Sunday dinners have become a bit of a challenge, since daughter Miriam has been sick with something that prevents her from eating anything in the leek family—garlic, onions, etc. Adapting recipes to be flavorful without these well loved ingredients tests my mettle—laddle?—as a cook. I decided on barbecuing a chicken with a slightly French fine herbs sans chives vibe—sage seemed an appropriate substitute.
Karl’s Barbecued Lemon Chicken
1 brined chicken
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup butter, melted
½ tsp. lemon zest
½ Tbs. chervil
½ Tbs. sage, rubbed
½ Tbs. tarragon
1 tsp. honey
½ tsp. black pepper, cracked
1. Cut the chicken into four pieces.
Tip: Remove the backbone and wing tips. Separate the breast and legs. Pull the skin away from the meat, but leave it attached.
Note: Frequently for a dish like this, I also remove the keel bone, ribs and any other bones that might pierce the marinade bag, but this time I left them in—to protect the meat on the grill.
2. Mix the marinade in a small bowl.
3. One piece at a time, put the chicken pieces in a sealable , gallon plastic bag spoon the marinade under the skin.
4. Seal the bag and shake it gently to coat the outsides of the chicken.
5. Press the air out of the bag and seal it tightly.
6. Marinate the chicken for at least four hours in the refrigerator.
Tip: Overnight is better.
7. Set the chicken on the counter an hour before you plan to start cooking.
Tip: A room temperature bird cooks more evenly.
Note: Do not discard the marinade remaining in the bag when you remove the chicken.
8. Build a bi-level fire in your barbecue.
Tip: For gas grills: Turn on all of the burners five minutes before cooking and then turn off one side, when it is time to move the chicken to the cool side of the grill.
9. Sear the chicken pieces directly over the heat for five minutes per side.
Tip: Start with the pretty skin side first, so you get good grill marks.
Note: Close the grill each time after you turn the meat.
10. Move the chicken to the cool side of the grill and baste the pieces with the remaining marinade.
11. After 15 minutes, flip the chicken pieces and baste them again with any remaining marinade.
12. Insert a constant read thermometer set to 160º F.
13. When the alarm sounds, transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with aluminum foil.
14. Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes.
15. Cut the chicken pieces into portions and transfer them to a serving plate.