Barbequing and grilling succulent chicken is an art, but there are plenty of tips to help you on your way to BBQ chicken nirvana. As well as the quality of meat think about getting every stage right in the preparation process too. The possibilities for use of BBQ chicken are endless too when done correctly. Scatter shredded chicken over a fresh pizza, accompany a fresh and healthy salad, slice and create your own sandwiches or start your own tradition:
It’s all in the Marinade
Allow the meat to soak up all the tasty marinade well in advance from the cooking time. The quality of ingredients in the marinade is also key, and a high fat content is something often missed. Fat keeps the chicken moist, coated and stops it from drying out. Here’s a great recipe for putting together your own quick spicy marinade. We call it the ‘London Marinade’:
- 3 tablespoons of tomato ketchup;
- 3 tablespoons of honey;
- 2 tablespoons of chilli sauce;
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil;
- 1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce;
- 1 tsp of paprika;
- 1 tsp of sesame seeds.
This will create the perfect sticky marinade for chicken that should be left to coat the raw meat for at least 8 hours in the fridge. Just mix the ingredients together and smother them over the meat liberally so everything is covered.
Choose Your Cuts Carefully
Choosing the right piece of chicken is important, and certain cuts will dry out easily. As a rule of thumb – any part of the chicken that is attached to the bone is likely to stay nice and moist. Legs, wings and thighs are perfect for the barbeque and deliver real flavour. Breast meat might be the tenderest but will dry out fast and won’t take to the marinade as well. If your meat has skin on it, then sear it with a knife in order for the flavour to penetrate through the entire skin. This will help get as much intensity into the taste as possible.
Baste & Rebaste
When you’re cooking chicken near an open flame you need to make sure it never dries out or it will burn! Keep applying more marinade to the meat as you go ensuring it never becomes dry and always has some sauce surrounding it until it is completely cooked. During the cooking process you should be recovering the chicken with sauce at least 4 times. This will intensify the flavour and stop the skin from drying out.
Although fairly obvious, it is important not to overcook the meat. There is a certain paranoia about undercooking poultry, but overcooking it is not the answer. There is a really simple test for perfectly cooked meat:
Use a knife to cut into the thickest part of the meat and see if it is white and the juices are running clear. Once the thickest part comes out cooked, then you know the rest of it is all ready to eat.
Ensure the Meat is Fresh
Fresh meat cooks a lot better so avoid using defrosted meat or cuts that are near use-by dates. This goes for the marinade too. An old marinade starts to dry out, and the fat is less able to coat the meat sufficiently to keep it covered as it cooks. Buying meat the day before a BBQ is best practice if you want the tastiest and most succulent flavours and textures.
Moderate the Heat
Hot BBQs create that chargrilled and smoked taste but do not effectively cook the meat. A hot BBQ can lead to the burning of the marinade and cooking the outside of the meat before the inside has had a chance to catch up.
Ensure a medium heat is used to maintain the coverage of sauce and no burning takes place. The occasional spec of burn isn’t a bad thing and all adds to the flavour, but if you’re not careful it can result in dry chicken under the surface.
You can see that a lot of the work going into keeping the chicken moist is common sense, but when all brought together is a powerful way to grill perfect meat.
This post has been written by Urban Bite, the easiest way to get pizza delivery no matter what you fancy.