Preparing half a chicken on the grill reveals the beauty of cooking chicken with the bones intact. Even though you’re grilling this chicken for 30 minutes, it will turn out tender, incredibly flavorful and never dry. Thank the bones for that. Grill covered to create radiant heat that will penetrate the thickest parts of the bird and cook it evenly.
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sake
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 teaspoons tobanjan, *
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 half chicken (3 to 4 pounds total)
* Tobanjan is a red paste that is fermented from soybeans and chilies and was originally a Chinese culinary import to Japan. It adds potent heat, and its own fermented flavor; be careful not too add to much or it can overwhelm other foods.
- Mix together the soy sauce, sake, ginger, garlic, tobanjan, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl to make the marinade.
- Pour three-fourths of the marinade into a baking dish or rimmed sheet pan; reserve the rest. Lay the chicken in the marinade and flip the halves 4 times to generously coat all over.
- Use a rubber spatula or your hands to make sure all the crevices are well coated. Marinate the chicken halves for 10 minutes, turning once.
- Preheat a grill to medium. Grill the chicken, covered, for about 35 minutes. Start by grilling skin side down for about 2 minutes. Flip the chicken and brush on the reserved marinade.
- Flip the chicken about every 7 minutes, brushing on more marinade after each turn. The chickens are done when very juicy with meat pulling away from the bone.
- Rest the chicken for 5 minutes, cut into serving pieces, and serve.