Coconut milk is sweet and rich, the perfect balm for a jolt of chile. In this recipe the two are infused deep into the flesh of a grill-roasted chicken. The result is subtle, radiating a peppery glow with every bite.
Prep: 15 minutes (plus 5 minutes for brine)
Brine: 2 to 3 hours
Grill: About 1½ hours.
Indirect heat, medium (325° to 350°F)
3- or 4-burner grill–middle burner(s) off
2-burner grill–1 side off
Clean, oiled grate
Indirect heat, medium ash
Split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side)
20 replacement coals
Heavy-duty drip pan set between banks of charcoal
Clean, oiled grate on high setting.
BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Kitchen twine
– Long-handled tongs
– Long-handled spatula.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
3 cups Javanese Coconut Brine
1 teaspoon ground habanero or other very hot ground chile
1 chicken, about 4 pounds, washed and dried
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon Chinese chili paste with garlic
Oil for coating grill grate
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro.
1. Set the zipper-lock bag containing the brine in a mixing bowl. Add the ground chile to the brine; stir to combine. Add the chicken and seal the zipper, leaving about an inch open; push on the bag to release any trapped air through the opening, and close the zipper completely. Massage the liquid gently into the chicken and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
2. Heat the grill as directed.
3. Remove the chicken from the brine. Mix the sesame oil and chili paste and rub all over the outside of the chicken.
4. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the chicken on the grill away from the heat, cover the grill, and cook until an instantread thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers about 170°F, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 350°F. If you are using charcoal, you will probably have to replenish the coals after the first hour.
5. Remove the chicken to a cutting board with tongs, using a spatula for support. Let rest for 8 to 10 minutes; carve and arrange the chicken pieces on a platter. Squeeze the lime juice over the chicken and scatter the cilantro over the top; serve.