Thursday, June 28, 2012

BEST BBQ CHICKEN EVER!



Piquillo Harissa

I use this recipe on a spatchcocked chicken ( SEE BELOW) for the best BBQ chicken ever. the flavors are deep and intense with the fresh herbs combining with the hard spices. this recipe is the bomb! 

the spatchcocked bird is simply the best way to grill chicken. all the flavor of a whole bird but in half the time. get brave, grab a knife and get cooking!

3 limes, zested and juiced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 stick cinnamon
2 star anise
10 ounces roasted piquillo pimentos or roasted red peppers
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
4 cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane
2 hot chili peppers, sliced (I use jalapeno)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Roast the seeds, cinnamon and star anise,
            grind into powder in a spice mill.
  1.  Place the lime zest and juice with the piquillo pimentos and remaining ingredients into a food processor.
  2. Blend to a paste and taste for seasoning. If you like, you can thin this down with more oil or lime juice to suit the flavors of accompanying dishes.
           The flavors will develop as the harissa sits. It will keep covered int he fridge      
           for a week.

to SPATCHCOCK A CHICKEN
 
Most people destroy their chicken on the grill. They over cook it, the flames are too high or they try to grill boneless, skinless chicken and wonder why their entire dinner stuck to the grill.
My favorite technique for grilling chicken is called Spatchcocking.  The back bone and sternum are cut out of the chicken and then the chicken is flattened by just pressing on it. The result is a moist bird that is easy to marinate, easy to grill because it cooks evenly and makes a great presentation.

 The flattened bird still has that moist juiciness that usually comes only with a whole roasted chicken and makes having roasted chicken a weeknight possibility. The whole bird cooks in about 30 minutes. Normally a whole roasted chicken takes over an hour  to cook. 

While spatchcocking sounds funny and complicated, it is actually very easy, but still funny sounding!  All you need are good sturdy kitchen shears.
Place the chicken breast side down on a sturdy cutting board. I like to put a couple of paper towels under the chicken so it does not slide while I am cutting it.

Cut along the either side of the backbone from the neck to the tail. Remove the back bone and spread open the chicken. Cut a small slit in the cartilage along the breast bone. With both hands, crack open the chicken by opening it like a book.

This will reveal the keel bone, (cartilage that runs in the middle of the breast). Pull up on the keel bone to remove it. The chicken is now ready to grill. This whole procedure is very simple, only involves cutting one bone and should only take a couple of minutes.

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