Sunday, May 21, 2006

Brined Grill-Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup kosher salt
3 quarts cold water
1 bay leaf ; torn into pieces
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves ; peeled
2 allspice berries ; crushed
1 teaspoon peppercorns
3 pound whole chicken
3 tablespoon Butter ; melted

Instructions

For the brine: In a large bowl or pot, mix the sugar and salt into 1 quart of the water until dissolved. Add the bay leaf, thyme, garlic, allspice and peppercorns and mix well.

For the chicken: Clean the chicken and remove any excess fat. Add the chicken to the bowl, submerging it in the brine, and pour the remaining 2 quarts of water over the top. Make sure the chicken is entirely covered. If it's not, weigh it down with a plate. Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

Twenty to 30 minutes before you are ready to begin cooking, preheat the grill. If you are using charcoal, spread hot coals onto either side of the grill, leaving the middle empty. If you are using a gas grill, heat one or two sections to medium-high, leaving the third off.

For either type of grill, fill an aluminum pan one-quarter full of water, and place under the grate of the unheated portion of grill to catch drips from the chicken.

Remove the chicken from the brine, drain and dry it completely. Season with a small amount of freshly ground black pepper.

Test the temperature of the grill before beginning. For charcoal, place your hand a few inches over the grate. The grill is ready if you can count to 3 before pulling your hand away; on gas, the temperature should be between 350° and 375°.

Place the chicken breast-side up on the unheated portion of the grill. Cover the grill and cook for 2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh reaches 165°. In the last half hour of cooking, baste the bird every 10 minutes with melted butter.

Remove the chicken from the grill, and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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