I was honored when asked to be the featured chef for Grill For Good – a fundraising event this weekend benefiting For A Reason (FAR). FAR is an amazing organization whose mission it is “to help fulfill the educational aspirations of impoverished students through tuition assistance, educational materials, and housing. Once committed to a student, FAR promises to accompany them throughout their educational journey – elementary to university and professional training.”
FAR has teamed up with Bull Outdoor Products for the Grill for Good event. Money raised will aid in building outdoor food preparation areas at the Zanmi Agrikol University Facility in Corporan, Haiti. where students learn agricultural techniques, construction and woodworking. The facility will be used to prepare and feed the students attending the university (which for many is the only food they receive all day) and will eventually become a center for teaching community members about food processing, preparation and preservation. To learn more or to donate, please visit the FAR website.
The evening, hosted by Mark & Barbara Nureddine, promises to be filled with a lot of fun and great food! On the menu will be my Haitian Creole Grilled Chicken, rice and beans, spicy slaw, a version of my Spiced Melon, and coconut cream tartlets for dessert. If you happen to be in the Sacramento/Stockton corridor, come by! Tickets will be available up until the event begins. For more info, contact Barbara@Nureddine.com.
Haitian Creole Grilled Chicken
(adapted from Fine Haitian Cuisine by Mona Cassion Ménager)
serves six to eight
1/4 cup lime juice
3 scallions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 to 2 Habanero or Scotch Bonnet chile
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5 pounds cut-up chicken, trimmed of excess fat and skin
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
2 tablespoons rendered pork fat, lard, or bacon grease
3 tablespoons double-concentrated tomato paste (in the tube, not canned)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Indirect/direct heat grilling
Place all of the marinade ingredients in a blender along with 1 cup of water and puree.
Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag or in a shallow dish just large enough to hold the chicken. Pour in marinade making sure all the pieces are coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours or as long as overnight.
Remove chicken from marinade scraping off the excess with your fingers back into the bowl; reserve the marinade. Place chicken on a sheet pan and blot dry with paper towels. Loosely cover and let sit at room temperature while you prepare the sauce.
For Creole Sauce: melt pork fat or bacon grease in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Carefully whisk in the reserved marinade (it will splatter), tomato paste, and ground allspice. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.
Set up grill for indirect grilling over medium heat (This means no direct heat source under the chicken). Brush and oil grate when ready to start cooking.
Place the chicken skin-side up on the indirect side of the grill, close the cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Raise the lid and rearrange the chicken for even cooking. Baste with Creole Sauce, close the cover and cook for another 15 minutes. Flip the chicken, baste and cook for another 10 minutes. During the last couple minutes of cooking, move the chicken over to the direct heat side of the grill and baste with Creole Sauce and flip a couple times to crisp up and get a little char on the skin. Be very careful of flare-ups and prepare to move the chicken around or back to the indirect side. The chicken will be done when the internal temperature reaches 165˚F and is no longer pink at the bone.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!