Asian-spiced chicken on the barbecue. Preparing half chickens on the grill reveals the beauty of cooking chicken with the bones intact. Even though you're grilling this chicken for 30 minutes, it will turn out tender, incredibly flavourful — and never dry. Thank the bones for that. Grill covered to create radiant heat that will penetrate the thickest parts of the bird and cook it evenly.
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
4 cloves grated garlic
2 tsp tobanjan (bean paste available at Asian food stores)
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 half chickens (3-4 lb. total)
Step 1: Mix together the soy sauce, sake, ginger, garlic, tobanjan, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl to make the marinade. Pour 3/4 of the marinade into a baking dish or rimmed sheet pan; reserve the rest. Lay the chicken in the marinade and flip the halves 4 times to generously coat all over. Use a rubber spatula or your hands to make sure all the crevices are well coated. Marinate the chicken halves for 10 minutes, turning once.
Step 2: Preheat a grill to medium. Grill the chicken, covered, for about 35 minutes. Start by grilling skin side down for about 2 minutes. Flip the chicken and brush on the reserved marinade. Flip the chicken about every 7 minutes, brushing on more marinade after each turn. The chickens are done when very juicy with meat pulling away from the bone. Rest the chicken for 5 minutes, cut into serving pieces, and serve.
Reprinted with permission from Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat's The Japanese Grill (2011 Ten Speed Press).