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How to grill your chicken to perfection

Grilled chicken should never be bland and boring.
Grilled chicken should never be bland and boring. - 123RF Stock Photo

Cooking your chicken to perfection on the grill isn’t always as simple as it may seem; just one careless mistake can turn your succulent feast into an inedible dish! Ready to prepare the best grilled chicken you’ve ever tasted? Here are a few pointers to help with the task at hand.

Season and let marinate

Balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, plain yogurt, olive oil, maple syrup, beer, honey, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, butter and other flavourful seasonings (Cajun spice, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, etc.) can all give your chicken a mouth-watering kick. Generously coat your poultry in the mix of your choosing and let it marinate for several hours in an airtight plastic bag in the fridge.

Avoid thermal shock

Did you know that direct contact between very cold meat and a sizzling hot grill is a foolproof way to char your poultry? It’s true! Instead, let your marinated chicken sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before it hits the barbecue for a much more appetizing outcome. Also, keep in mind that for beautiful crispy skin, the barbecue needs to be sufficiently hot (around 300 C).

Aim for the right temperature

Unlike juicy, medium-rare steaks, bloody chicken is dangerous for your health. At the same time, over-cooked chicken is a culinary disaster! If you don’t already have one, buy a meat thermometre that you’ll insert into the meatiest part of the chicken (after the recommended cooking time) to make sure it’s roasted to perfection. In general, a whole three-pound chicken should be kept on the grill for 75 minutes at 300 C. Once the meat thermometre reads 85 C, you can confidently consider your mission accomplished.

Drizzle the leftover marinade over the entire chicken once it’s almost fully cooked; the sauce will caramelize and form into a golden crust.

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