Expert grilling tips from Chef Tony Maws, one of Boston’s leading chefs. Here, Chef Maws demonstrates using the Kenyon City Grill, the ideal grill for city dwellers with restrictions against using charcoal and propane on their decks.
Photo Credit : Toan Trinh Photography
Sponsored by Kenyon Grills
When working with a grill, who better to offer guidance than Chef Tony Maws, one of Boston’s leading chefs and a competitor on “Chopped Grill Masters” (2016). We met up with Chef Maws at his Somerville, Massachusetts, restaurant, Kirkland Tap & Trotter, to talk grilling. (Chef Maws is also chef/owner of Craigie on Main in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has received numerous accolades including Best Chef Northeast James Beard 2011 and Food & Wine Best New Chef 2005.)
Chef Maws grilled up a tasty red chile boneless chicken thigh recipe on a Kenyon® table-top electric grill (recipe below) while sharing some of his tried and true grilling tips with us:
Grilling over high heat is a fantastic way to cook meat because it triggers what’s called the Maillard reaction, producing hundreds of flavor compounds. Essentially, it makes your meat that much tastier.
Don’t take shortcuts. Always preheat your grill, the same way you would a saute pan. You’ll know it’s ready when a splash of water produces a violent hiss sound.
Chicken thighs are perfect for the grill. They stand up well to the high heat because they inherently have more moisture and are more forgiving. Breast meat is more likely to become dry.
Be mindful of the size of the cuts of meat you’re grilling. With the recipe below, the high heat means running the risk of undercooking our chicken if the cuts are too thick. By cutting the chicken into smaller pieces, we ensure it will be cooked through during the short time it is on the grill.
If you don’t want your meat to stick to the grill, clean it after each use. Too many people don’t clean their grills properly, leaving pieces of food stuck in place until the next use. A clean grate ensures that meat won’t stick to the grill.
GRILLED RED CHILE MARINATED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH DAIKON RADISH SALAD
Yield: 4 servings
RED CHILE MARINATED CHICKEN THIGHS
5 tablespoons New Mexican red chile powder (paprika can be substituted if necessary)
1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
1 tablespoon ground cumin seed
2 teaspoons ground black Tellicherry pepper
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano*
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
*We recommend Mexican oregano for its citrus and licorice undertones but Italian oregano can be used in a pinch.
Mix all spices and herbs together in a bowl. Whisk in soy sauce and water. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking vigorously so the paste does not separate or break.
Cut chicken thighs into 1 to 1 ½ inch pieces.
Mix some rub and chicken together in a bowl, enough to thoroughly coat all the pieces. Reserve any extra rub for your next meal (works great on steak, pork, fish, etc.!) If using 6 inch skewers, put approximately 5 pieces of chicken on each skewer.
Season with salt to taste.
Grill on high heat until chicken’s internal temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit (we turned the dial to 8 on our Kenyon® grill).
DAIKON RADISH SALAD
4 cups grated daikon (or julienned on a mandolin), either white, green, purple, or a combination
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix first five ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Season with salt to taste.
Pictured Above: The Kenyon City Grill. It’s the ideal grill for city dwellers with restrictions against using charcoal and propane on their decks, and for those homeowners with small spaces for a grill. The City Grill is very easy to clean. Simply remove the grate and wash by hand or in the dishwasher.