The way chickens are butterflied and flattened for grilling in Latin America may seem a little funny: The result resembles a frog. But this method ensures quicker and more even cooking. Also, to achieve crispy, golden-brown skin and juicy meat, the chicken is cooked over indirect heat. This prevents flareups that can occur when fat drips directly onto the coals—flareups that would burn the outside of the chicken before the meat was cooked through.
What to buy: For true Argentine grilling, lump charcoal is essential, as it provides the smoky flavor that only comes from real wood. It can be found at most grocery and hardware stores.
Special equipment: A chimney starter makes lighting charcoal a snap. Place a wad of newspaper in the bottom, fill the top with charcoal, and light the newspaper. Using a chimney starter means there is no need for lighter fluid, which adds unpleasant chemical flavors to your wood. Charcoal chimney starters can be found at hardware stores or online.
You’ll need an instant-read thermometer to know when the chicken is done.
Game plan: You’ll need to make the Argentine Chimichurri Sauce before you begin.
This recipe was featured as part of our Argentine Grilling menu.
Beverage pairing: Weinert Carrascal Blanco, Argentina. Aged in concrete, this blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc has assertive buttery and caramel-y flavors that stand up well to the smokiness of the chicken and the bold flavors in the chimichurri.
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