Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chicken a la Plancha for a Summer Night

Crib Note Recipes #2; Chicken a la Plancha
Simple, succulent and easy for these hot summer nights.

You will need a combination of chicken wings and thighs, Spanish pimenton de la vera (‘picante’), sea salt, rosemary and lavender branches (optional), mesquite or oak charcoal (essential) for the fire.

To finish and serve, you will need thinly sliced red onion and two or more peeled cloves of garlic (preferably from confit) , a handful of small olives, one meyer lemon and ground black pepper.

Begin by building a fire of hardwood charcoal. I recommend banking the coals to one side and placing a drip pan to one side at the bottom of the grill because to the extent possible you would like to cook the chicken over indirect heat. Position any fatty pieces so that they drip into the pan and not onto the coals. Begin skin side down and finish skin side up. Place a few rosemary and lavender branches (if using) on the grill grate amidst the chicken pieces so that they help perfume the skin and meat. Discard the herb branches which by now will be blackened.

While the chicken is cooking sauté the onions in a small amount of olive oil. Allow them to soften just short of full carmelization and add the garlic cloves and stir. When the chicken is finished transfer the pieces to a serving platter. Add a generous grating of black pepper. Top with sautéed onions and garlic. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the chicken and scatter the olives.

Serve with a green salad, and maybe some couscous.

No comments: