Don't Be Chicken-Barbecue Time
Let’s be honest. People are scared to do chicken barbecue. Why? Because most of the time it tastes as bland as a conversation with an actual chicken.
The easiest way to not cook bland chicken is to have beef. Or lamb. Or Pork. Hell, even tofu might be a better option. The problem isn’t that you haven’t found the right chicken recipe. It’s that you haven’t found the right barbecue chicken recipes!
Sure, you can think of chicken as a bland piece of meat, or you can think of it as a blank canvas just waiting for your creativity. Ok, that might be taking the analogy a bit far, but hey, it was still better than eating bland chicken.
There are some cardinal sins when it comes to cooking chicken on the barbecue, and we’re not talking about cooking it too long or keeping in “medium rare”. (Editor’s Note: Chicken is NEVER to be cooked rare or medium…it’s should always be cooked all the way through).
Here are some tips to make sure the next time you throw some chicken on the grill, it’s there to thrill, not to kill. Stop rolling your eyes at me, that totally works. Whatever.
Beat your meat!
And you should beat your chicken. ZING! Actually. Wait. Make sure it’s the cut up already butchered kind. I wouldn’t condone beating a live chicken. There are too many cooks that forget that chicken should not only be tenderized but that it should be pounded to be the same thickness. There’s not much worse than cutting into a chicken breast that’s charcoal on one side and still frozen on the other.
Get the meat mallet and bang that sucker into the same width. Then season it. Let the seasoning get into that pounded flesh and make it delish!
Chicken by itself is dry. Like if it was a comedian, it would be telling puns that no one got, kind of dry. Sure, there are ways to ensure that the meat stays moist, but one of easiest methods is just to serve it with a nice sauce. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t partial to a great BBQ sauce with chicken, but you can mix it up with a creamy pesto sauce, a tangy chili lime sauce, or even a garlic butter sauce. Just get saucy with that chicken.
Let it soak!
If you didn’t season chicken, and just grilled it as is, it would be a tastebud non-event. It would be like showing up to a car race with no gas in the car. Or wheels. Or a steering wheel. The best chicken has been marinated, brined, or liquid rubbed. A little oil, a few herbs, and a splash of citrus will bring your chicken alive. Not really. We don’t need zombie chickens in 2020, we already have enough going on.
Whatever bath you do make for your chicken, let it sit in it for a good long time. Overnight is the best for most recipes. Let it really sink in there. Treat it like you would want to be treated on spa day!
Give it a rest!
If you were roughly handled, beaten, dunked, tossed, coated, and roasted, you would want to rest. You would also be having the strangest day ever.
A well-cooked piece of meat needs to rest, and Chicken is no different. Meat is a muscle that tenses while cooking. Unless you want all that flavor you built up to me married to chewing on a tree branch, let the chicken rest!
There is nothing to fear with chicken, unless you don’t cook it all the way. Chicken done right is a great meal to be proud of. A little attention to the bird will give you the best results.