Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Memphis-Style Grilled Chicken

Nothing says summer like some tasty grilled chicken.  Mmm mmm!  Add some baked beans, corn, and watermelon and you've got yourself a meal.
The spice rub for this chicken comes from Patio Daddio.  It's a really nice and balanced blend of flavors - different from rubs I've used in the past.  The sweet and slightly smoky sauce is a perfect match, using many of the same seasonings.  Both together on succulent brined chicken makes for some excellent grill-food!

Memphis-Style Grilled Chicken
Spice Rub (slightly adapted) from Patio Daddio
Brine from America's Test Kitchen

Dry Rub -
2 tbsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp granulated onion
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne

Sauce -
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp unsulphured molasses
2 tbsp dried minced onion
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp liquid hickory smoke
1/16 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup water

Brine -
8 cups cold water
1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup sugar

2 lbs boneless-skinless chicken breasts*

*This recipe works well with bone-in chicken and also pork!

1.  For the Rub: combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.  Blend well.  Cover and set aside.

2.  For the Sauce: whisk all but the water together in a small saucepan until well blended.  Whisk in the water.

3.  Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened (the sauce will thicken more as it cools).

4.  Transfer the sauce to a bowl.  Let cool completely.  Cover and chill until ready to use.

5.  For the Brine: combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.

6.  Trim the chicken, separating the tenderloins from the breasts.  Place the chicken pieces smooth-sides down (a few at a time) in a large ziptop bag.  Use a meat pounder to flatten the pieces to an even thickness.

7.  One hour before you are ready to put the chicken on the grill: place the chicken pieces in the brine.  Cover with plastic wrap or a lid.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator for one hour.

8.  Meanwhile: clean and oil the grill grate, preheat the grill to high.

9.  Remove the chicken pieces from the brine.  Pat completely dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle both sides of the chicken liberally with the spice rub.

10.  Grill the chicken until it is golden brown on the first side.  Flip.  Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 155°.  You can brush sauce on during cooking, if desired.

11.  Transfer the chicken to a clean plate.  Tent with foil and let rest for five minutes.  Serve (if you didn't grill the chicken with the sauce, serve the sauce as an accompaniment)!


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