It's impossible for me to choose a favorite way to grill chicken, but this is definitely a contender for the Top Ten. You can experiment with flavored mustards to give the marinade a personal stamp. It comes from my friend Spider, who decided to hit the books and become a fire officer. He is also a pilot and a plane owner, and we spent many weekends flying to the Hamptons or Hunter Mountain, which are big hangouts for firefighters. (Of course this was before he got married!)
Two 4-pound chickens, cut into 8 pieces each
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup olive oil 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, whisk the mustard, wine, oil, scallions, tarragon, and hot pepper sauce. Divide the chicken and marinade between two zippered plastic bags. Close the bags and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 4 hours.
2. Build a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill and let burn until covered with white ash. Leave the coals heaped in a mound in the center of the grill. Do not spread them out. In a gas grill, preheat on High. Turn one burner off, and keep the other burner(s) on High.
3. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Lightly oil the cooking grate. Arrange the chicken around the cooler, outer perimeter of the grill, not directly over the coals, and cover. In a gas grill, place over the Off burner(s).
4. Grill, basting occasionally with the marinade, for 25 minutes. Turn the chicken, cover, and continue cooking until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced at the thigh bone, 20 to 25 minutes more. Do not baste during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve hot.
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Excerpted from THE FIREHOUSE GRILLING COOKBOOK by Joseph Bonanno Copyright© 1998 by Joseph T. BonannoJr.. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.