The Culinary Architect: Make Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Into A Feast

Alexandra Troy
With the weather as warm as it has been, it is enticing to continue to grill outdoors.  I was recently watching a TV show on how to prepare a spatch-cooked grilled Hawaiian chicken.  Hmm, I thought this could be a delicious way to make a chicken and serve it to friends and family.
There are a few reasons why this chicken is a cut above the rest.  Firstly, brinning your chicken makes it succulent and juicy.  Brinning your “bird” for at least an hour and up until 24 hours, will yield the most tasty bird.
Secondly, rubbing your chicken with a dry “spice rub” makes the finished chicken tastier than a chicken that is just salt and peppered.
Thirdly, the “Hawaiian sauce” is flavorful and adds an extra “je ne sais quoi” to the chicken.  If you are in a rush, you may substitute store-bought barbeque sauce, but it will never be as delicious as your homemade Hawaiian Sauce.
Finally, grilling spatch-cooked chicken on medium heat and constantly turning it will produce the moistest, flavorful chicken.
Round out your meal with my “Glorified Store-bought Potato Salad” and a tossed salad of your choice with ginger dressing, available in most supermarkets, all Asian markets and even some Asian restaurants sell their own version of this dressing.
Finish your meal with fresh pineapple and if you close your eyes you may even think you have been transported to Hawaii.
(Serves 4)
Grilled Hawaiin Chicken
Glorified Store-bought Potato Salad
Tossed Salad with Ginger Dressing*
Cut Up Pineapple*
*Recipe Not Given
Grilled Hawaiian Chicken
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 cups ice
1 5-7 lb. whole chicken
2 tblsps. garlic powder
1 tblsp. plus 1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tblsp. All Seasoning
Freshly cracked ground pepper
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tblsps. sherry vinegar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1. Place the chicken, breast-side down, on a cutting board.  Using kitchen shears, remove the backbone by cutting up from the tailbone to the neck on both sides.  Open the bird, remove the breastbone and wishbone.  Make small cuts on both sides below the thighs to tuck the wings under so you have a flattened “spatch-cocked” chicken.  (See article in April 23, 2015 issue of The Island Now to read more about spatch-cocked chicken.)
2. To brine your bird, in a saucepan, place 1 cup water and add the salt, sugar, bay leaves and garlic cloves.  Bring to a simmer to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Once at a simmer, turn off the heat and add the ice.  When the liquid is cool, place into a resealable bag over a bowl and add the chicken to the brine, making sure it is completely submersed.  Brine in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up until 24 hours.
3. For the Hawaiian sauce, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the orange juice, ketchup, soy sauce and sherry vinegar.  Once the liquid simmers, whisk in the brown sugar.  Continue to simmer until the liquid begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let stand (or prepare ahead and refrigerate until ready for use).
4. Preheat a grill to medium heat.
5. Dry Rub:  Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry.  Thoroughly mix the garlic powder, salt, paprika, All Seasons Mix, cumin and some black pepper together in a small bowl.  Coat the chicken with the dry rub, making sure to sprinkle well inside the cavity.  Lay the chicken flat on the preparation surface. Then tuck the thighs tucked next to the breasts and the wings inserted into the slits.
6. Place the chicken on the grill, breast side down and char for 7 to 8 minutes.  Turn once and continue to grill, bone-side down for another 15 minutes.
7. Continue to turn the chicken as it cooks so it doesn’t burn.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken as you turn it.  Finish by alternating sides until the chicken is thoroughly browned, the skin is crispy and a digital instant-read thermometer tucked under the breast confirms the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.  The total cook time will be 35 to 40 minutes. With a heat-resistant silicone pastry brush, glaze the chicken with the Hawaiian sauce.
8. Serve extra sauce along side.
Glorified Store-bought Potato Salad
1 lb. of your favorite store-bought potato salad
1 large red pepper washed, cored and cut into cubes
5 scallions washed and sliced thinly on the diagonal (use only green and light green
parts, reserve white part for another use)
1. In a large mixing bowl, place all of the ingredients and gently fold them together.  Refrigerate until serving.
2.  NEVER leave potato salad at room temperature for more than an hour, as food borne  illnesses love to breed in room temperature mayonnaise.
Alexandra Troy is owner of Culinary Architect Catering, a 35 year-old  Greenvale-based company, specializing in private, corporate and promotional parties.  If you make any of these recipes, please share your photographs

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Alexandra Troy

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