By: Adam Easterling
Barbecue season brings lots of options for the grill: burgers, hotdogs, steaks, ribs and even veggies. But let’s not forget one of the best barbecue bites around — chicken! Few foods rival some fantastic fowl with a great grilled flavour. Your chicken can be savoury or sweet, but it’ll always be succulent when it’s cooked to perfection. And there’s no better perfection than barbeque perfection!
That barbecue heaven comes courtesy of three complex steps. Ready?
Step 1: Rub, or Marinate
Step 2: Cook
Step 3: Eat
Did you follow that? Good! Now, we know you like to use the same recipe you’ve relied on forever, but we promise fantastic results with this method. Let’s break down Step 1 in a little more detail, shall we?
Rubs bring a ton of flavour to your bird before it ever even hits the flame. Just about any flavour profile can be thrown into a chicken rub, from sweet to salty to kicked-up heat. Finding the right balance can be a delicate trick, but that perfect rub really sets the bird off right.
Marinades, on the other hand, bring that deep BBQ flavour to your poultry party. Soaking your chicken in the right spices means the meat gets tender and juicy, with the right balance of acidity and spice. Let’s take a look at a few rubs and marinades we can use to get that barbecue done right, and we’ll even give you the basics for Step 2 on the grill.
Oh, and that last step? You can probably figure that one out.
Carolina Style Rub
50 mL (1/4 cup) paprika
30 mL (2 tablespoons) coarse salt
30 mL (2 tablespoons) sugar
30 mL (2 tablespoons) brown sugar
30 mL (2 tablespoons) ground cumin
30 mL (2 tablespoons) chili powder
30 mL (2 tablespoons) ground black pepper
15 mL (1 tablespoon) cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and pack tightly around bird until fully covered. Wrap in foil and place in refrigerator 1-3 hours, until ready to cook.
Magic Dust Rub
125 mL (1/2 cup) paprika
50 mL (1/4 cup) brown sugar
50 mL (1/4 cup) kosher salt
50 mL (1/4 cup) granulated garlic
50 mL (1/4 cup) chili powder
45 mL (3 tablespoons) whole black peppercorns
Combine ingredients in a bowl and rub on bird until fully coated. Wrap bird in foil and set in refrigerator until time for cooking.
Spicy Chipotle Marinade
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
50 mL (1/4 cup) Worcestershire sauce
50 mL (1/4 cup) soy sauce
50 mL (1/4 cup) honey
30 mL (2 tablespoons) minced garlic
110 grams (4 ounces) chipotle in adobo sauce, pureed
10 mL (2 teaspoons) black pepper
10 mL (2 teaspoons) kosher salt
Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Reserve 125 mL (1/2 cup) of mixture for basting, and cover chicken with the rest. Cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours before cooking.
Korean BBQ Chicken Marinade
250 mL (1 cup) white sugar
250 mL (1 cup) soy sauce
250 mL (1 cup) water
20 mL (4 teaspoons) hot chili paste
5 mL (1 teaspoon) onion powder
5 mL (1 teaspoon) ground ginger
5 mL (1 teaspoon) lemon juice
In a saucepan over high heat, whisk together sugar, soy sauce, water, onion powder and ground ginger. Bring to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice and hot chili paste. Place chicken in mixture to marinate. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours before cooking.
To grill your rubbed or marinated chicken:
Set grill to medium-high heat. Put your chicken on the grill, 10 centimetres (4 inches) from the heat, turning once, for 10 minutes per side. Make sure the internal temp is at least 74 C (165 F). This is some bird barbecue done right!
Tip: Turn this appetizer into a meal by adding a side! Try coleslaw, fruit salad or sweet potato fries!