Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brining creates juicy, delicious
chicken perfect for a family barbecue

Although I hate to point readers to recipes that they can’t immediately see without obtaining a log-in and password for the website, this is one of the times I’ve got to do it.
   Other than on the Cook's Illustrated website, I was unable to find Barbecued Chicken Parts on a Charcoal (or Gas) Grill (click for the recipe) anywhere online.
   But it’s such an amazingly delicious recipe, you may want to entertain the idea of signing up for the free trial if you don’t already have a website log-in and password.
   You can also find the recipe in the Cook’s Illustrated 2011 Summer Entertaining special issue, on newsstands now.
   This is an outstanding grilling recipe that's perfect for a summertime backyard barbecue. The juicy chicken will please everyone, even young ones and picky eaters.
   Serve it with a couple of summer salads, and you’ve got the makings of a family-and-friends get-together to remember.
   My husband absolutely loved the chicken. He was silent when eating it (although he’s not a big talker to begin with), picking up the pieces and eating the flesh off right to the bone.
   The recipe is surprisingly easy to make, too. The most effort comes in the grilling itself.
   Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and breasts and skin-on chicken legs are the chicken parts in the recipe. My husband and I gave the chicken thighs a whirl and were very pleased with the results.
   Barbecue sauce is called for in the recipe, to slather on the chicken and serve alongside. We used America’s Test Kitchen’s preferred brand of barbecue sauce, Bull’s-Eye Bold Original, and it worked very well.
   However, we had no desire to have more sauce with the chicken after it was grilled and served – it was juicy and flavorful enough on its own.
   The recipe I linked to is the charcoal grill version, but the website also offers a gas grill version.
   The recipe makes enough for eight people, so be sure to dial down the ingredient amounts if you’re making it for fewer people. The recipe also has slightly different directions for how to grill the thighs, legs and breasts.
   Sugar and salt are dissolved in cold water in gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag(s), and chicken parts are put inside. The bag(s) are refrigerated until chicken is fully seasoned, about 1 ½ hours. (Although the recipe doesn’t say to do this, I put the bag on its side in the fridge, and turned it after 45 minutes).
   The chicken is removed from the brine, rinsed well, dried, and seasoned with pepper.
   The parts are grilled according to the recipe’s directions, with barbecue sauce being brushed on liberally during the final two minutes of cooking.

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