In case you didn’t know, we’re big fans of Chris over at NibbleMeThis (which from here on out will be referred to as NMT). When he posted his recipe for his favorite chicken marinade, back in April, I printed it out knowing I wanted to try it. We messaged back and forth over Facebook this past Saturday and he has graciously allowed me to share it with you. That being said, you still should go check out his website. Right now. Go. I’ll still be here when you get back.
From NMT’s post:
NMT Grilled Chicken Marinade
makes: enough for 3-4 pounds of chicken pieces
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: none for the marinade
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lime juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dry minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dry minced garlic
Mix ingredients together and pour over chicken pieces in a large zip top bag. Seal, refrigerate, and marinate 4-8 hours. Remove from marinade and drain off excess marinade before grilling. Omit salt from the marinade if using a BBQ rub in addition to the marinade. Tip for crispier chicken skin: Remove chicken from marinades and allow to air dry on a raised rack in the refrigerator for 1 hour prior to grilling.
We try and stick to recipes as close to possible the first time we try them out. However, we didn’t have minced onion, se we subbed in 1/4 tsp of onion powder instead. We let the chicken marinate for about 6 hours while we ran to the Farmer’s Market and did some other errands. When we got home, I set up the Egg for an indirect cook using the Adjustable Rig from the Ceramic Grill Store and added a few orange and apple chips for smoke. I kept it light on the smoke as I wanted the flavor of the marinade to shine through rather than the smoke. I didn’t really time the cook, but I’d guesstimate that it took somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour. Once the chicken hit about 160F, I pulled the rig and grilled the legs directly for about a minute of two to develop a darker color and get a little crispier skin.
The chicken was allowed to rest for a few minutes while the lovely Mrs. G put the final touches on some potatoes and tomatoes that we had picked up earlier in the day from the Farmer’s Market.
We’ve been cooking a lot of our chicken lately using the indirect method. I feel like when you are cooking chicken using a raised direct method over charcoal, it turns out really smokey regardless if you add wood chips or chunks. The fat dripping onto the coals produces a ton of smoke. You might like that kind of flavor, but I find it hides all the other flavors you have worked so hard to develop. Going indirect allows you to avoid that nasty smoke but ends up making the chicken take longer to cook. I think as a result we might have lost some of the flavor from the marinade. While the chicken was moist and the buttermilk, yogurt and lemon helped to tenderize the chicken, we didn’t get the “unique tang” that NMT was talking about. Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty, I was just looking for that “tang”. The other thing I wish I would have done differently was to allow the chicken to air dry in the fridge for an hour to get crispy skin. While the last few minutes cooking directly did help get the skin crispier, air drying it would have done a much better job. Not that we had an hour for that last step as we got home late from running errands and we were starving. Sometimes life just gets in the way. Regardless, if you are looking for a different marinade for your chicken, give this one a shot and don’t forget to head on over to NMT and check out some of his amazing recipes and if you like what you see there, keep an eye out for his upcoming book The Kamada Smoker and Grill Cookbook. I’ve already got mine pre-ordered.