Sweet Soy Glazed Grilled Chicken

Twas the day after Labor Day and I had chicken leg quarters  and corn on the cob to cook. The chicken was for my mom. The corn was for both of us. Yes, I cook her meat. Why? Because she's going to eat it regardless. And at least, if I cook it, it'll be delicious. Instead of having suffered and died to be dry and tasteless.

In my opinion, grilled corn is far and away one of the best foods one can eat. Simple, yet profound in its flavor and texture. I prefer early summer white Jersey corn. It's much sweeter and more crisp. But late summer yellow corn is juicy and chars much better. It comes off the grill with a distinctly smokey flavor that definitely screams summer! Whichever corn is available, I grill it naked. Husk discarded and nothing on it except the kiss of fire and smoke.

Chicken on the other hand needs a lot more help. Veggies in general are perfection cooked lightly in their natural state. Meats require finesse.

When grilling chicken I always bathe it in some high smoke point oil, like canola. A little white wine, some salt and pepper. Toss all in a zip top baggie with your chicken and massage. Let sit on the counter for 10 minutes, then massage again.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan combine 2 tbls soy sauce, 2 tbls real maple syrup, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 2 tbls canola oil, 1/4 cup tap water, 2 tea bags, 1 tsp hot sauce, 1 tsp white vinegar, 1 tsp cumin seed, 2 tbls white wine, and somesalt and pepper. Simmer until it has reduced by at least half. Season with a little fresh or ground ginger. Add more salt, pepper, maple syrup and vinegar to taste. Set aside.

Split chicken leg quarters into drumsticks and thighs.  Grill chicken over a hot charcoal grill until it reaches 160-165 degrees F. Careful. Drumsticks will cook at a different rate than thighs.

Remove cooked chicken from grill to heat safe vessel and brush generously with your set aside glaze. Making sure to get some of the crushed garlic onto the chicken. If you have leftover glaze you can drizzle it over your chicken, your corn or anything really.


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