Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1 chicken (3-1/2 to 4 lb.), cut into 10 pieces (2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 4 breast pieces, and 2 wings; back discarded) or 2-1/2 to 3 lb. mixed bone-in, skin-on chicken parts, such as breasts, thighs, and drumsticks

  2. 1/3 cup kosher salt

  3. 3 Tbs. granulated sugar

  4. 1 bay leaf

  5. 4 to 6 juniper berries, lightly crushed

  6. 4 strips lemon zest

  7. Basting or finishing sauce ; use Chipotle-Lime Rub , Maple-Bourbon Glaze , Cucumber-Grape Salsa , Black Olive & Mint Vinaigrette , or one of your own creations.

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Brine the chicken: Rinse the chicken pieces and set aside. In a large bowl or nonreactive pot, dissolve the salt and sugar in 5 cups cold water. Add the spices and zest, if using. Submerge the chicken pieces in the brine, adding more cold water as needed so that the brine covers the chicken. If the chicken tends to bob above the surface, set a plate on top to weight it down. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Prepare any sauce you like from the recipe links above (or from your own repertoire). Remove the chicken from the brine, discard the brine, quickly rinse the chicken and pat each piece dry with paper towels. If you’re using a rub, put it on the chicken just before you get the fire ready.

  2. Set up your grill: For charcoal, build a medium-hot fire that’s big enough to last for 35 to 40 min. without losing its firepower. This means adding 4 or 5 quarts of charcoal to the starter coals after the fire is started. Once the whole heap is burning nicely and beginning to appear white, arrange the coals so that they only cover about three-quarters of the grill. This way you have a cool spot to move the chicken if it starts to burn or to cook too quickly. If you don’t have a grill rake to even out the coals, you can use a small garden rake or hoe. The fire is ready when you can hold your palm over the main area of the fire for about 3 seconds. For a gas grill, heat all the burners to medium high for 10 to 15 min. before you start grilling.

  3. For a hot fire to last, it needs extra coals. Add 4 to 5 quarts of charcoal so it'll be ready when the first coals die.


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