Thursday, June 12, 2014

Orange, Ginger-Soy Grilled Chicken


Summer is definitely here in South Florida.  Long hot days turn into long equally hot nights and the last thing you want to do is crank up the stove, which will further crank up your utility bill, because now you are cranking down the A/C's thermostat to cool your home.

Besides, what's easier than firing up the grill and throwing together a big salad, add some bread, like my Grilled Tomato & Garlic Bread a la Catalana and dinner is a done deal.

This is probably one of my favorite grilled chicken recipes.  There is some time to invest in the way of allowing for brine time and then marinade time but other than that this is easy peasy. Prepare it over the weekend and grill on Monday for a quick and easy dinner.

Flavor wise you can't beat how the chicken takes on the deep citrus flavor of the orange zest and juice, the zippy tang of the ginger and pungent spice of the garlic. The soy gives it just the right amount of sodium.

Serves 4

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, butterflied or eight skinless, boneless thighs

Brine solution
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups of water, divided 1/2 cup boiling water and 1 1/2 cups ice cold water

To a half cup of boiling water add the salt and sugar. Stir until completely dissolved. Once dissolved add the salt sugar solution to 1 1/2 cup of ice cold water. Add chicken. Refrigerate and brine for 8 - 24 hours*.

Want to learn more about how and what to brine? Check out my post To Brine or Not to Brine? That Shouldn't Even Be a Question.

Marinade
1 orange, zest grated and juiced
1  teaspoon finely minced garlic
1" nub of fresh ginger root, grated
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Store in gallon size zip bag in fridge. Make the same day you brine the chicken.  This allows for the flavors of the ingredients to marry well together.

Remove chicken from brine, rinse well and dry with paper towel. Place inside marinade zip bag.  If time permits, marinate overnight, otherwise allow for 1 hour of marination.

Heat grill over high flame.  You will know it's ready when you hold your hand ABOVE the hot grates for no more than 3-4 secs.  Place chicken on hot grates.
Depending on the thickness, grill 5-7 minutes per side. Half way through cooking time of each side, give the chicken a quarter turn to get some nice hatch grill marks.

Place on platter and cover with foil.  Allow to rest 5 minutes. Dig in and ENJOY!

Serve with my Grilled Tomato & Garlic Bread a la Catalana, and  my favorite tangy Nicaraguan Cabbage Slaw and your favorite beverage.  For us, it was an ice cold Stella Artois.

*Recipe Notes:
Adjust brine and marinade time to your schedule. If you only have 8 hours till dinner, split the time equally between the brine and marination process.


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