Perfect Reverse Grilled Chicken
Reverse Seared or Reverse Grilled chicken is on of my favorite things to grill. For me really good grilled chicken is right up there with a good steak. Poorly grilled chicken is burned, dry and flavorless but there is no reason your chicken should end up in-edible. What makes it reverse grilled? The reverse grilling means you don’t put your meat over the coals until the very end of cooking. The myth is that if you sear your food first it holds in the juices. That is false! All you are doing is overcooking the outside of your meat right from the start. Follow my instructions and your chicken will impress your friends and family.
What are the keys to good grilled chicken?
First you need to brine your chicken which not only boosts the moisture but lets you get seasoning deep in the muscles. Even though you have brined your chicken in a very flavorful liquid you need to season the outside again. Don’t oversalt at this stage because salt is the key ingredient in brines but you do need to use a lightly salted seasoning to bring out the real flavor of the chicken. My favorite seasoning for chicken is a lemon and garlic seasoning with a hint of allspice.
If at all possible you should charcoal or wood rather than a gas grill. Charcoal and wood really do impart flavor to whatever you are grilling and are worth a little extra time and effort. My suggestion is invest in a charcoal chimney and you will never struggle with lighting your charcoal again. The key is to get one with wholes in the sides so you get enough airflow around the charcoal. You simply crumple a couple sheets of newspaper (not more than 2 full sheets or it will be too dense to burn properly) place them in the bottom then fill your chimney with charcoal and light your paper. As long as you see a little bit of smoke coming off your chimney it is lighting so don’t worry about unless the smoke stops completely or you see fire coming out the top. I like to dump mine as soon as fire is actively coming out the top so I get the most burn time in my grill. If you wait too long the charcoal will burn down to quickly while you are trying to cook.
I think the biggest factor in great grilled chicken and pork is to not put your meat directly over the coals until the very last few minutes of cooking. You want to cook your meat just to the side of the burning charcoal so that your fire is not flaring up or burning your meat. You will get some browning but your meat is too close to the fire if it is getting any burning or charring on the meat. This gives you juicy delicious meat and then you move your meat over the coals for just long enough to get that beautiful golden color with just a hint of blackening. Don’t be afraid to use a thermometer to check your internal temperature. Meat is not a balloon and sticking a thermometer in it won’t make all your juices run out. This is just fake news. Eventually you will get a feel for the fire and how long it takes to cook your chicken but until then take the temperature of ever piece and make sure you are not making someone sick.
This recipe for Perfect Grilled Chicken is my go to recipes that I use for all my catering events.