Ok folks, summer is just half over, time for me to stop lamenting that I don’t own a grill. (In the spirit of the high holidays I will also desist from Naf and Anna jealousy for their urban setting grill as well as their own egg-laying chickens!). My new action plan: find a friend who has a grill, offer to show up at their house with Grow and Behold chicken, cook it up with a unique recipe, and enjoy it all together.
This worked quite well a few weeks ago when we went to my parents. My mom has the classic no frills, three footed, round bottomed Weber charcoal grill . She turns out amazing chicken, steak and vegetables on that thing with ease – always starting her fire with the chimney charcoal starter. But she hadn’t yet gleaned any recipes from my recipe source of late – People magazine. There was a time I was embarrassed reading this paparazzi magazine so I had my subscription delivered in the name of the family cat. Now I read it at my hair salon and with permission have clipped the recipes for an amazing cauliflower mac’n’cheese dish as well as black and orange chicken – the one I’m sharing with you today.
Apparently the dish was served by Cat Cora (my Purim get up this year!) at the Country Music Awards party. Good enough for Nashville is great for me. So I gave it a try with amazingly delicious results. The citrus/hot spice blend is so different that your taste buds really take notice. That combined with the crispy blacked skin is a great taste combo.
The whole chicken gets rubbed with freshly grated orange peel and dried chili powder – it really takes on the citrus and piquant flavors in the thirty minutes that you allow it to rest before grilling. While waiting for the chicken to soak up those flavors impress your grill hosts by throwing together a fresh summer herb sauce to serve over the chicken. Once you’ve got your flames going, you’ll be attentive to the grill – making sure the chicken skin gets crispy – with a black crackle to parts of the skin. Everyone will be licking their fingers at the end of the meal.
Do not be bilked by people asking you “Did you enjoy your summer?” – summer is NOT over. You have at least another four to six weeks to mooch some good grilling time off of your nearest and dearest if you don’t have your own.
Black and Orange Chicken
Based on Cat Cora’s Chicken recipe in the June 13th, 2011 edition of People Magazine
1 whole chicken
1 tbsp grated orange zest (make this by grating a clean orange peel with a microplane-type tool)
1 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
5 garlic cloves, peeled
⅓ cup parsley
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
Create the chicken rub with the orange zest, chili powder, salt and pepper. Combine ingredients then rub over the chicken. Let it stand with the spices on it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
While you’re waiting blend the garlic, parsley, basil and wine vinegar together. Whisk in the olive oil. Set this sauce aside to serve with the chicken.
Start the grill for high heat cooking.
Precook the chicken so you don’t end up with any pink meat. Either microwave for 10 minutes or bake in the oven for 20. Then, place the whole chicken on the grill, breast side down, and turn after 20 minutes. Cook for an additional 20 minutes until a thermometer inserted into the leg registers 158 degrees. Cool, then slice and serve with herb and vinegar sauce.