Month: June 2018

Chili Salt Makes These Tamarind Popsicles a Grown-Up Treat

Chili Salt Makes These Tamarind Popsicles a Grown-Up Treat

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] My childhood was unsupervised for about an hour a day—after school let out and before my parents came home from work. My friend Hana and I would take advantage of these moments and book it to the ice cream truck for some […]

Tamarind and Palm Sugar Popsicles With Chili Salt Recipe

Tamarind and Palm Sugar Popsicles With Chili Salt Recipe

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] If you grew up on the salty and spicy tamarind-flavored candy Pelon Pelo Rico, then you’ll love these popsicles, which are inspired by the sticky, sweet treat. The biggest challenge of this recipe is procuring the ingredients, but you can get most […]

15 July 4th Burger Recipes, Because You’re Gonna Be Eating Burgers

15 July 4th Burger Recipes, Because You’re Gonna Be Eating Burgers


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[Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt, Morgan Eisenberg]

There’s no shortage of main dishes to serve at your holiday cookout, but it just doesn’t feel like July 4th to me without a burger. And I’m not talking about a store-bought hockey puck of a patty—the Fourth calls for a burger done right, ground by hand at home, grilled, and topped with everything from bacon to roasted green chilies to black olives. Here are 15 of our most mouthwatering grilled burger recipes (including a couple vegetarian options) that are perfect for Independence Day.

Thick and Juicy Home-Ground Grilled Cheeseburgers

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Sure, packaged ground beef is a tantalizingly easy solution, but grinding your own meat will net you better flavor and a looser, more open structure, which helps the burgers trap juice. Taking matters into your own hands also lets you experiment with different cuts—we like to use a blend of short rib, brisket, and sirloin, ground up somewhat finely.

Get the recipe for Thick and Juicy Home-Ground Grilled Cheeseburgers »

Barbecue Bacon Burgers

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

For an extra-smoky, grilled twist on a bacon cheeseburger, we love this recipe, which tops a thick, preferably hand-ground patty with barbecue sauce, slab bacon, cheddar cheese, and sweet grilled onion. Tenting the burgers with foil after taking them off the grill helps melt the cheese and keeps them warm while you get the bacon and buns ready. Those who truly can’t get enough of that porky flavor may want to add fried pork rinds to their burgers, too.

Get the recipe for Barbecue Bacon Burgers »

The McWhopper

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

There are McDonald’s people, and there are Burger King people, but we think it’s in keeping with the spirit of July 4th to unite the nation with one burger that caters to both sides. Our McWhopper borrows the best elements of each restaurant’s signature offering: the Whopper’s flame-broiled patty and the Big Mac’s special sauce, topped with both fresh and dehydrated onions.

Get the recipe for The McWhopper »

Quadruple Chili Cheeseburgers

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

It’s hard to fault a classic green chili cheeseburger, but July 4th is a time to go big, and this burger rises to the occasion by piling on hot peppers in three more forms: chipotle-spiked mayo, sliced pickled jalapeños, and pepper Jack cheese. That’s all added to the traditional roasted green chilies—Hatch if you can get them, Poblanos if you can’t—for a burger that really bites back.

Get the recipe for Quadruple Chili Cheeseburgers »

Pimento-Jalapeño Cheeseburgers

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

You may have experienced the wonders of pimento cheese as a dip or spread, but few appreciate how rich and creamy it gets when melted on a burger patty. There’s nothing to this recipe but layering the pimento cheese on your home-ground burgers, along with a handful of pickled jalapeños for extra heat.

Get the recipe for Pimento-Jalapeño Cheeseburgers »

Sichuan Peppercorn Burgers With Chili-Ginger Mayo and Cucumber Pickles

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[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

These unusual burgers bring a totally different kind of spiciness—the tingling, mouth-numbing heat of Sichuan peppercorns, rounded out with the complementary flavors of cumin, red pepper flakes, fennel, and star anise. We top them with a tangy chili- and ginger-spiked mayo, plus pickled cucumbers to provide just enough cooling relief.

Get the recipe for Sichuan Peppercorn Burgers With Chili-Ginger Mayo and Cucumber Pickles »

Teriyaki Burgers

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

If you’ve never made a batch of homemade teriyaki sauce, resolve to change that now; the quality is worlds beyond the store-bought stuff, and it lasts practically indefinitely in the fridge. It’s delicious on grilled chicken and shishito peppers, so why not spoon it onto a grilled burger as well, tradition be damned? Wait until the last couple minutes of cooking to add the sauce, so it doesn’t burn, and top the burgers with shredded cabbage for some much-needed crunch.

Get the recipe for Teriyaki Burgers »

Grilled Black-Olive Burger With Japanese Vinegar

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

If you’re not from Michigan, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of an olive burger, but locals go crazy for it: a patty topped with Swiss cheese and a mixture of green olives and mayonnaise. Here, we give the regional favorite a Japanese-inflected twist, spiking the meat mixture with a type of Japanese black vinegar called kurozu, which infuses the burgers with a wonderfully complex flavor. (Try subbing Chinkiang if you can’t get your hands on kurozu.) We replace the traditional green olives with oil-cured black olives—they have an umami quality that pairs nicely with the vinegar.

Get the recipe for Grilled Black-Olive Burger With Japanese Vinegar »

Grilled Korean Bulgogi Burgers With Kimchi Mayo and Pickled Daikon

[Photograph: Emily and Matt Clifton]

This recipe combines flavors drawn from Korean bulgogi (marinated grilled beef) with the portability of a burger. We glaze the patties with a flavorful sauce made with soy sauce, gochujang, garlic, ginger, vinegar, and brown sugar—since none of the flavorings go into the burger itself, there’s no need to adjust the cooking process or account for changes to texture. After they come off the grill, we top the burgers with a spicy kimchi mayo (infused with both the kimchi itself and the brine) and pickled daikon, plus crunchy shredded red cabbage.

Get the recipe for Grilled Korean Bulgogi Burgers With Kimchi Mayo and Pickled Daikon »

Cemita Burger With Refried Beans, Chipotle Mayo, Avocado, and Oaxacan Cheese

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[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

A hamburger patty isn’t exactly a traditional Pueblan cemita filling, but then again, neither are many of the ingredients you’ll find in a New York–style version of the sandwich. This supremely hearty burger pairs the patty with all the classic cemita fixings: refried beans, avocado, shredded Oaxacan cheese, lettuce, tomato, and papalo, a fresh herb that can often be found in Mexican groceries.

Get the recipe for Cemita Burger With Refried Beans, Chipotle Mayo, Avocado, and Oaxacan Cheese »

Hot Hawaiian Burgers (Spam, Pineapple, Swiss, and Sriracha Mayo)

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Spam is highly polarizing—some people find the salty canned meat disgusting, while others secretly or not-so-secretly love it. I’m in the latter category. If you are, too, you owe it to yourself to grill it up and throw it on a burger patty, along with sweet-tart pineapple, Swiss cheese, and lightly hot sriracha mayo. What’s Hawaiian about using an English muffin as a bun? Well, nothing, but it’s got a lot of helpful nooks and crannies to catch all those juices from the pineapple and meat.

Get the recipe for Hot Hawaiian Burgers (Spam, Pineapple, Swiss, and Sriracha Mayo) »

Cajun Burgers With Spicy Remoulade

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[Photograph: Morgan Eisenberg]

Adding andouille sausage to the beef for these burgers helps fortify their Cajun flavor, as does topping them with the “holy trinity” of Cajun cooking—onion, bell pepper, and celery. A dollop of spicy remoulade rounds them out, and, while it’s not exactly a Cajun ingredient, blue cheese adds a little pleasant funk.

Get the recipe for Cajun Burgers With Spicy Remoulade »

The Best Lamb Burgers

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

As much as I love lamb, I almost never order a lamb burger at a restaurant—odds are, it’ll come out ridiculously dry. To make the best possible lamb burgers, you’ll want to grind your own meat at home, work it gently, and cook it properly—the meat needs to hit a solid medium-rare so that the fat gets hot enough to melt. If you want to incorporate complementary flavorings, like cumin, garlic, or rosemary, we recommend adding them to the cubed meat before you grind, so they’ll be evenly blended in throughout.

Get the recipe for The Best Lamb Burgers »

Homemade Vegan Burgers That Don’t Suck

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

The Impossible Burger may have revolutionized the meatless-burger landscape, but there are still times when we want a veggie burger that tastes unabashedly like vegetables—and we want it from the comfort of our own home. We make our favorite vegan burgers with an array of ingredients, including mushrooms, eggplant, barley, chickpeas, cashews, and panko bread crumbs, for ideal flavor and texture. Best of all, these burgers cook up on the grill just like ground beef.

Get the recipe for Homemade Vegan Burgers That Don’t Suck »

Really Awesome Black Bean Burgers

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Too many of us experience black bean burgers only out of a box from the freezer section or as a restaurant menu’s apathetic nod to vegetarian customers. As with many things vegetarian, if you really want the best, it pays to do it yourself. This recipe isn’t 100% vegan, like the previous one—it incorporates both eggs and feta cheese, which builds flavor and moisture directly into the patties. Partially dehydrating canned black beans in the oven produces a burger that stays firm, not mushy, while chopped cashews, panko, sautéed onions, garlic, and Poblano peppers supply plenty of flavor and texture.

Get the recipe for Really Awesome Black Bean Burgers »



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Special Sauce: David Lebovitz on Blogging, Cookbooks, and Moving to Paris

Special Sauce: David Lebovitz on Blogging, Cookbooks, and Moving to Paris

[Photograph: Courtesy of David Lebovitz. Galette photograph: Vicky Wasik] On this week’s Special Sauce, seminal food blogger, pastry chef, and author David Lebovitz and I took a trip back into the past. And we had a blast. David worked in the Chez Panisse kitchen for […]

18 Grilled Vegetable Recipes to Steal the Show on July 4th

18 Grilled Vegetable Recipes to Steal the Show on July 4th

[Photographs: Joshua Bousel, J. Kenji López-Alt, Vicky Wasik] Hot dogs, chicken, and other grilled meats are the stars of most Independence Day cookouts, but it’s definitely a good idea to throw a few vegetables on the grill, too. Treated right, a hunk of cabbage or […]

Does Blending Olive Oil Make It More Bitter?

Does Blending Olive Oil Make It More Bitter?


An immersion blender blending an olive oil mixture in a white cup

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

I’ve written it dozens of times: Processing olive oil in a blender can make it unpleasantly bitter. I’ve crafted recipes to ensure it doesn’t happen, instructing readers to make mayo by blending in a neutral oil first and then working in some olive oil by hand afterward. Then, several weeks ago, I was working on a little story about just how different the results are between hand-whisked and machine-blended mayo. The differences are mostly textural, but I noted a flavor divide as well—the blended mayo was more bitter than the hand-whisked one. Exactly as expected.

I wrote my article, and I explained the bitterness as the consequence of blending olive oil at high speed. But I also casually floated a second explanation: that the bitterness was caused by the more aggressive puréeing of garlic in the blender, while the hand-whisked one contained garlic that I’d minced more coarsely with a knife.

The more I thought about it, the more those theories weighed on me. I know for a fact that how thoroughly you mince garlic can have a dramatic effect on its flavor, with a more intense bitterness emerging the more finely the garlic is broken down. And I also know that sometimes at home I break my own rule and blend olive oil at high speed…and I can’t remember ever having been bothered by the results. My brain told me this was a settled issue, but my gut told me it deserved more methodical attention.

The Science

What do we know about olive oil and bitterness? Well, we know that its bitterness, which is not at all considered a flaw (good olive oil often will be bitter), is caused by phenols, a large family of antioxidant molecules found in both plants and animals. It’s thought that secoiridoids, a class of phenols, are most directly responsible for any perceived bitterness and pungency in olive oil.

The idea that the bitterness of olive oil is exacerbated by high-speed blending or food-processing has been around for a while. The food writer James Peterson mentioned this phenomenon in his book Cooking, and the topic has popped up on food message boards for years. Peterson gives no explanation for the underlying mechanism that causes this bitterness, but almost all of the internet chatter I’ve seen points back to this 2009 Cook’s Illustrated article on the topic. According to that article, the bitterness is increased when the spinning blades of a food processor or blender disperse the oil and its fatty acid–coated polyphenols into tiny droplets in an emulsion, making them more easily detected by the taster. The problem, they say, is worse with higher-quality extra-virgin olive oil and less of an issue with pure olive oil, due to a lower phenol content in the latter.

That sounds really convincing. Indeed, it might be true. But I can’t tell, because I’ve been unable to turn up any scholarly articles backing up this explanation. (If you know of any, please send them my way!) Every source I’ve found that has given this explanation points back to Cook’s Illustrated, and the trail goes cold there.

Reading the Cook’s Illustrated story, though, got me wondering: How do you even test this? According to Cook’s Illustrated, the phenomenon is specific to emulsions, like mayonnaise, that contain olive oil. To test it, you’d have to make two identical emulsions, one by hand and the other with a blender or food processor, and then have blind-tasters evaluate the results. But, as my article on whisking mayo by hand shows, the results are so markedly different that there’d be no way to blind-taste the two side by side without knowing which was which.

Putting that blind-tasting challenge aside, there’s an even deeper potential problem in how Cook’s Illustrated conducted its tests. According to the article, they made two batches of mayo, one blended and the other hand-whisked, and compared the results. But both those batches also contained minced garlic. That’s significant.

Garlic, as I know from my mincing tests, can have a wide range of flavors depending on how (and how thoroughly) you mince it. That’s because, as I wrote, “When [garlic’s] cells are damaged, say, by a pest, two molecules, one called alliin and an enzyme named alliinase, come into contact with each other, and together produce a new compound called allicin, which is responsible for the pungent, vampire-repelling smell we associate with garlic. The more cell damage that occurs, the more allicin is produced, and the stinkier the garlic becomes.” In the kitchen, this means that the more thoroughly we pulverize garlic, the more bitter it will become.

Keeping that in mind, let’s think about what happens when you process minced garlic in a food processor or blender while drizzling in oil to make mayo: You’re mincing the garlic even more finely. Compare that with mincing garlic and then whisking in the oil by hand—the whisk isn’t doing much more to the garlic than has already been done to it with a knife.

Given this, it’s hard to imagine that the testers for the Cook’s Illustrated article were able to differentiate between bitterness caused by the olive oil and bitterness caused by the garlic, since either one (or both) could have been the culprit. This doesn’t prove Cook’s Illustrated wrong, but, given the seeming lack of clear evidence on the matter, it at least indicates that more testing is in order.

Further Testing

Using an immersion blender to blend an olive oil emulsion in a clear plastic container

To see if I could get more clarity on just what was responsible for the perceived bitterness—the olive oil or the garlic—I ran a handful of tests.

Blended Versus Unblended Olive Oil Taste Test

I started with the most basic test: I gathered up five different bottles of extra-virgin olive oil, from four different sources (Australian, Italian, Californian, and Spanish), and blended each one with an immersion blender for one full minute. I let all the samples sit until any cloudiness from air bubbles introduced during the blending had dissipated, so that there was no visual indication of the blending. I then asked blind-tasters, who didn’t know what I was testing in even the most general sense, to taste each blended sample against its unblended counterpart (varying the order of which sample came first), and to give feedback on the differences, if any, they noted between the two.

The tasters were all over the place: Several said the unblended samples were more bitter or pungent or astringent or spicy, a couple said the blended samples were more harsh, and one couldn’t detect much of a difference at all.

Since I was conducting the test, I wasn’t able to do the tastings blind, but I tasted all the samples as well and found no obvious differences between the blended and unblended oils. The biggest factor, I found, was the order in which the oils were tasted, since the intensity of olive oil can be cumulative—the second spoonful can hit you harder than the first one.

Mayo Made From Blended and Unblended Oil

I wanted to run one test that compared two batches of mayo, while making sure the two were indistinguishable from each other in terms of consistency and texture; that way, blind-tasters wouldn’t be swayed by differences in those qualities. This meant I couldn’t blend one and whisk the other, since those two methods produce such different texture and consistency results. Instead, I hand-whisked two bowls of mayonnaise, one with oil that had previously been processed in a blender for one minute and the other with oil straight from the bottle. To avoid any confusion possibly caused by bitterness from minced garlic, I simply omitted the garlic from both batches. I then asked blind-tasters to try both samples and tell me what they observed. (Once again, they had no idea what I was testing.)

My tasters were evenly split, with two identifying the mayo made with unblended oil as more bitter and two identifying the mayo made with blended oil as more bitter. Several other tasters noted details apart from bitterness, saying one sample was “more buttery” or another “more olive-y,” indicating that as far as bitterness went, they didn’t notice anything in particular.

Once again, my own tastings of the samples left me feeling like there wasn’t much of a difference between the two. Certainly, neither was obviously more bitter.

Garlic Test

To try to determine whether the garlic made a clear difference, I next made two batches of mayo using an immersion blender. I added a clove of garlic to one batch at the beginning, allowing it to be fully processed during the making of the mayo. With the other batch, I minced the garlic by hand, but withheld it until after the mayo was blended together, after which I stirred in the garlic by hand.

In this test, four of my tasters identified the blended-garlic mayo as being more bitter and intense, while two thought the batch with minced garlic was more bitter. “Bitterness” was the word of the day in this test, with only one taster not remarking on it, and most people thought the mayo with garlic that had been blended was more bitter.

While not perfectly decisive, this test does add weight to the idea that the garlic is a more significant factor in the perception of bitterness than the oil itself is.

Emulsion Test

If you read the Cook’s Illustrated article, it seems to suggest that the phenomenon is particular to olive oil emulsions specifically. Thus far, in the interest of making my samples as indistinguishable as possible, I had blended the olive oil first, then made the mayo by hand (except for in the garlic test, for which both samples were blended). Perhaps they were right—perhaps this spike in bitterness happens only when olive oil is emulsified into a liquid.

Since there’s no way to make two emulsions, one with a blender and one by hand, that look identical, I decided to try an even simpler test: I would make a mayonnaise emulsion of olive oil worked into a whole egg using an immersion blender, with no other ingredients at all—no vinegar, no salt, no garlic, no nothing—and then I would compare it with the same oil in its liquid state. Either the mayo would be dramatically more bitter than the oil in its original condition, or it wouldn’t. To avoid the possibility that I just happened to be using an olive oil that wasn’t very susceptible to growing more bitter, I decided to make a blend of four different extra-virgin oils and use that. Surely one or two of them would have the characteristics necessary to become more bitter, if the phenomenon were real.

I blended the mayo. I tasted the liquid oil I’d used to make it. Then I tasted the mayo, then the oil again. Back and forth I went, tasting the two, waiting for an obvious bitter note to emerge from the emulsified one. I noticed absolutely nothing. The mayo was creamy and light, even slightly sweet, and hardly bitter at all. There was a light spiciness that both the mayo and the oil blend shared, though the liquid oil possibly had even more of it.

Conclusion

Through multiple rounds of testing, the phenomenon of bitterness in blended olive oil failed to make itself obvious. I never noticed it, and my blind-tasters failed to describe any clear correlation between blending and increased bitterness. The garlic, meanwhile, did seem to have an effect.

In my research, I’ve found another expert who has also not noticed any problems when blending olive oil. Nancy Harmon Jenkins, in her book Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil, writes, “I’ve also seen mutterings on the Internet that…olive oil is made bitter by vigorous beating…. I must confess, honestly, that I’ve not had that experience, nor have any of several other cooks or chefs I’ve queried.”

Does this mean blending doesn’t change olive oil at all? No, certainly not. My tests failed to find a connection, but that’s not enough to conclude that one doesn’t exist. But it is enough to cast quite a bit of doubt on the degree of the phenomenon, if it exists at all. I fear, based on these tests, that we’ve been overstating the problem for some time while missing the more significant culprit: blended garlic.



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Blackberry Ice Cream Makes Your Best Summer Berries Even Better

Blackberry Ice Cream Makes Your Best Summer Berries Even Better

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] I’ve got a major thing for fruity, Philadelphia-style ice cream—a straightforward combination of fruit, cream, and sugar. Normally, I’m all about roasting watery fruits like strawberries and cherries, a relatively gentle cooking method that concentrates their juices in the oven. But when […]

Blackberry Ice Cream

Blackberry Ice Cream

This eggless ice cream puts summer blackberries center stage, without any hint of custard to distract from their tart, jammy flavor. A tiny pinch of ground cinnamon highlights their natural aroma without any overt spiciness, while a squeeze of fresh lemon juice helps cut through […]

22 Grilled Chicken Recipes for Your July 4th Cookout

22 Grilled Chicken Recipes for Your July 4th Cookout


Collage of huli huli chicken wings, grilled chicken with corn and coleslaw, chicken sandwiches, and chicken skewers

[Photograph: Morgan Eisenberg, J. Kenji López-Alt, Emily and Matt Clifton]

I don’t know about you, but at my house, Fourth of July plans are already well under way. The fireworks I can take or leave, but I’ll never miss an excuse to fire up the grill. Chicken at cookouts often leaves me skeptical—think about all the dry, stringy grilled breasts you’ve come across in your life—but when you’re doing the cooking, there’s no need to worry. With the right technique on your side, your grilled chicken will be juicy, flavorful, and all-around delicious. These 22 recipes, from simple butterflied and barbecued birds to yakitori, Buffalo-style sausages, and Peruvian chicken sandwiches, will show you how to do it right for your July 4th bash.

The Best Juicy Grilled Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are far from our favorite cut, but if you treat them right, they can indeed be delicious. Pounding them to a uniform thickness, brining them, and using an instant-read thermometer to ensure they don’t overcook will produce the juiciest possible meat. (And, if you still find them a little uninspiring on their own, try repurposing them in a loaded chicken sandwich.)

Get the recipe for The Best Juicy Grilled Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts »

Grilled Butterflied Chicken

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

For the simplest grilled chicken, look to the same technique we recommend for roast birds: spatchcocking, or butterflying. Cutting out the bird’s backbone and laying it flat helps the meat cook more evenly, as does using a two-zone fire, which allows you to start the chicken over a cooler temperature and finish over high heat for crispy skin. The result is meat so tender and flavorful, it won’t need any seasonings besides a little kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Get the recipe for Grilled Butterflied Chicken »

The Best Barbecue Chicken

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Conventional grilling works well for smaller chickens, but once you get above four pounds or so, it becomes difficult to cook the meat evenly. Bigger birds, of between six and eight pounds or so, are much better suited to barbecue—low-and-slow cooking is gentle enough to ensure every bit of meat comes out tender, not to mention wonderfully smoky. Finish it off with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Get the recipe for The Best Barbecue Chicken »

Planked Chicken Quarters With Lemon and Herb

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Not down with the added time and effort it takes to barbecue chicken? Cooking on planks is a good alternative for giving the meat a little bit of that wood flavor. The real flavor punch here, though, comes from a simple but powerful combination of olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs, which we use both for marinating and for basting—cutting slashes into the meat before grilling helps the marinade soak in thoroughly.

Get the recipe for Planked Chicken Quarters With Lemon and Herb »

Thai-Style Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang)

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

I never thought grilled chicken was something to get excited about until I finally encountered a perfectly cooked one on a small island in the Gulf of Thailand. Marinated with fish sauce and sugar, the meat developed an intensely caramelized crust that immediately won me over. This version incorporates soy sauce and a host of aromatics into the marinade, too, for a complex sweet-and-savory flavor. Serve the chicken with sticky rice and sweet chili dipping sauce to get the complete experience.

Get the recipe for Thai-Style Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang) »

Thai-Style Chicken Satay With Peanut-Tamarind Dipping Sauce

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

While gai yang is the Thai chicken preparation that has my heart, in American Thai restaurants, you’re more likely to find satay on the menu. With this recipe, you can not only re-create the takeout classic at home but make it even better. It starts with marinating strips of chicken breast in a blend of coriander, white pepper, palm sugar, garlic, ginger, shallot, turmeric, lemongrass, and more—using a mortar and pestle, though it’s time-consuming, is the best way to extract all the flavor from your aromatics. After that, simply grill and serve with a rich, tangy tamarind-peanut sauce for dipping.

Get the recipe for Thai-Style Chicken Satay With Peanut-Tamarind Dipping Sauce »

Japanese Chicken Skewers With Scallion (Negima Yakitori)

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Step into a traditional yakitori joint in Japan, and you’ll be confronted with every cut of chicken you can imagine (and maybe some you can’t). The variety is part of the fun, but if you’re going to pick just one piece, thighs are a good choice—an abundance of connective tissue and fat means they tend to stay supremely moist and juicy. This simple recipe skewers diced boneless, skinless chicken thighs with scallion, which we grill over moderate heat, then brush with a homemade teriyaki sauce until it forms an intensely flavorful glaze. It’s a perfect introduction to the world of yakitori.

Get the recipe for Japanese Chicken Skewers With Scallion (Negima Yakitori) »

Grilled Lemon-Garlic Chicken and Tomato Kebabs With Basil Chimichurri

[Photograph: Emily and Matt Clifton]

If you don’t have all day to marinate your chicken, turn to this recipe, in which the meat needs just five minutes to absorb the flavors of garlic, olive oil, and lemon zest and juice, with a touch of maple syrup for sweetness. From there, thread the chicken onto skewers and serve it with a fresh, summery basil chimichurri. We like grilled tomatoes alongside the chicken here, but prefer to keep them on separate skewers, since they require about half the cooking time.

Get the recipe for Grilled Lemon-Garlic Chicken and Tomato Kebabs With Basil Chimichurri »

Sweet-and-Sour Grilled Chicken Skewers (Yakitori Nanbansu)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Teriyaki may be the most obvious sauce for yakitori, but it’s not the only choice: Nanbansu, a sweet/sour mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, and sugar, can be used as both a marinade and a dip and is well worth checking out. The sauce lasts about a month in the fridge, so I like to make a big batch and keep it on hand. If you like, a little shichimi togarashi sprinkled on the chicken after grilling adds a light heat.

Get the recipe for Sweet-and-Sour Grilled Chicken Skewers (Yakitori Nanbansu) »

Crispy Caramel Chicken Skewers

[Photograph: Morgan Eisenberg]

This recipe is a bit more complicated than just threading cubes of chicken on a stick, but the tangy, savory, crunchy coating makes it absolutely worth it. Inspired by Vietnamese gà kho, we first marinate the chicken in a blend of fish sauce, orange juice, and brown sugar. While the skewers grill, we brush on a glaze made from a similar lineup of ingredients, plus aromatics, rice vinegar, and a little honey—the combination of honey and brown sugar makes a decent stand-in for Vietnamese rock sugar—to build up a thick, sticky glaze. The final step is rolling the skewers in a mixture of sesame seeds, sliced almonds, and scallions, adding texture that makes these a welcome departure from standard cookout fare.

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Peruvian-Style Grilled-Chicken Sandwiches With Spicy Green Sauce

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Peruvian-style grilled chicken—a spatchcocked bird rubbed with salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, garlic, vinegar, and oil—is one of my favorite summertime dishes, and it might be even better in conveniently portable sandwich form. You can choose to grill a whole bird or buy cutlets that are ready to go; the really important part of the finished product is the spicy, creamy, herbal sauce, made with mayo, sour cream, jalapeños, and cilantro.

Get the recipe for Peruvian-Style Grilled-Chicken Sandwiches With Spicy Green Sauce »

Grilled Chicken and Peach Saltimbocca Skewers

[Photograph: Morgan Eisenberg]

Saltimbocca is a traditional Italian dish made of sautéed veal rolled up with prosciutto and sage. This skewered variation swaps out the veal for down-to-earth chicken breast, marinated with white wine and sage and threaded with prosciutto and peaches. The sweet peaches nicely balance out the salty, rich pork and give these skewers a summery feel—but make sure to use semifirm ones, so that they don’t turn to mush on the grill.

Get the recipe for Grilled Chicken and Peach Saltimbocca Skewers »

Jerk Chicken

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Making true Jamaican jerk chicken at home is tricky—the marinade of allspice, thyme, and Scotch bonnet peppers is simple enough, but finding the pimento wood that’s traditionally used to smoke the meat is tough. While it’s possible to order the pimento wood online, you can also take the easy route: replacing it with bay leaves and whole allspice berries, which will impart a very similar flavor.

Get the recipe for Jerk Chicken »

Grilled Chicken With Za’atar

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Growing up in an Arab-American household, as I did, meant eating za’atar—a spice-and-herb blend incorporating sesame seeds and sumac—on basically everything. Za’atar isn’t a staple of my diet anymore, but it’s still one of my favorite seasonings for grilled chicken. To balance out the earthiness of the za’atar, we like to serve the chicken with a creamy aioli flavored with sumac and mint.

Get the recipe for Grilled Chicken With Za’atar »

Greek-Style Grilled Chicken With Oregano, Garlic, Lemon, and Olive Oil

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

The first time we heard about the Greek technique of sprinkling chicken with lemon juice as it grills, we thought it was a great idea—until we tried it. It turns out that while the juice does add tons of flavor, it also keeps the skin from drying out fully and crisping up before the meat overcooks. A much better option is to make a lemony vinaigrette that you can use as both a marinade and a sauce.

Get the recipe for Greek-Style Grilled Chicken With Oregano, Garlic, Lemon, and Olive Oil »

Tandoor-Style Grilled Chickens or Cornish Hens

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

The high heat of a tandoori oven (or a roaring fire on the grill) is great for giving chicken an intense char and smoky flavor, but it’s also easy to dry out the meat that way. For that reason, a Cornish game hen or small chicken works best here. Our version of a tandoor-style marinade uses a base of tenderizing yogurt, seasoned heavily with paprika, cumin, turmeric, toasted coriander, and a number of other spices. The signature vibrant-red color you often see on tandoori chicken comes not from cayenne, as some chefs say, but from achiote powder or food coloring—either one is an optional add-in here.

Get the recipe for Tandoor-Style Grilled Chickens or Cornish Hens »

Hawaiian Huli Huli Grilled Chicken Wings

[Photograph: Morgan Eisenberg]

These grilled wings get their sweet-and-tangy flavor from a mixture of pineapple juice, soy sauce, light brown sugar, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, and sriracha, used as both a marinade and a glaze. If you’ve never grilled chicken wings before, it just might become your new favorite way to cook them—a two-zone fire leaves them tender, crisp-skinned, and smoky.

Get the recipe for Hawaiian Huli Huli Grilled Chicken Wings »

Grilled Spicy Chicken Wings With Soy and Fish Sauce

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[Photograph: Shao Z.]

Don’t let the ingredients in the name put you off, since these wings don’t taste at all fishy—fish sauce, a powerful umami bomb, simply enhances the chicken’s savoriness. We pair it here with Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and dried chili peppers to make a marinade for the wings. The recipe calls for 15 red peppers; if you’re cooking for people with lower spice tolerances, you might want to use only five or so.

Get the recipe for Grilled Spicy Chicken Wings With Soy and Fish Sauce »

Grilled Hoisin-Glazed Chicken Wings

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Simply grilling marinated wings over a two-zone fire will get them reasonably crispy, but you’ll get even better results if you sprinkle the wings with baking powder and salt, then let them rest overnight in the refrigerator to dry out their surfaces and raise their pH. Here, we toss the air-dried wings with a sweet/salty glaze of soy sauce, honey, and hoisin.

Get the recipe for Grilled Hoisin-Glazed Chicken Wings »

Grilled Cajun Chicken Wings

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

The air-drying technique described above won’t work with a typical wet marinade—but it does work with dry seasonings. In this Cajun-inspired recipe, that means adding paprika, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne, and more to the salt and baking powder that’ll help the skin crisp up. We finish the wings with a twist on Buffalo-style sauce—made with a Louisiana-style hot sauce, like Crystal, instead of Frank’s.

Get the recipe for Grilled Cajun Chicken Wings »

Buffalo Chicken Sausages

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Anyone who can’t get enough Buffalo wings will fall in love with this chicken sausage that’s infused with classic Buffalo flavors. Making it isn’t quite as easy as mixing Buffalo sauce with ground chicken—the butter in the sauce has an unfortunate tendency to make the sausages explode. Instead, we use Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce (this is one occasion when fake butter is better!), spiked with extra Frank’s and a few tablespoons of paprika.

Get the recipe for Buffalo Chicken Sausages »

Roasted-Garlic and Feta Chicken Sausage

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Another unexpected alternative to the pork- and beef-based sausages more commonly seen at cookouts, these are made with juicy skin-on chicken thigh meat, sweet roasted garlic, and tangy feta cheese. Be gentle with the other flavorings—shallots, oregano, vinegar, and lemon juice—so that you don’t end up overshadowing the chicken.

Get the recipe for Roasted-Garlic and Feta Chicken Sausage »



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The Big Apple Inn, A Little Mississippi Diner With an Outsize History

The Big Apple Inn, A Little Mississippi Diner With an Outsize History

At first glance, there’s nothing especially remarkable about the Big Apple Inn, located on a rundown stretch of Farish Street in Jackson, Mississippi. But its walls have witnessed more history than the average hole-in-the-wall diner. Read More Source link