Firecracker Chicken on the Big Green Egg Malcom Reed...HowToBBQRight Malcom Reed
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For this Grilled Firecracker Chicken recipe I use a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces (wings, breast, legs, & thighs). I like having both white and dark meat, but’s you can just use the pieces you like.
First the Grilled Firecracker Chicken goes into a marinade, and for this, I use a big bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. You’ll need about 2 cups to cover the chicken and a little more for making the firecracker sauce at the end, so reserve at least a ½ cup for later.
Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag and pour the hot sauce over it. Move the pieces around so each piece is covered in the marinade and get the bag into the refrigerator for an overnight rest. It’s also a good idea to place the bag into a larger container just in case it leaks.
The next day remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and let the excess drip back into the bag. Place the chicken on a large platter and season the outside of each piece with Salt, plenty of course ground black pepper, and a little ground cayenne pepper.
Now that the chicken is seasoned it’s ready for the grill. For cooking Grilled Firecracker Chicken you want to set your grill up for indirect cooking. I used my Big Green Egg with the deflector plate in place but you can do this on any grill just keep the heat on one side and cook on the opposite. The grill temperature needs to be in the 275-300 range. You also want to use a little wood for added smoke flavor. For me it’s a couple chunks of pecan or your favorite wood will do the trick.
Once the grill is holding steady at 275 arrange the chicken pieces skin-side up on the cooking grate and close the lid. This cook takes about 2 hours, but the important thing here is to make sure the Grilled Firecracker Chicken is done. For the white meat that means 165 internal and the dark meat needs to hit 175.
For the first hour the chicken grills skin-side up. After an hour flip the chicken pieces over so the fat underneath the skin has a chance to render. It will also firm the skin so you get bite-through texture.
After 30 minutes of skin-side down cooking, flip the pieces back over. Use your meat thermometer to verify proper doneness. Just place the smaller pieces in a pan and cover with aluminum foil until the big pieces are ready.
The breasts have to hit 165 internal and the thighs need to reach 175. You should see clear juice running out of the holes where you placed the thermometer. This is an indicator that the chicken is fully cooked. Now it’s time to set a quick glaze on this Grilled Firecracker Chicken.
Grilled Firecracker Chicken Sauce:
½ cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Combine these ingredients in a small bowl and stir until the sugar is melted.
At this point return the smaller pieces to the grill skin-side up. Brush the glaze on the Grilled Firecracker Chicken skin and flip each piece over. Glaze the bottom side and close the lid for 2-3 minutes. Flip the Grilled Firecracker Chicken over and set the glaze on the bottom side for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the grill and serve.
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