If there’s one thing I truly enjoy, it’s a perfect piece of grilled chicken. During the summer months grilling is the cooking method of choice on super hot days, and marinating poultry and then, tossing it on the grill is a relatively easy task to a terrific meal. There are so many marinades and spice rubs available today, that you don’t even have to make them from scratch anymore. I do partake in a few myself, especially the ones that I think have a nice balance of flavors and create great food after cooking.
A good jar of Harissa usually falls in this category for me because the blend of peppers and spices always seem to do the trick and I can add a few other pantry items to it, and make it my own special marinade. I’ve tried a few brands and so far, they all seem to produce a nice slightly spicy, yet tangy, piece of chicken that caramelizes beautifully when cooked on a moderately hot grill.
The key to good grilled chicken is to have an indirect heat area on the grill, a section where no immediate fire is below. That way, when your chicken is seared and mostly cooked through, you have a section to finish cooking the chicken without it burning, or getting too dark. That’s not to say, I don’t love a little charring on the outside, because I do. I just want the juices to stay inside, allowing the meat to tenderize and become mouthwatering. The harissa in the marinade provides a subtle heat, not too hot, but just right, giving the chicken the perfect note of smoky flavor.
4-6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks
1/2 cup harissa
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped – if desired
- Unwrap chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
- In a large bowl or dish, add harissa, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and oil, stir.
- Add chicken, tossing in marinade to coat. Cover dish with lid or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator at least 4 hours, up to 12 hours.
- Remove chicken from refrigerator and heat grill to 375 degrees, leaving one section of grill with no fire underneath.
- Place chicken over fire side of grill and cook for 10 minutes. Flip over and cook other side for 10 minutes, checking to make sure grill doesn’t get hotter than 375 degrees during grilling.
- Move chicken to indirect heat side of grill and continue to cook for 7-10 minutes longer or internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove chicken from grill and place on board. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!