I Wanted Golden Brown, Not Charred Black

About a week ago I did a little experimenting at dinner time. I made the most amazing dinner on the grill and just knew I needed to make it again ASAP so that I could take pictures and share the “how-to” with you all. Earlier this week I excitedly got out all my supplies and my camera and started snapping pictures at the various prep stages. Things were going great until I glanced out the back door and saw my food on fire.

Oh the sadness! I suppose I could have named this post “How NOT to grill a chicken”. I am happy to report though, that despite how, uh, black the chicken ended up being on the outside, most of the meat was salvageable. Aside from the terrible grilling job I did this time around, I thought it was still worth it to share my how-to with you all, so here we go…

(Note: If your stomach can’t handle close-ups of raw chicken this early in the day, you may want to come back this afternoon!)

Step 1: Cut through the breast bone of the chicken so that the chicken is able to lay (mostly) flat on the grill. You could also cut through the backbone, but the breast side is much easier to cut. I just used the sharpest knife in my kitchen (which is probably pretty dull).

Step 2: I like to call this the “Channel your inner Pioneer Woman” step. Know why? Because it involves butter and PW loves her butter. I cut 6 little slits in the chicken skin and slipped probably half a tsp of cold butter into each slit. I’m not entirely sure why I did this… I think I figured it would add some flavor and help crisp the skin. Plus, I think I’ve been spending too much time looking at Pioneer Woman recipes.

Step 3: Season! I sprinkled roasted garlic and herb seasoning all over mine, but I’m sure a variety of seasonings would be tasty.

Step 4: Put it on a grill, over medium heat. This cooks best if you cook the “open” side or the side exposing the most bone first. You’ll cook it on this side for about 20 minutes and then flip the chicken over and cook it another 20. Make sure you use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s cooked properly!

Step 5: Prepare the onions! This is a little trick Nick picked up from his dad and these onions come out tasting SO good! And let me tell you, me saying an onion is good is quite something considering I usually hate ’em and pick them off my food. Now this is super difficult, so just stick with me… peel the skin off the onion and then cut off the ends. Place the whole onion on a piece of tin foil and wrap it into a ball. Yep, that’s it.

Step 6: Put the onions on the grill, over medium-high heat. These will likely need close to 40 minutes to cook. You want them to squish a little when you squeeze the foil ball with tongs.

Step 7: Cut up a summer squash into small chunks and throw onto a large piece of foil. I then topped with a piece of butter and shook salt and pepper all over it. Wrap the foil into a packet (it’s ok if it doesn’t cover completely) and put on the grill when you flip the chicken over (so that it’ll have about 20 minutes to cook). Medium or medium-high heat works well for this as well.

When all is said and done, you should have soft and sweet onions, perfectly steamed squash and a golden brown and oh-so-tasty chicken. This was the “good” side of my chicken this week. Not nearly as black as the other side was, but still more charred than I would have liked. I highly encourage trying this way of cooking chicken though! It (normally) comes out so good!

Oh yeah, and what went so wrong that my chicken went up in flames in the first place? Well, we hadn’t ever really cleaned the drip tray in the grill and apparently all the grease build up was just too much. When I ran outside to see my chicken in flames I noticed there were flames on the drip tray below and shooting all the way up to the chicken. Bummer. Check your own drip tray before bad things happen to your food!

October 4th – While this was actually posted almost 2 months ago, I figured it was perfect for this week’s I Heart Faces theme! Enjoy, and try not to burn your own chicken!

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