How to Grill Chicken So That It’s Guaranteed Safe to Eat
Chicken is one of the most popular meats in the Western world, certainly in England it’s the Number one meat bar none and I think everyone knows that it has to be cooked through before it’s safe to eat.
I remember ten or so years back there being concern over Salmonella in chickens and eggs to the point that it almost became impossible to be served a soft boiled egg (let alone have one raw in mayo). So is it surprising that many folks still have a concern to ensure that their chicken is well cooked? Absolutely not – everyone should continue to be concerned however there are a number of thinks that you can do to minimize the risks associated with undercooked chicken.
The first is the most obvious but little adhered to primarily because of cost and that is to ensure that you know where your chicken has come from and how it has been farmed. The conditions in which chickens are farmed to meet the low cost demands of the supermarkets is absolutely abhorrent and if you want a system that in this modern day and age could be a vehicle for spreading disease than I think that this is it.
I know that we can’t all afford to eat organic and free range everything (and all the time) but this is the one time when I don’t compromise. Because free range is still not so popular it’s a great way to be able to trace the source of your food right back to the farm and by doing so you can do your best to ensure that your food is disease free before you even start the cooking. To be honest, side by side, you can tell a free range bird because the meat is so much firmer too.
Let’s now think about where bacteria breed and you won’t be surprised to find out that it’s in the gut ie the inner cavity of the bird. You can wash the inside to minimize the risk of bacteria being there but wash and wash all you like, you’ll never fully remove all traces of bacteria and that’s why we cook it.
Getting back to barbecue chicken it starts to make sense why folks get concerned particularly if cooking a whole chicken. Not only have we got to ensure that the temperature at the core is correct but also that the bird is cooked in the middle. When you consider how to grill chicken, we are applying direct heat to one area of the chicken an any one time as opposed to an oven where the heat is free to circulate all around the bird. So when doing a grilled chicken recipe, wouldn’t it be great if we could cook the chicken inside out? Well actually you can and this is the way I like to do it.
Spatchcock the bird (ask you butcher if you’re not sure how to do this) and your chicken sits flat on the grill with the inside on one side and the outside on the other. I start mine off “inside down” if you know what I mean so that the cavity of the bird definitely gets cooked through and I give it half an hour.
The top (outer side) will start to sweat a little and it’s at this point that I season the skin keeping it simple with salt and pepper. After thirty minutes I turn it over and give the skin about 20 minutes until crisp and golden.
The results are always moist, it’s the best way to ensure that your grilling zaps any bugs and best of all, it’ll be the best barbecue grilled chicken that you ever tasted.