Saturday, May 3, 2014

Korean Grilled Chicken

The grilling season is so short here in Minnesota. Because of that, I've become obsessed with cooking on the grill as much as possible. My favorite thing to grill is bone-in ribeye steak. But have you checked out the pricing lately?

The beef shortage is wreaking havoc on our wallets. Dry-aged bone-in ribeye is going for $28.99 a pound at Byerly's. USDA Choice was going for $14.99 a pound at Cub yesterday. Best bet these days is Costco, where you can get USDA Prime for $12.99 a pound.

While beef prices are this high, I've been working more chicken into my weekly menus. My favorite way to cook chicken is to convection roast it. Comes out just like those delicious rotisserie chickens at Costco. But one can't live by roasted chickens alone, so I turned to Bobby Flay to put a little variety in my chicken repertoire.

The cheapest way to make this meal is buy a whole chicken, butterfly it and then cut it into parts. If you don't want to do all of that work, you can buy whole chickens that the butcher has cut up. If you are partial to a certain cut, like breasts or thighs, then just buy 3 pounds of those. After you've grilled, you can serve the pieces whole or shred the meat to go in tortillas with some fresh veggies. This recipe serves four.

1 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 heaping tablespoon Korean chili paste (recommended: Kochi Chang)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1 (3-pound) chicken, butterflied, cut into parts


1. Whisk together the soy, vinegar, honey, chili paste, ginger and garlic in a bowl and divide the mixture in half. Add one-half to a large baking dish, then add the chicken, turning to coat. Cover and let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours. Add the green onions, sesame oil, black pepper and sesame seeds to the remaining half of the mixture. Reserve it as a dipping sauce for the finished chicken.

2. Prepare grill for cooking over both direct and indirect heat. If using charcoal, hot coals are used under half of the grill and no coals under the other half. 

3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and put it over the charcoal, skin side down. Grill until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Relocate the chicken to the indirect heat zone, lower the cover and cook for 20 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the grill and serve.

Pairing: For white wine drinkers, choose a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Red lovers should opt for a big, fruity Zinfandel. But if it were my choice, I'd opt for an ice cold Korean beer.

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