This is one Memorial Grilled Chicken.In the oven or out on the grill, there is no better time than this weekend to try out a great recipe like the one below. Full western flavors, the chicken comes out moist and juicy, aromatic and mighty tasty thanks to a quick soak in a brine which helps the chicken from drying out. And the western rub is awesome with its South American flavors and aids in keeping the flavors adhered to the chicken.
If you can, make the chimichurri the day before to give the flavors time to meld. Chimichurri is a beautiful combination of fresh herbs that give a cool but powerful flavor to everything you grill. It is also a great dipping sauce with crusty bread, when serving with bruschette and brilliantly adaptable with grilled steaks. Enjoy!
This is my take on a recipe somewhat based from Bobby Flay's Grill It!
Western Chicken with Chimichurri4 bone-in split chicken breasts or leg quarters or 2 chicken halves
For the brine:
2 quarts cold water
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
Rinse the chicken under running water and place in a large bowl. Mix the salt, sugar and vinegar with the water and pour over the chicken. Let marinate for 1 hour (I did 2 hours and added ice cubes). Remove, pat the chicken pieces dry before applying the rub.
For the rub:
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoons ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried garlic bits (flakes)
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Mix all ingredients together and sprinkle generously on both side of the chicken pieces.
1/2 cup packed chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped oregano leaves
2 large basil leaves
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
1/2 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (or part lemon)
1/2 to 1 cup olive or vegetable oil
Place all ingredients except oil in a blender or food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With motor running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until emulsified. Transfer to serving bowl.
To cook the chicken:
Grill:Place chicken on medium low heat skin side down and grill for about 5 minutes until skin is crisp. Move chicken to slower side of heat (no fire) skin side up and continue cooking until inside temperature read 160 degrees F. Remove to platter and tent with foil.
Oven:Place chicken on a grilling rack over a pan which will catch the juices. Place chicken skin side up in a preheated 375 degree F. oven and cook for about 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 and cook until internal temp is 160 degrees. Remove to platter and tent with foil.
Note: In both cooking methods, I like to use a couple of squirts of a Basting Sauce to keep the outside of the chicken moist. You can find my latest one here.