I never thought I would get to this point, but after about five or six days of being in Italy and wandering around streets trying to figure out what to eat, I told Gerrit that I was tired of eating in restaurants. Yes, we had some amazing food (and, like anywhere else, we had some not so great food). But I was tired of reading menus and figuring out what to order, and all I really wanted was to cook dinner in my own kitchen and know what I was getting. (Yes, I know. It’s a problem that’s not really a problem.)
But I was eager to get back into my kitchen, and I was eager to cook for my family and friends. So much so that I spent the entire day in the kitchen last Saturday. The ENTIRE day. I made pizza pasta for some friends of ours who had a baby while we were in Italy. I made some chocolate chip blondies for a friend that has recently had several deaths in her family. And I made an entire meal for my parents, because it turns out they were eager for me to get back to my kitchen, too, seeing as how on Saturday they spent the entire day tearing down their old kitchen cabinets to make room to new ones.
I missed my family a lot while we were in Italy. I loved every bit of our trip (except maybe the part where we slept in the airport and the part where I lost my phone). But I was just as equally happy to come home to my own bed and my own shower and to my family. And after a week and a half away, followed by a crazy week of eating at our families’ homes and showing them pictures and having more family come through town, spending a Saturday in my kitchen cooking for the people I love was exactly what my soul needed.
I’ll just be straight with you and tell you that if you are looking for the best grilled chicken, go here. But this chicken will definitely become another favorite. I think that part of the problem people tend to have with grilled chicken is that you either need to let it get tender for a really long time (like my favorite) and then cook it low and slow for a long time or you need to use flavors that are bold and strong and keep basting it while it’s grilling and let the skin really get charred (I think having bone-in skin-on chicken really helps keep the moisture in, too) . And a lot of times these things don’t happen. Too much chicken comes off the grill bland and dry.
This recipe is a great combination of the last three principles; it uses bold flavors for the marinade like Worcestershire sauce and spicy peppers, and as you grill the chicken you are supposed to almost constantly baste this marinade on the chicken which keeps it moist, reinforces the flavor, and makes the skin even tastier. The recipe note says that the butter in the marinade helps the skin to caramelize, and we found this to be true. As a result, you get chicken with a juicy flavor and crispy skin and that smoky outdoorsy-ness that can only come from a grill.
adapted from Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook
The original recipe calls for a dried arbol chile to go into the marinade, but I, not sure exactly where to find an arbol chile in my grocery store and wanting to tone the spice down a bit, used a jalepeno (cut and seeded). I also went ahead and halved the original recipe here, because I know I will much more often need to cook for 5-6 people than 10-12.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Wait Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 stick butter
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 dried arbol pepper (or 1 jalepeno or other pepper of your preference, sliced in half)
6-8 pieces of chicken, bone-in skin-on
1. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Heat over medium-low heat until the butter is melted.
2. Pour about 1/2 the marinade into a gallon size zip top bag (save the rest of the marinade for basting the chicken later). Add the chicken and close the bag. Shake and turn to make sure that all of the chicken is coated in a bit of the marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat the grill to high heat. Grill the chicken, basting frequently and turning often, until it is cooked through (a meat thermometer in the center should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit) and the skin has charred nicely. It should take about 20-30 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from grill and let rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 5-10 minutes or until ready to serve.