FINALLY IT’S SUMMER IN MAINE!
Since the 4th of July, we’ve been enjoying warm sunny days, brilliant blue skies, and balmy, starry nights. For those of us that wait 10 months for its coming, summer is the easiest time of year to entertain. We surrender to the call of the wild and move all of our eating outdoors with barbeques on the deck, cocktails on the porch, and picnics at the shore.
It’s easy to find inspiration for summer eating; vine-ripened fresh fruit and veggies, locally grown, pasture-raised beef, lamb, and pork, free-range chickens, fresh-from-the ocean fish, artisan breads and cheese; the markets and farm stands are bursting with the best food Maine has to offer.
The recipe for Lime & Honey Glazed BBQ Chicken is adapted from an article about Easy Grilling in the June 2009, Eating Well magazine. Written by just-published cookbook authors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough (Cooking Know-How: How to be a Better Cook), it is a fascinating explanation of how to use your grill to roast juicy, golden pieces of meat.
Which is exactly why I saved the magazine for 10 years.
It seems that understanding the technique of how to use the heat of the grill (and the lid) makes a world of difference in the preparation. We love BBQ chicken legs and thighs, but quite honestly, have better luck getting them completely cooked without burning by roasting them in the oven. The technique of heating up the grill, then using it to roast meat, with the lid down (no peeking) yields a perfectly cooked piece of meat with outstanding flavors and deep amber colors.
This recipe recommends using skinless chicken pieces with the bone in. We love crispy chicken skin, but after first trying the recipe with the skin on, I agree that without the skin, the chicken grills up better.
This marinade would be delicious with other foods like scallops, pork tenderloin, even tofu. The combination of lime, honey and soy is both sweet and tangy. Hot pepper flakes add a nice punch of heat. Don’t marinate for more than 2 hours, as the molecules will start to breakdown and the food become spongy. Cooking the marinade into a glaze kills any harmful bacteria from raw meat, and adds another taste dimension to the smoky flavor of the meal.
LIME & HONEY GLAZED BBQ CHICKEN
- 8 pieces bone-in chicken skin removed, we like thighs and legs
- 1 tablespoons freshly grated lime zest
- 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
To prepare the marinade:
- Grate the zest from the lime and squeeze the juice.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, lime juice & zest, and red pepper flakes.
- Remove the skin from the chicken pieces and place in a shallow pan. Cover with the marinade and refrigerate for up to 2 hours before cooking.
To cook the chicken:
- Preheat your grill (with all burners lit) to 400 degrees. Or, build a charcoal fire and let it burn down to medium.
- Turn off the middle burner of the grill or move the hot coals over to one side.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Place the chicken, bone-side down (with the thick part of the meat facing up) on the unheated part of the grill. Close the lid and allow the chicken to roast, undisturbed, for 25 minutes.
- Place the reserved marinade in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it has been reduced and thickened to a glaze. Remove from heat.
- Check the chicken, baste with the glaze, and turn and continue to cook and baste the chicken pieces until the center of the meat is 165 degrees, about 10-20 minutes.