I’ve always found that the most difficult meat to cook on the parrilla is chicken. It requires a quick burn, followed by slow and easy heating so that the juices of the chicken perform their magic without oozing out.
I prefer a whole chicken that I buy locally. I wash it thoroughly and cut myself. Here’s any easy “how to” from CHOW.
I next make a rub: a whole lemon and enough oil to cover all the chicken parts, herb de Provence, cayenne, salt and pepper. I let the chicken sit in the refrigerator, covered, but when I go to light the parilla, I take the chicken out of the refrigerator, uncover it and let it come to room temperature.
I use extra wood for chicken to make sure I’m going have plenty of charcoal. Maintaining a level heat is critical. I chose some birch, maple and cherry for this burn.
I place the chicken right on the flame, burning hard and fast. I want to seal the juices. You have to stay on top this because you don’t want to over-burn.
In this next stage, I place my second Parrilla shelf on the original grille or parrilla and move the large breasts to the top. This is when the wine come out and I sip — a Malbec of course. I then place the smaller legs and wings — and a small piece I cut off for my Nina, who was starving — on the lower parrilla.
I add vegetables too. These are simply onions and carrots, also local (we’re waiting for these to pop from our garden), touch them up a bit with olive oil and sprinkled some pepper and a dash of cayenne. I have a grille rack, given to me by my daughter, Chelsey, that I use for vegetables and any small items that may fall through into the fire.
By this time, I’m already into the nectar of the gods, the Malbec. Finally, we’re done — it took about an hour’s time, after the lighting of the fire. The lighting took about 30 to 40 minutes, giving us time to chat and dream.