April 13, 2011
It was time to try the Mak 2 Star as a grill rather than a smoker. It hit 60 degrees today and was almost sunny so I thought I’d go for summer style dinner. Grilled chicken with cole slaw and yams on the side (more on the yams later).
I tried a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated last summer on my charcoal grill, so thought I’d try a proven recipe. My version of the recipe is here. The recipe is for a gas grill; they also have a version for a charcoal grill so I had to adjust a few things for the pellet burner. I overshot the target temp for the thigh, but it ended up pretty tasty anyway. My full cooking log can be found here.
This is a Cook’s Illustrated recipe; so we know it’s going to be a little more involved than tossing a chicken on the grill. First we simmer 8 cloves of minced garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, and thyme in some olive oil.
After 3 or 4 minutes we separate the oil from the solids. That oil is liquid gold; we’ll use it later.
The chicken is butterflied with the rub going under the skin. We salt and pepper the underside of the chicken and slap it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to let things meld.
Wrap a couple of bricks; normal, Lowes, Home Depot, style bricks in aluminum foil and place in the cooker. Set the temp to high and let things come up to temp.
The chicken starts skin side down on the cool side of the grill with the legs pointed to the heat; we want the thighs to get hotter than the breasts. It’s hidden under the bricks here, but it’s under there, really. The bricks pressing down on the grill help the skin get nice and crispy; and since they are hot, they help cook the top side.
About 20 minutes later, I flip the chicken skin side up and put on the hot side. Bricks will go back on right after the photo is taken.
After 15 more minutes, the bricks come off and the chicken is flipped skin side down for the final crisping. Not too much worry about flame up at this point. I flip it back over to take its temp. It ended up a bit higher than I wanted; but it didn’t dry out.
Tented under foil for 10 minutes then carved and served.
[August 2014. I found this picture and edited it to get rid of that horrid clipping of the white cutting board]
Italian style grilled chicken half
While the chicken was resting I added 2 Tablespoons of the lemon juice from the zested lemon along with a bit more thyme and rosemary. Drizzle that over the chicken and you’ve got some good eats.
I meant to buy a yam, but looks like I got a sweet potato instead. I like yams better and the color of a sweet potato is not real pleasing. The cole slaw is interesting. It also comes from Cook’s Illustrated. The vinaigrette is put together and placed in the freezer for 30 minutes. In the meantime, the cabbage is microwaved for 2 minutes with some salt and sugar. The cold vinaigrette then restores it to room temperature.
Both recipes are 4 stars. Nice summer-style dinner even if it barely hit 60 today.