Tips for Better BBQ Chicken

We eat a lot of chicken.

We really eat a lot of chicken in the summer. Mon mari gets ‘quite cross’ (to use a favorite British term) if he doesn’t get to grill chicken at least twice every week.

I make the barbecue sauce for skin-on chicken thighs and legs, or the marinade for breasts but will freely admit I rarely bother to do anything else.

He washes and trims it – with the help of a waiting dog should any of the trimmings slip off of the knife. (If there is a lot I fry it for her dinner.)

Sometimes, I get ambitious and stuff herbs under the skin….

Grilled Chicken with Herbs & Lemon

Not often…. I leave summer cooking up to mon mari as much as possible.

Read on for some chicken tips…. I’m passing it all on to you-know-who.

Five Basic Tips for Better BBQ Grilled Chicken

Summer welcomes our good food, friends and family to share great meals indoors and outside in pleasant weather. One of the most popular things to do is backyard barbecue or the basic grilling of meat and veggies. On the surface, this time honored party tradition may see simple, but it’s deceptively so. Here are my painless tips to helping to ensure a better barbecue or grilling experience for your guests.

Wash

This is a basic first step for all meats, however some leave out the salt in the water. Depending on your tastes, or health restrictions, this may have to be skipped. However, by throwing in a few pinches of salt into your chicken’s water bath, not only will some flavor be added early, but it will make for a more tenderized and clean chicken and cooking stock.

Trim

Here again is a step that many people take for granted, and may pay the price later in the final cooked chicken meal. Remember that trimming the fat, bones and cartilage, while not an exacting science, shouldn’t be treated lightly. Leaving some fat on will help with cooking, but depending on the cut, all that high caloric chicken fat is not something you want your guests to be feasting on. The way and the size you cut your chicken up to cook is also a factor. Don’t leave huge pieces whole. By slicing up a huge chunk of chicken, seasoning and marinating will be easier and more effective, and the chicken pieces will cook better.

Dry

Believe it or not, this may be one of the most important steps of all. I’ve found time and again that wet chicken makes for tasteless chicken. Since this step comes come before seasoning and marinating, if your chicken is soaked full of water, the seasoning and marinade will become diluted. This means loss of flavor, something your guests won’t like nor savor. A thorough patting of the chicken pieces with paper towels will be fine, but don’t just pass over this one quickly, or you’ll ruin your next most important steps.

Season

Here again is a step many falter on and fail to take seriously. No matter your tastes, be it plain salt and pepper, lemon and garlic, oregano or handy Adobo, the bottom line is that seasoning brings out the flavor power in any meat and when meat is seasoned properly, it will be remembered by those who have dined on it. I start with a basic salt and pepper seasoning base, and then will make batches of lemon and garlic, oregano or Adobo to give my diners a truly pleasing chicken feast of choice.

Marinate

Whether you like to do an overnight marinade bath for highly flavorful chicken, or just drop those cutlets, legs or breasts into a bowl of savory sauce, the key here is plenty of tenderized action. Use a fork and don’t be afraid to poke those poultry puppies so that the BBQ sauce, or whatever you’re using to marinate gets right inside the meat.

Grilled Cornish Hens

After following these tips, you’ll be ready to impress your family and other guests with your amazing grilled chicken BBQ. Just remember to put space between the chicken pieces when you’re grilling them, to allow proper and even cooking. It could be quite difficult if you have a smaller 2 burner gas grill compared to bigger 4-burner types, but with patience and enough time allotted for cooking, you can still host the perfect bbq in your backyard.

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