Nothing beats chicken on the grill in the summertime. Whether it’s smoked, BBQed, or marinaded – you really can’t go wrong. It’s an easy dinner that doesn’t heat up the house. Have had this recipe dog-earred to try for a couple years now, but just never got around to it. Last week, I found myself with a few chicken leg quarters (thanks Dad!) so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to try it out.
The chicken is soaked in a soy-sauce brine for a few hours, then grilled and brushed with an uh-mazing pineapple juice based brine for the last 15 minutes or so of grilling. I changed a few aspects of the recipe – first off, using chicken pieces instead of a halved chicken. It’s what I had on hand, and it cuts down on cooking time. Win, win. Also, I don’t have a charcoal grill (a situation I need to remedy – nothing beats that flavor!), so I just made a packet of hickory chips that I smoked on the grill along with the chicken when it was cooking. If you didn’t want to go that route, you could probably add a drop or two of liquid smoke to the sauce to get a smokey effect.
We all really, really enjoyed it. Flavors we know and love, that are perfect for summer! This would be a great recipe to make for a crowd as well. Something a little more special than burgers & dogs! I served with a big bowl of Hawaiian macaroni salad and fresh pineapple wedges. I have reinvented the leftovers in a couple of different fun ways this week too, so stay tuned!
For the chicken:
1 quart water
1 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (leg quarters, breasts)
For the glaze:
3 (6-ounce) cans pineapple juice
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
2 cups mesquite (or hickory) wood chips, soaked for 15 minutes
To brine chicken; combine water and soy in a large bowl. Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir into soy sauce mixture. Add chicken and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour or up to 8.
To make the glaze; commbine pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, ginger and chili-garlic sauce in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer until thick and syrupy (you should have about 1 cup), 20-25 minutes.Set aside.
Prep grill. Seal wood chips in foil packet and cut vent holes in top. Open bottom vents on grill. Light about 75 coals. When coals are covered with a fine gray ash, spread evenly over the bottom of the grill. Arrange foil packet directly on coals. Set cooking grate in place and heat, covered with lid vent open halfway, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 5 minutes. (For gas grill, place foil packet directly on primary burner. Heat all burners on high, covered, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-low.) Scrape and oil the grate.
Remove chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange skin side up on grill (do not place chicken directly above foil packet). Grill, covered, until chicken is well browned on bottom and meat registers 120 degrees, 25-30 minutes. Flip chicken skin side down and continue to grill, covered, until skin is well browned and crisp and thigh meat reaches 170 to 175 degrees, 20-25 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to platter, brush with half of the glaze, and let rest 5 minutes. Serve, passing remaining glaze at table.
Source: slightly adapted from Cook’s Country, June 2009