A taste of summer in winter

Ken Wilson talks barbecuing in the winter working with chicken on a variety of barbecue mediums.

Minus nine degrees and the barbecue is warming.

This past Tuesday evening I was looking to cook some chicken, so I thought I would marinate it, bread the pieces and put them on the barbecue.

It took a little longer perhaps to warm the barbecue to 400 degrees than it would have if the temper was more like summer conditions.

It didn’t really matter what the temperature was, the chicken turned out quite tasty.

Chicken thighs and legs will hold up better to long, slow heat than will breasts which can more easily dry out.

If you barbecue breasts, keep them on the coolest part of the grill.

If you are working with smaller chicken pieces, they may require a shorter cooking time.

If you are cooking wings, they too may be done before the other larger pieces.

A note about the skin.

Even if you do not plan on eating the chicken skin, it’s best to barbecue it with it on. The skin will protect the chicken pieces from drying out.

Use about four-pounds of your favourite chicken parts (legs, thighs, wings, breasts), skin-on

• Salt

• Vegetable oil

• 1 cup barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade

Coat the chicken pieces with vegetable oil and sprinkle salt over them on all sides. Prepare your grill for high, direct heat.

If you are using charcoal or wood, make sure there is a cool side to the grill where there are fewer coals.

Lay the chicken pieces skin side down on the hottest side of the grill in order to sear the skin side well.

Grill for 5-10 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is (you do not want the chicken to burn).

Once you have a good sear on one side, move the chicken pieces to the cooler side of the grill, or, if you are using a gas grill, lower the heat to medium low.

Cover the grill and cook undisturbed for 20-30 minutes.

Turn the chicken pieces over and baste them with your favourite barbecue sauce. Cover the grill again and allow to cook for another 30 minutes.

Repeat, turning the chicken pieces over, basting them with sauce, covering, and cooking for another 30 minutes.

By now the chicken should be cooked through.

Insert the tip of a knife into the middle of the thickest piece, the juices should run clear.

If the chicken isn’t done, turn the pieces over and continue to cook at a low temperature.

If you want can finish with a sear on the hot side of the grill.

To do this, put the pieces, skin side down, on the hot side of the grill.

Allow them to sear and blacken slightly for a minute or two.

Paint with more barbecue sauce and serve.

Try some winter barbecue, it’s just as tasty as summer.

Bye for now and Goood Cooking.

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Advisor.

 

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