Gochujang-glazed grilled chicken with potato salad and kimchi. TNS
I grill bone-in chicken the way the tortoise runs the race against the hare in Aesop’s fable: slow and steady. Cooking this way over moderate heat ensures a winning chicken dinner. If you start out too fast and set the chicken over intense heat to try to grill it quickly, you’ll end up with burned skin and raw meat. It’s a losing move.
There are some who like to char the skin over direct high heat and then finish cooking over indirect low heat. I’ve found that the initial too-hot flames leave an acrid burned taste on the outside and rubbery meat inside. Keeping the temperature not-too-hot results in burnished skin with a pleasant smokiness and juicy meat that tastes great on its own or with a range of marinades and glazes. (And grilling takes only 30 minutes or so.)
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GOCHUJANG GLAZED GRILLED CHICKEN
Time: 45 minutes
Gochujang, a Korean fermented soybean paste with red chilies, gives this grilled chicken a little kick. If you want your chicken spicy, use more gochujang in the salty-sweet glaze. Fresh lemon juice balances the sweetness with tang and also keeps the chicken juicy.
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large lemon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken, such as legs, drumsticks or thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 to 3 tablespoons gochujang
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1. Using a Microplane zester, grate the garlic and then the lemon zest into a large, shallow baking dish. Squeeze all the juice from the lemon into the dish and stir in ¼ cup soy sauce. Season the chicken all over generously with salt and pepper, then turn to evenly coat in the marinade while massaging the mix into the meat. Let stand while the grill heats, turning occasionally.
2. Set up a charcoal grill for direct heat or heat a gas grill over medium. The grill is ready when a grill thermometer registers 400 degrees and you can hold your hand an inch above the grate for 3 seconds before pulling away.
3. Stir together the sugar, gochujang and remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a bowl until smooth. If the gochujang is very stiff, stir the mixture in a saucepan instead over low heat to help it loosen up.
4. When the grill is ready, pull the skin taut over the meat. Place the chicken on the hot grill grate, skin side down. Cover the grill and open the top vents of the lid if using a charcoal grill. Cook until the skin is deep golden brown and releases easily from the grate, for about 10 minutes. Start checking on the chicken after 5 minutes. If the skin is browning too quickly, lower the heat if using a gas grill or close the top vents if using a charcoal one.
5. Flip the chicken over, cover, and cook until the meat near the bone registers 155 degrees for breasts or 160 degrees for dark meat on a meat thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes longer. If you stick a paring knife into the meat, it should slide through easily and the blade should be hot. The timing depends on the size of your chicken pieces.
6. Brush a generous coating of the gochujang glaze on the skin, then flip the chicken and brush the other side. Flip again and brush the skin with the remaining glaze. Let sit on the grill uncovered until the glaze is burnished onto the chicken, 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Transfer the chicken to a platter and drizzle with the sesame oil. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Tribune News Service
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