Go-to grilling

As you prepare from Summer Thanksgiving (all hail Alison Roman for its new name), here are some things to consider:

1. Everything Carla Lalli Music says in this NPR interview about BBQ etiquette.
2. Disposable compostable plates are the way to go, but all disposable cutlery is shit.
3. Your grill will have so much more heat to give once you’re done making Summer Thanksgiving. Have some potatoes ready to leave in there overnight while the grill cools down slowly.
4. Pan con tomate is LIFE. You make it by grilling bread brushed with olive oil, then rub it with garlic and fat, juicy, halved heirloom tomatoes. Make it first so everyone has something to snack on while the meat cooks.
5. Everyone loves ranch dressing on grilled stuff, especially a cabbage or romaine wedge salad. Here’s how I make it.
6. Apart from hamburgers and hot dogs, chicken thighs with the skin on and bone in are the easiest thing to grill. They’re very flavorful and pretty difficult to dry out!
7. It’s true: marinating your meat after grilling is super dope. But marinating chicken in fish sauce before grilling is my go-to thing. It’s inspired by Pok Pok’s wings, aka some of the best chicken I’ve ever had in my entire life. Find the recipe below!

HMMessinger_grilledchicken.JPG

You’ll need:
two pounds chicken- that’s 4 bone-in, skin-on legs
8 medium cloves garlic, smashed hard, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup raw cane sugar

1. I think it’s really important to stick your fingers under the skin of the chicken and loosen it a little from the meat. It gives the marinade a way in and the fat a way out.
2. Place the garlic in a large container with the salt + warm water. Let sit for five minutes, then add the fish sauce and sugar, then stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let the chicken marinate in this, covered, overnight.
3. Put about 75% of the heated coals on one side of my grill and 25% on the other. The chicken needs to be grilled on the side with less coals so that it cooks all the way through without burning the skin.
4. Pull the chicken out of the marinate, brushing off any clumps of garlic that are large enough to burn and pat it dry. Do not grease the chicken or the grill! Chicken skin is mostly fat and will grease itself! Place the chicken skin side down on the cooler side of the grill. After 10 minutes, check to see if the fat has rendered out. If it’s sticking, it’s not ready to flip. Be patient. It will look like the chicken in the photo when it is ready to flip. You can close the grill for a while if you like, but open it back up if it reads above 400 degrees.
5. Cook the chicken on the other side until the fat has rendered off of it as well. It should take about 75% as long as the first side. There’s no shame in using a meat thermometer to make sure it’s cooked! You want the thickest part of the thigh to read 165.