Sunday, May 16, 2010


Today's post was written by Chris, yesterday afternoon while the scent of smoke and Spring were drifting down the stairs. He'd remarked that the chicken was "lookin' mighty good," and went up to take a picture or two. When he returned, I asked if he'd just sit down and write the steps and the method to this family favorite---we've been known to have four to six of these beauties beneath the lid of the Weber, as we gather the clan and set the tables outdoors.

Mahogany Chicken begins with real charcoal, preferably Kingsford brand. Real charcoal is the only way to go. Gas is something you put in your gas tank to go get your charcoal. Your chicken should be a fryer size of about 4 lbs. When you wash and dress or trim your chicken make sure the body cavity is open to allow the heat access to the inside.

A chicken of this size will cook completely in approximately one hour in a good kettle grill as shown in the picture. The chicken will cook more evenly if indirect heat is used. You can see from the picture that my grill has two charcoal compartments that keep the heat to the sides.
The kettle design will direct the heat in a circular enveloping pattern that will cook the chicken without burning.

I turn the chicken once in the one hour's time it takes to cook. I also keep a small pan of water between my charcoal containers. The water boils the entire time. This keeps the chicken moist and tender. As long as the water boils the chicken can not dry out. Keep in mind that every charcoal grill is different and cooking time can vary.

If you want a real smoke flavor you can put a couple hands full of wood chips on the coals when you first put your chicken on the grill. Make sure the flames from the chips are not directly under the chicken.

Your bird will be done and ready for the sauce when the legs move freely. I put the sauce on both sides of the bird about five minutes before it comes off the grill. Make sure you keep the bird between the charcoal or the sugar in the sauce will burn. You can sauce the bird twice in five minute intervals if you like a lot of sauce.

If properly done the leg meat will pull off the bones and the wings will slide off easily. The trick is to not overcook the chicken.

Indirect heat in a good kettle grill, boiling water for moisture and a good sauce make for a nice tender juicy bird. Add a fresh Vidalia onion sandwich, baked beans and a cold glass of tea and try to save room for some dessert. Supper’s ready.
I'd already made a little skillet of "baked" beans---sauteed onion and bell pepper, glugs of the same Sweet Baby Ray's that went onto the chicken, a little brown sugar, and two leftover Turkey Brats, grilled earlier in the week, cut into teensy dice. A little Tupperware of Potato Salad, with Special Syrup, celery seeds and lots of mustard, and my part was done.
And it WAS "Mighty Good" chicken---meltingly tender and slipping from the bones.
Summer's coming---time for GRILLING! (To Chris, any time is grilling time!)
PS Later in the day: I just clicked to enlarge on the picture of the whole grill---you see that SECOND SET of little chrome legs just behind the legs of the Maroon grill??
That's the STAND-BY black Weber kettle, just in case . . .


Penny said...

I am putting David on this recipe post haste. He is the grill king. Thanks for the input on the Gnafron. You are probably right about it's provenance.

Maggie McArthur said...

Chris, that's food porn! I'm gonna clean out the grill tomorrow and buy a chicken.Thanks for your great cooking and guest blogging.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

hummm sounds so good, DH won't use anything but charcoal...