Dry and stringy or scorched black yet raw at the bone, barbecued chicken parts can suffer a variety of ills. Could we figure out how to cook both legs and breasts evenly?
Barbecued chicken parts rarely live up to their promise; their fate can be a charred exterior and raw, pink interior.
We wanted to grill white and dark meat pieces at the same time, producing chicken with richly caramelized, sticky, tangy skin and moist, juicy meat.
The fact that white and dark meat cook at different rates posed the biggest challenge. While we could have solved the problem with a combined kitchen oven/grilling method, it felt like cheating—we wanted the entire process to be grill-based. The solution was a three-level fire. Dividing the grill in thirds, we banked coals high on one side to create a hot zone, used fewer coals to provide a medium-hot middle section, and left the final third of the grill coal-free. After searing the breasts over high heat, we transferred them to the side without coals to cook via indirect heat (covered with a disposable aluminum roasting pan to speed things up) while the dark meat finished cooking over the medium heat in the middle of the grill. For perfect seasoning, we brined the chicken and applied barbecue sauce only a few minutes before we removed the chicken from the grill.list of recipes