Grilled chicken recipes and more
Everyone has had the proverbial “Rubber Chicken”. Or the joke that everything tastes like chicken. Well, let’s break that paradigm right now. The following grilled chicken recipes will take you on a tour of different flavors, styles and cuisines. A great chicken dish really hits home, we traditionally have chicken on Sundays, not sure how that happened. But I really look forward to those dinners. So, check out some of our recipes and enjoy!
Buying the bird:
For starters, a great meal starts with great product, in this case great chickens. These days in many areas there are a whole bunch of choices in the bird department. Free range chickens, organic chickens, big chickens, little chickens, white chicken, black chickens. What to choose?
Free range chickens are raised outside of pens or cages, running around the farm. "Happy chickens taste good" is the theory here. This can be one of the better tasting chickens. One great example of this would be the brand “Rocky the Range Chicken”. These are raised by “Petaluma Poultry Company" in Northern California. Great product if you are willing to fork out a couple of extra bucks.
Organic Chickens are raised without the use of antibiotics and are fed a diet of all organic and natural foods. They are also required to have access to the outdoors as well, though not necessarily as freely as your free range bird. The Petaluma Poultry Company's organic bird is Rosie the Organic Range Chicken.
Kosher Chickens are handled a bit differently. They are hand processed rather than by machine, which makes for a cleaner chicken. A kosher chicken is also processed by being packed in salt for an hour and then rinsed. This is the Koshering process used to remove impurities. Almost akin to brining, it does improve the flavor but without the issues of “pumped” chicken.
Frozen vs. Fresh:
Fresh is better, period. However, convenience does count. One way to improve your results is to defrost the chicken slowly in the refrigerator the night before. But, realistically, the great thing about these is that you can pull them out and chuck’em in some water to defrost quickly. If you watch your cooking times they come out okay. Many of these are already “pumped” with saline to reduce the dryness affect. We are not really fans of this, but given the option of the dreaded B.F. Goodrich Bird or pumped, we will take the pumped bird in a pinch. We would rather brine the birds ourselves with cool stuff, not just saline. I have never had an acceptable cooked-from-frozen piece of chicken, unless it was something totally processed and breaded. These are not good enough for my grill or for the following grilled chicken recipes.
Lets talk about the size you want...
For grilling the best sized birds are five pounds or less, if you are doing half chickens or bone in. Game Hens are okay. I think that they are best for stuffing and roasting personally, but that they are not robust enough for the grill.
So you want to know what cut and how that works...
Bone-in chicken breasts hold their moisture a bit better than boneless but are somewhat harder to handle on the grill. Indirect grilling is the key here as with whole bone-in.
Boneless chicken breasts are great for grilling, with close to uniform thickness. You just have to be careful not to overcook them or they will become dry and tough. They do take attention while on the grill. Although hard to find these days, I like them skin on. They do not dry out as much on the grill, plus I like the skin. But not everyone does, so it is your choice in that regard.
Bone-in chicken thighs are great on the grill as long as you like dark meat. These are great for a crowd since it is pretty hard to overcook these unless you turn them to cinders.
Boneless chicken thighs are also great on the grill. Great for brochettes, kabobs, satays and just by themselves.
Chicken Wings, what great messy fun! I like my wings spicy. Check out the Sriracha Chicken Wings. Not for the faint of heart! Also check out my Jerked Chicken Wings. Have your ice chest close by, because you will want some cold beverages.
This recipe is featured in the CNN website! Check it out:
Important message... Safe poultry guidelines:
According to the U.S.D.A. chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees. They have raised that in recent years from the 160 degrees that was previously recommended. They have raised the recommended temperature primarily due to people with weakened immune systems and panic regarding bird flu.
Most chicken is cooked primarily with indirect heat. Usually, I put on my grill marks and then move the chicken to a nice hot indirect spot.
Great grilled chicken recipes coming right up! Hope you might think about looking around and trying some.
Looking for a Great Holiday Dinner?
Some grilled chicken recipes to try: