Grilled Szechwan Chicken with Hoisin Barbecue Sauce
- SERVINGS: 4
Roasting a whole bird on the grill over indirect heat results in crackling crisp skin and moist tender meat. Toasting the peppercorns in a skillet adds a surprising depth of flavor.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Szechwan peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
- One 4-pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry
- Vegetable oil, for the grill
- Hoisin Barbecue Sauce
- Grilled scallions and onion slices, for serving
- In a small skillet, toast the Szechwan and black peppercorns over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- In a spice grinder, grind the peppercorns. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the salt, ginger, garlic and sesame oil until a coarse paste forms. Spread half of the paste under the chicken's skin and rub the remaining paste all over the skin. Tie the chicken's legs together with kitchen string.
- Light a grill and set it up for indirect grilling. If using charcoal, when the fire is medium hot, rake the coals into two piles on opposite sides of the grill. Place a foil drip pan in the center of the grill. If using a gas grill, light the front and rear or outside burners.
- Lightly brush the grate with vegetable oil. Set the chicken on the grill, breast side up, over the drip pan, away from the heat. Cover and grill until the skin is crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the inner thigh registers 165°, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes before carving. Serve with the Hoisin Barbecue Sauce and the grilled scallions and onions.
The forward fruit of a dry or an off-dry Riesling from Germany or New Zealand will accentuate the spices and provide a bright contrast to the sweet, smoky nuances in this dish.