With the plethora of brown, red, and orange stuff stores are beginning to push on us—and as you find yourself asking, "Why are there already Thanksgiving decorations up in stores?"—we are forced to accept that summer is about to come to an end. At least, that's what we'd think if we lived in any city other than Houston.
If you're like me, then there's no way you're abandoning your grill just yet. In fact, if you're like me, you don't even stop grilling during our crazy, 40-degree winters. So go get yourself a chicken, cover it in your favorite beer, and throw it on the grill, because while everybody else has to contend with cooling days and leaves that actually change colors, we still have another two months of summer.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, a beer that pairs with chicken perfectly—and can't possibly offend anyone—is a good lager or light ale. As for me, just like when I'm in a pub, I reach for an IPA. The robust, intense flavors reduce to a rich, flavorful glaze that is great with that just-charred-enough crispy skin.
Beer-Glazed Grilled Chicken
- 12 ounces beer (IPA or Belgian Ale)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 whole, bone-in chicken, quartered
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Olive oil
- Light charcoals in a grill. Let ash over, about 20 to 30 minutes, and spread into an even layer over half of the grill, leaving the other half free of coals. Place the grate over the coals so that it heats up. If using propane, turn one side on high and the other on low.
- In the meantime, prepare the glaze by putting the beer, sugar, and lemon zest in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat if necessary to maintain a slow boil. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until reduced by three-quarters and it thickens slightly, stirring occasionally.
- Brush the glaze over the chicken pieces on all sides. Brush the grill grates with olive oil just before cooking.
- Place the chicken on the grill, skin side down over the side with the hot coals or the side on high. Cook for for 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Flip the chicken and cook another 3 to 5 minutes until the other side is lightly browned. Move the chicken to the side of the grill with no coals, placing skin side down. Cover the grill and cook until the juices run clean and the chicken is cooked to 165°F internally, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- If the skin is no longer crispy, glaze the skin, return it to the side of the grill with the coals, and cook another 5 minutes.
- Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.