Monday, July 03, 2006

Grilled Lemon Coriander Chicken

Made this dish the other night and thought I'd share the recipe. Fairly simple preparation but dramatic presentation, excellent flavors and you don't heat up your kitchen. It comes from the May 2006 issue of Gourmet. I wasn't sure how much I'd like it since I'm not a huge cilantro fan, but everything blends together nicely and the cilantro isn't overpowering.

3/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro sprigs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 shallots, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
2 tsps fresh lemon juice
1 fresh serrano chile, minced, including seeds (I couldn't find a serrano chile at my market so I got an anaheim chile and used that)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 chicken (3 to 3.5 lbs.) rinsed and patted dry
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used olive oil instead)

Puree the cilantro through sugar plus 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor until it makes a paste. Sprinkle cavity of chicken with remaining salt and the black pepper. Loosen the skin and push the paste in using a small spoon. Use your fingers on the outside of the skin to distribute the puree evenly along the breast and over the drumsticks and thighs. Tie the legs together with kitchen string, tuck wings under and brush the skin all over with butter (or oil).

Set up the grill for indirect cooking over medium hot coals and place chicken directly on lightly oiled grill rack (I use the roasting pan insert to make the chicken easier to lift on and off the grill). Cook until thermometer registers 170 degrees F in fleshy part of thigh. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

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