Brined, Butterflied and Barbecued Bird (Chicken)


1/2 gallon Cold Water
1/2 cup Kosher or Sea Salt (not iodized)
1/2 cup Brown Sugar or ⅓ cup Honey
1/4 cup Vinegar


The night before cooking, prepare the brine by mixing all of the above ingredients except the chicken in a pot large enough to hold everything.
Add the chicken, upside down (legs pointing up). Make sure that it is completely submerged, and that the cavity is filled with brine.
If there is not enough brine to cover the bird, add more water and salt at a ratio of 1 cup water to 1 tablespoon salt until the bird is covered.
The bird may have to be weighted down to remain submerged.
Cover and keep in the refrigerator over night.
The next day, remove the chicken from the brine and wipe of any excess liquid.
Discard the brine, do not reuse or incorporate into another recipe.
On a large cutting board, set the chicken upright and with a very sharp, large knife, cut out the backbone.
Alternatively, use poultry shears to cut out the backbone.
With the spine removed, pull open the bird and flatten it out, so what was the inside is now down, and the meat is all up.
Press down firmly on the breasts, cracking the ribs to make the bird flatter. This will allow for more even cooking on the grill.
Use 4 metal skewers to hold the bird in this flat position, and to hold the wings and legs as much as possible apart from the breasts and thighs.
Make sure that the bird can be lifted from these skewers and remain flat.
Cut a few slits in the thickest part of meat to speed cooking.
Coat the entire chicken, both sides, with olive oil, especially around the slits and where pierced by the skewers.
Sear both sides on a very high heat grill.
Next, move it to a medium heat part of the grill and allow to cook through, approximately one hour, turning and rotating every 15 minutes.
Covering will make heat more even, but coals will burn at a lower temperature, slowing cooking time.
Test for doneness by sticking a toothpick or another skewer into the joints between the leg and thigh, the wing and breast, and into the thickest parts of meat. Test in several locations. If any redness is still in the liquid that runs out of any test holes, continue to cook until all new test holes produce only clear liquid.
When it is done, remove from the grill and cut into breasts, wings, thighs and drumsticks.
If any red liquid is found when cutting, put the pieces back on the grill, or wrap in tinfoil and finish in the oven. If not, serve immediately.




Here is my BBQ chicken recipe, tested on a recent sunny day here in Oregon. It came out absolutely delicious. The brining adds tons of flavor and keeps the chicken superbly moist on the grill. Combine that with the smokey aroma and the texture of the crispy grilled skin, and you have the ultimate BBQed meat experience.

A search for 'brine' on Foodista will turn up many excellent alternative recipes to this simple brine which you can experiment with. Enjoy!


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Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 6:11pm


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