Grilled Tea-Infused Chicken – Recipe! Image 1
Food, Main Courses

Grilled Tea-Infused Chicken – Recipe!

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Labor Day is a day we commemorate workers everywhere and the contributions they have made to our country.  On most occasions, Labor Day is spent socializing outdoors savoring the last days of summer and often, it involves putting together a good meal.

On this special day, I thought infusing poultry might be fun because today, we do have a few hours to sit and watch smoky tea leaves work their magic into our meal.  I think tea adds another note of depth to most proteins, and let’s face it – how many of us have a little loose tea sitting around the pantry?  It doesn’t involve much preparation, just create a brining solution and plop the bird right in for a good soak.

It would be nice if you let the chicken sit inside its new home for several hours, but it doesn’t take much more than that.  As far as cooking, set it up on a grilling pan or can, and place it on the grill for an hour or so.  The marinade flavors meld into the meat and when complete, it becomes the most succulent chicken you have ever tasted.

Grilled Tea-Infused Chicken – Recipe! Image 2

Ingredients

Brine

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup Lapsang Souchong Tea, or other black loose tea

3 small dried red chiles, broken into pieces

4 star anise pods

2 1/2 pound chicken

Tea-Smoking Packet

1/2 cup Basmati rice

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup Lapsang Souchong Tea, or other black loose tea

1 dried chile, broken into pieces

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

________

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon Sichuan or black peppercorns

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 lime, sliced

(Serves 4-6)

To Prepare:

1. In a large bowl, combine all brine ingredients, including chicken.  Fill with water to cover bird.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, up to overnight.

Grilled Tea-Infused Chicken – Recipe! Image 3

2.  Remove chicken from brine and rinse with cold water, pat dry.  Rub butter all over chicken and sprinkle with salt.  Crush peppercorns and sprinkle all over chicken.

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Grilled Tea-Infused Chicken – Recipe! Image 5

3.  To create smoking packet – on a piece of foil add rice, sugar, tea, chile and black peppercorns.  Wrap foil up tightly and using a fork, puncture several holes on top of packet.

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4.  To preheat grill – set one side on high heat, and the other on medium heat to reach 425 degrees.  If you have three burners, far side – high and the other two on medium.  So, if you don’t have one of these gizmos (infusing grill pan), you can use a can from your pantry; soup, tomatoes, green chiles, or soda. Fill center with 1/4 cup tea and fill with hot water, stir.  Place chicken over top of can – very similar to beer-can chicken, except we’re not using beer here.  Using tongs, lift high-heat-side grate up and place foil packet on top of grill bars.  Place chicken with can, or infusing pan over medium heat side of grill.

Grilled Tea-Infused Chicken – Recipe! Image 8

Grilled Tea-Infused Chicken – Recipe! Image 9

5.  Grill chicken for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, depending upon size of chicken.  Rotate chicken every 15 minutes for even cooking.  If temperature gets too high, lower heat under chicken.  Remove chicken from can and place on a cutting board to rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with fresh cilantro and lime wedges, Enjoy!

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