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In Season: Grilled Chicken With Mustard Sauce

Thu, 06/07/1979 - 15:19
Grilled chicken
Jon Sullivan/PIXNIO

As soon as the weather warms (and the rains cease — a dove with a sprig of impatiens landed on my windowsill, indicating the waters are about to subside), thoughts turn to the pleasures of outdoor dining The barbecue season, perfuming the air with the aroma of charbroil and keeping the heat out of the kitchen, has arrived.

Considering the prices of most cuts of meat, the choice of what to sizzle on the grill narrows ever increasingly to chicken. Broilers or fryers cut up or split and well-basted while grilling lend themselves to variation according to the marinade, the barbecue sauce or the final garnish.

When grilling chickens, it is very important not to place them too close to the source of heat. Unlike burgers or fish (but like a thick steak), you don’t want the outside crisp while the interior has barely cooked. Chickens should also be turned frequently while grilling.

One further note: if you are inaugurating your barbecue for the first time this season, be sure to scrub the grill well and oil it lightly before using. Don’t wait until the fire has been lit and the food ready to go before tackling the cleaning. Serves eight.

Grilled Chicken With Mustard Sauce

2-3 pound chickens, cut into serving pieces
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Generous grindings of black pepper
1/4 lb. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustards
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. minced chives
1/2 cup chicken stock
Salt to taste

Place chicken in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice, olive oil and pepper. Allow to marinate for one hour at room temperature. Preheat charcoal or gas grill. When the coals are white hot, place chicken on the grill but not close to the source of heat. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin is crisp and the chicken is nicely browned. It should take about 30 minutes for white meat and 40 to 45 minutes for dark, but these times may vary depending on the fire.

While the chicken is grilling, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and sauté until golden. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Place chicken on a warm platter as it is done and keep warm. When all the chicken is cooked, pour the sauce over it and serve.

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