We were a pair of lucky ducks who got to go away for 2 long weekends at the beach in a row! Knowing what I did I planned ahead and found a couple of recipes to try out on the barbeque. One was this ‘foolproof grilled chicken’ recipe from Epicurious.
This meal was perfect. I had never brined chicken and was new to the whole experience. I thought of skipping it but in the end, I had enough time so I made the brine and put the chicken in overnight. Let me tell you, it was well worth the effort! Wow, it made the meat so tender. Yum.
There were only 2 of us, so I cut the recipe down a fair bit as the original serves 6. Heres what I did.
1 litre cold water
1/8 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tsp salt
3 chicken breasts, each cut into 3 pieces
2 tbs fish sauce
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
I handful fresh mint, finely chopped
1 handful fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
First you need to brine the chicken, up to 6 hours in advance. To start with Bring water, sugar, and salt to the boil in a large pot, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Cool completely. When cool add the chicken and pop this in the fridge with a lid for 6 hours or more (I did it overnight).
Remove chicken from the brine and pat dry.
Whisk together lime juice (3 limes), fish sauce, garlic, mint, coriander, chilli flakes, and remaining teaspoon salt in a large bowl, then add oil in a stream, whisking until combined.
Turn on the bbq and let it get nice and hot for 10 minutes or so and then turn down the heat to moderately high.
Sear chicken on the bbq and close or covered with lid, turning over once, until well browned for about 5 - 10 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of your chicken). Turn off 1 burner to let the chicken cook through, approx another 10 - 20 minutes.
Transfer chicken to bowl with vinaigrette and turn to coat, then transfer to platter to keep warm, loosely covered with foil.
While the chicken is resting in the vinaigrette, grill lime halves, cut sides down, uncovered, over lit burner until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes, then transfer to platter with chicken. Serve limes with chicken and serve remaining vinaigrette on the side.
Next time, I want to try the Mediterranean vinaigrette for chicken by whisking together 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 minced large garlic clove, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, and 1 tsp salt, then add 1/3 cup olive oil in a slow stream, whisking.