To brine or not to brine, that is the question. I have come to the conclusion that for smaller cuts of meat, ie chicken breasts or thighs vs a whole bird, brining works for me. I don’t want my meat to get soggy or spongy so I suggest only bringing chicken pieces for 2-4 hours. A whole bird you could do over night but I prefer cutting the bird into pieces prior to the brining process.
You do not have to brine for this recipe but if you want to do so here is that recipe.
In a large container that can submerse 3-4 pounds of meat combine
5 cups of cold water
1/3c kosher salt (I only use Diamond Crystal. It isn’t as salty as other brands. Trust me on this)
1/4 c sugar
2 bay leafs
1 TBSP whole peppercorn
Mix the ingredients until they dissolve into the water. Add the chicken and cover with a plate to make sure it is totally submerged. Put in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
Remove meat 30 minutes before cooking.
I recommend a rub. I make it in a big batch and use it all of the time. It can be used on all types of meat. Michael Symon taught me all about rubs and here is my take on it.
Make as little or as much as you would like:
2 parts kosher salt
2 parts fresh ground pepper
1/2 part celery seed
1/2 part ground coriander
1/2 part paprika
1/2 part smoked paprika
1/4 part brown sugar
Stir to combine and store in air tight container
I use about a tsp on each piece of chicken.
Heat up the grill and get ready to go.
While you are waiting on the grill make your bbq sauce. This is a bbq sauce I have perfected over the years. This is not TX style, so my fellow Texans don’t come at me, but it is a great combo of sweet, salty and spicy with a curry powder surprise.
Honey Jalapeno BBQ Sauce
1 c. Favorite ketchup
1 c. Honey
1/4 c. Dijon
1 small seeded jalapeño cut into rings. If you want it spicier add more peppers
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
5-6 shakes of tabasco or favorite hot sauce
3 TBSP Brown sugar
1 TBSP Curry powder
1 1/2 Tsp Paprika
1 tsp soy sauce
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
Juice of one lemon
A few twists of fresh ground pepper.
Put everything in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 min. Adjust seasoning to your likening.
Put the chicken on the grill, skin side up. I tend to go 8-10 min per side then check temp. When it is at 155 degrees, I coat with BBQ sauce. The honey will make it burn if you do it too early. Pull it off of the grill at 160 degrees and it will temp up to 165 degrees.
Serve with extra sauce on the side and your favorite side dishes.