Monday, July 7, 2008

Picky Eater's Grilled Chicken

So we had some neighbors over for dinner on Saturday night. Somehow we ended up in a neighborhood of people who are absolutely nothing like us, which is just fine by me. All of our immediate neighbors are empty-nesters, mostly native to TN. This actually turns out to be an ideal situation because most of these people have lived life enough to be decidedly un-fussy.

I happen to know the male half of the couple that came to our place for dinner is very picky and has pretty different taste than us. His wife teases him because he thinks Italian food is exotic. What the heck was I going to feed him. We eat almost exclusively foreign-inspired cuisine, don't eat much meat, and almost never make southern food. Plus, I didn't really want to cook indoors.

So, I went with grilled chicken, which seems pretty universal for non-vegetarians at least.

This recipe, Peruvian Grilled chicken, is from Gourmet. I felt like the ingredients were fun enough to satisfy B and myself, but tame enough for the non-adventurous neighbors. It was, indeed, delicious. It'd be great for kids.

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
5 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika (I used smoked paprika for a little oomph)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), quartered

Accompaniment: lime wedges

Marinate chicken:
Blend soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and oil in a blender.

Put chicken in a large sealable bag and add marinade. Seal bag and marinate, chilled, 8 to 24 hours.

Grill chicken:
If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom and lid of grill. Light a large chimney starter full of charcoal (preferably hardwood). When coals are lit, dump them out along opposite sides of bottom rack, leaving a space free of coals (the size of the quartered chicken) in middle. When you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill rack directly over coals for 3 to 4 seconds, coals will be medium-hot.

If using a gas grill, preheat all burners on high, then reduce heat to medium-high.

Discard marinade, then pat chicken dry. Oil grill rack, then grill chicken over area with no coals (or over a turned-off burner), skin side down first, covered, turning over once, until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes (add charcoal to maintain heat).

Cooks' note: If you aren't able to grill outdoors, chicken (quartered) can be roasted in middle of a 500°F oven in a 13- by 9-inch roasting pan with 1 cup water 30 minutes, then tented with foil and roasted until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes more.


Lannae said...

Did the picky eater like it? I hope so!

Natalie said...

I think he did. He ate two pieces.

cook eat FRET said...

it's so hard to be friends with non-adventurous eaters...