Monday, September 3, 2012

Grilled Lemon-Coriander Chicken

Today is Labor Day.  It is the unofficial end of summer and a required grilling day.  There is a rumor the C in DC family may be joining us for dinner this evening - but the Brave Astronauts are going to try and get some pool time in today as well.  After today, our pool will only be opened next weekend and then closed for the season.

I got a round of golf in on Saturday and yesterday we all took in the red-hot Washington Nationals as they try to seal up a post-season berth.  If you had told me at the beginning of the season that both the Nationals and the Orioles would be likely playoff teams, I would have called you crazy.

I have a good idea of what we may be grilling today for our Labor Day barbecue - it might be this - or something else altogether.  Have a great Labor Day!

Grilled Lemon-Coriander Chicken
from Gourmet | May 2006
Grilling a whole chicken cuts down on prep time and makes for a dramatic presentation. A purée made from fresh herbs, garlic, and chile spread under the skin of the bird keeps the meat moist. 
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Active Time: 25 min
Total Time: 1 1/2 hr

  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro sprigs 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 2 shallots, chopped (1/2 cup) 
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 fresh serrano chile, minced, including seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 (3- to 3 1/2-lb) chicken, rinsed and patted dry 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
Special equipment: kitchen string; a large chimney starter (if using charcoal); an instant-read thermometer

Purée cilantro, oil, shallots, garlic, lemon zest and juice, chile, coriander, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until it forms a paste. Leave any fat in opening of chicken cavity and sprinkle cavity with pepper and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Starting at cavity end, gently slide an index finger between skin and flesh of breast and legs to loosen skin (be careful not to tear skin). Using a small spoon, slide cilantro purée under skin over breast and drumsticks, using your finger on outside of skin to push purée out of spoon and distribute evenly. Tie legs together with kitchen string and tuck wing tips under. Brush outside of chicken all over with butter.

Prepare grill for cooking over indirect heat with medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas)

To cook chicken using a charcoal grill: Lightly oil grill rack, then put chicken on rack with no coals directly underneath and cook, covered with lid, until thermometer inserted into fleshy part of thigh (do not touch bone) registers 170°F, 40 to 50 minutes. (Add more briquettes during grilling if necessary to maintain heat.) Transfer chicken to a platter and let stand 15 minutes.

To cook chicken using a gas grill: Lightly oil grill rack, then put chicken above shut-off burner. Grill, covered with lid, turning chicken 180 degrees halfway through cooking if using a 2-burner grill, until thermometer inserted into fleshy part of thigh (do not touch bone) registers 170°F, 35 to 45 minutes.

Cooks' notes:
  • Chicken can be prepared, but not grilled, 1 day ahead and chilled, covered with plastic wrap. Let stand at cool room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.
  • If you can't grill outdoors, chicken can be roasted on an oiled rack set in a roasting pan in middle of a 375°F oven about 1 1/4 hours.

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