There are two ways to cook chicken on the grill…Theres the easy way, and then my way.
We used a whole chicken cut up in to pieces, the problem with this is that they all have different cooking times. Breasts the longest, then thighs and back, after that drumsticks, and finally your wings. You have to stagger the times at which you put them on the grill or you could just by a package of all breasts or thighs or whatever and make it easy.
Before you even start soak your hickory wood chips in some water. No water pan, no chip box? No problem today, we threw them b*tches right in with the coals this time.
Ok, now give your birdy a little massage. Rub her down real good!
The ingredients look a-ok
I used Pork Barrel BBQ rub because I am lazy, feel free to copy my idea or just sprinkle them with some salt, pepper, and garlic. Before you start handling the chicken be sure to put your spice rub in a separate bowl.
It can get pretty disgusting and you don’t want to go around contaminating all of your spices. If your hands aren’t getting nasty then I don’t think you are doing it right. After you finish the rub put your bird in a bag and put him in the fridge. I put my bird-bag in a bowl too because I didn’t want it leaking all over my fridge.
I’ll wait while you wash your hands….
Ok…this sauce effing rocks! Even if you don’t own a grill you should make this sauce. I am thinking of stirring it into my coffee in the morning, I love it that much
- 4TB tomato paste: I found the stuff in a jar because its resealable and ya know, that nasty BPA s*hit
- 2TB olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 an onion
- 1TB molasses
- Heaping teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 t coarse ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 t paprika
- 1 small apple
- 1 dried ancho
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 t salt
- 2 TB liquid smoke
Do you have all that crap? If not…then just go to the store, those are all staples in any BBQ house. We will start by cutting up your dried ancho(scissors work best here) and pouring you 1/2 cup water over it. Let that soak while you chop up your apple, then throw the apple and the ancho + water in a small saucepan to simmer until soft and tender. Chop up the onion and garlic and add those in too, everything will be soft and tender in about 10-12 minutes. This doesn’t need to be pretty, you’re going to puree the whole thing anyways.
While that is simmering, you can start building your sauce because you are going to be doing a whole lot of measuring.
When you are pureeing your apple mixture it is ok to leave some very small chunks in there, but you want to make a fairly smooth sauce. Stir that in with all of the other ingredients, except for the smoke, in a sauce pan and bring to a boil-ish state. Sauce doesn’t really boil but you will see when big splatter-y bubbles form, I actually recommend doing this part naked, since chances are a splatter will ruin your shirt. Once it is good and hot go on and reduce the heat down to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Then you are pretty much done. Add in the liquid smoke at the end of the cooking, stir it in while it is cooling down so as not to damage the flavor too much and get back to your chicken. Mine yielded two cups of sauce, which was plenty for the dinner with a little leftover for later!
If you made your sauce naked as-per my instruction you should probably put your clothes back on before you fire up the grill, I can think of a few places I really wouldn’t want hot ash landing. When I say fire up your grill, you should know the routine by now; charcoal chimney, dual zone fire, blah blah blah. Throw your wood chips on when it is nice and toasty to get that smoke going.
Put your bird over the hot direct heat first until it gets a nice sear on the outside. This not only gives you amazing skin, but it also seals in the juices. When it looks good move it to the indirect side. After your meat is on the indirect side, brush with the sauce and let the heat caramelize it.
The pan is for collecting the juices so we can bathe in them later
Chicken is one of those meats I just don’t really trust when it comes to “eyeballing it” or going by time. I can poke a steak and tell you how done it is, but I just don’t trust chickens…they’re shifty creatures. We used our instant read thermometer to periodically check the temperature. Funny story, I fed someone raw chicken once because my 13 pound bird wasnt cooked all the way through. The standard is 16-165 for light meat and 170-175 for dark, you can check by sticking the thermometer into the deepest part of the meat without touching the bone. Our chicken had pretty big t*ts so you can imagine those took a long time. In fact, this could take up to an hour depending on the heat of your coals and the size of your bird so I hope you don’t have any time-sensitive plans. If you wanted quick and easy chicken you could just go to KFC and grab a Double Down.
I really hope I don’t have to explain common sense, but I feel compelled to (just in case). Please just leave your grill alone for a while and let that sh*t cook.. If your internal temp is like 75F, just put the lid on and walk away for, like, a half hour. Humans like to meddle, sometimes we need to learn to sit back and let nature take over, or in this case the grill. All you need to do is flip it once or twice and brush your meat with a bit of sauce every now and then and leave it alone. If you keep poking holes in your meat to check the temp you will let all the the juices run out.
After I pulled it off the grill I brushed it with sauce one more time and tried to let it cool for a while before eating.
Derek couldn’t even wait long enough to take his head lamp off, let alone wait for it to cool. I must say though, a head lamp is a useful tool for night-time grilling.