Grilled or Broiled Chicken Parts

A go-to recipe for life. Change the herb and change the flavor.
TIME 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the cooking method
MAKES 4 servings
5 sprigs fresh oregano, parsley, or thyme or a combination
1 whole cut-up chicken or about 3 pounds parts
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, quartered, for serving

1 Either prepare a grill for indirect cooking so that there are hot coals on half and nothing on the other half and put the rack about 4 inches from the heat source or turn the broiler to high and put the rack about 6 inches from the heat source.

2 Pull the herb leaves from the stems with your fingers and discard the stems. Reserve a pinch of the leaves to use as a garnish.

3 Put your fingers between the skin and the meat of each piece of chicken to loosen the skin; insert a few leaves of the herb between the skin and the meat. Rub the chicken all over with the lemon juice and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.

4 To grill: When the fire is ready, put the chicken pieces skin side up on the cool side of the grill and cover. When the chicken fat begins to melt and drip down, after about 10 minutes, turn the chicken and cover again; if the fire flares up, move the chicken to an even cooler part of the grill or turn it with a pair of tongs so the skin side is up again. When the skin has lost its raw look and most of the fat has melted, usually after 20 to 30 minutes, it’s safe to move the chicken directly over the fire. Cook uncovered, turning now and then, until both sides are nicely browned and the flesh is firm and cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes longer.
To broil: Put the chicken skin side down on a rimmed baking sheet and broil, checking every few minutes to make sure the pieces do not burn. If they are cooking too fast, move the rack farther away from the heat source. When the chicken is nearly done, after 15 to 20 minutes, turn the pieces with tongs and cook until the skin is brown, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Whether you broil or grill, to check for doneness, cut into a piece close to the bone with a sharp, thin-bladed knife; the juices should run clear.

5 While the chicken is cooking, chop the reserved herb leaves. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, garnished with the chopped herbs and lemon wedges.

  • Grilled or Broiled Chicken Parts Teriyaki Style: Skip the herbs and lemon juice. In Step 2, combine ⅓ cup soy sauce, ⅓ cup sake (or slightly sweet white wine), 3 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a small saucepan and put it over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for a couple minutes, until it begins to thicken. Brush the soy sauce mixture all over the chicken pieces; continue with Step 4. Every 5 minutes or so, brush the chicken pieces with a little sauce and turn them. When the meat is done, turn them once more to crisp on both sides and serve hot or at room temperature.

  • Trust your nose when you grill or broil bone-in, skin-on chicken: If it smells like it’s burning, it is—which usually means the outside will be charred while the inside is still raw. It’s better to start with the skin away from the heat source and make sure the chicken is cooked through, then crisp the skin as the last step.

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