My key to making perfect grilled chicken is to use the brining step to heat the meat. The biggest problem with grilling chicken is that the skins will get cooked long before the meat is done all the way through. Dark meat like thighs might even start a grease fire if you leave it over the coals too long as the fat drips down onto the flames. Ovening the meat on a covered grill to cook it all the way through makes the white meat dry.
To solve this and to deal with the fact that I probably haven't thawed the meat all the way because I forgot to take it out of the freezer two days earlier, I heat up my brine to 120 and drop in the chicken. The cold chicken cools the brine, so after a bit, I turn the heat back on and bring it back up to 120.
This time, I experimented and used this hyper-aggressive brine from allrecipes.
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
- 1 gallon warm water
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
Whoa, Nellie, that's a far cry from a simple salt and brown sugar brine! I was concerned that it would dominate the flavor of Mary's excellent rub, but it didn't. In fact, it complimented her paprika, Cajun seasoning and brown sugar mix perfectly.
So there you have it. A complex brine to heat the chicken followed by Mary's excellent rub and probably 10 minutes or so of both direct and indirect heat on the grill with a painting of BBQ sauce at the very end. Enjoy!