Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Portugese Grilled Chicken

from Jean Anderson's The Food of Portugal
6-8 servings

2 large garlic cloves
1 large bay leaf, crumbled fine
2 tsp. paprika (preferably Hungarian sweet rose)
1 Tbls. kosher or coarse salt
1/4 tsp. crushed dried red chili peppers
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbls. olive oil
2 small chickens, quartered* (as small as you can find - I usually can't find any smaller than 3 lbs.)

Mash garlic, bay leaf, paprika, salt, chili peppers, black pepper, and olive oil to a paste using a mortar and pestle or a small food processor. Rub the chicken well under the skin and on both sides with the paste. Freeze.

Thaw completely in refrigerator. Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill bone-side-down with cover closed about 15 minutes. Watch out for flare-ups and move chicken, if needed. Turn and grill for another 10-15 minutes or until thickest part of meat reaches 165 degrees. My cookbook says you can also broil the chicken 5 inches from the heat source for the same amounts of time, but I never have. We love this with oven fries and a cucumber/tomato salad.

*quartering a whole chicken is really easy (and more economical than buying parts) if you have a pair of kitchen shears. Cut up along both sides of the backbone, removing it completely. Then cut down the center of the breastbone. We actually grill halves like this more often than quarters, but for quarters, snip the area between the leg and the breast that's thinnest. You're done!

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