I love the days that lead up to a holiday. There is the last minute shopping, the many cocktail parties, the cookie-baking bonanzas, and the hall-decking that precedes Christmas. And then you have the menu planning, the pie crust stashing, the gourd shopping that portend Thanksgiving. And don’t forget the dress-shopping, ham procuring and jelly-bean-popping that mark the days before Easter. But, given the date, it’s the build up to the Fourth of July that I’ve got on the brain at the moment.
Can you feel it?
It’s almost an electric excitement in the air. There’s a three-day weekend coming and people are ready. They’ve stocked up on charcoal, sunscreen and ice. The frequency of the unsponsored fireworks displays has already increased. The grocery stores are bracing for a run on strawberries and blueberries, knowing full well that the people demand flag cakes on this holiday. Plans for the weekend, for firework-viewing and beer-guzzling and porch-sitting, have been laid.
Heck, I know I’m ready. We’ll be home for the holiday and I can’t wait to indulge in a three-day weekend in my own city. It’s been a while. We’re planning to pick cherries, catch up on Friday Night Lights, walk a lot, soak up the sun. We’ll also be spending a fair amount of time at the grill. It’s the Fourth of July weekend, after all — and if there’s ever a time to get grilling, it’s now.
I’m guessing many of you already have your weekend menus assembled. In the off-chance that you’re looking for suggestions—the kind that involve the grill—I’ve got just the thing for you: grilled soy-glazed chicken and scallions. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of your everyday barbecue chicken. But this? Sticky and charred, with a tingle of spice and the smoky bite of grilled scallions, this is a barbecue chicken recipe I can get behind. I suggest you do the same.
Grilled Soy-Glazed Chicken & Scallions
Adapted from Fine Cooking
1/3 cup low-salt soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbs. grapeseed, other other neutral, oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
3 1/2 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, breasts and our drumsticks, trimmed of excess fat
8 scallions, trimmed
Heat a gas grill to medium or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. In a medium bowl, whisk the sherry, soy sauce, honey, 2 Tbs. of the oil, the garlic, ginger, pepper, and chile flakes until blended. Pour into a large zip-top bag. Cut two or three 1/4-inch-deep slashes in the skin side of the chicken pieces and put them in the bag. Marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes (or up to 4 hours in the fridge), turning the bag a few times to evenly coat the chicken pieces. Coat the scallions in the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Lift the chicken pieces out of the marinade (let excess marinade drain back into the bag) and set them on the hottest part of the grill. Arrange the scallions around the chicken on the cooler parts of the grill. Grill, turning frequently to prevent burning, until the scallions are tender, 5 to 8 minutes, and the chicken pieces are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove the scallions and chicken from the grill as they finish cooking and tent loosely with foil.
While the chicken is on the grill, pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce the liquid to a syrupy glaze (about 1/3 cup), 10 to 15 minutes. Once the scallions have cooled slightly, slice them into 2-inch pieces.
Arrange the chicken and scallions on a platter. Drizzle the glaze over the chicken and scallions and serve.