|
|Recipe makes 5 servings|
|Calories from Fat 172||48%|
|Total Fat 19.1g||24%|
|Saturated Fat 4.94g||20%|
|Trans Fat 0.15g|
|Total Carbs 22.18g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.6g||2%|