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Grill Instructor: Chef Trigg Brown Of Win Son Explains How to Cook For A Crowd

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The Bird Is the Word

When you’re grilling for a lot of people, and you don’t want to work super hard, a good plan is to get a lot of chicken legs. They’re affordable, and you can give people food that they want to eat. I love to make spicy, slow-cooked chicken that falls off the bone and is super unctuous.

Prepare to Pig Out
cook a lot of Heritage Foods USA pork; I used to intern at the radio station there while I was cooking at Craft, and my girlfriend works there now. Their [pork porterhouses] are primo, high-quality shit that’s fun to grill, and so easy. You don’t need to do anything besides season it, and it almost tastes like bacon.

Set Your Coal Goals
I probably use more charcoal than I should, because I like to get the grill ripping hot. When the coals are all settled, move them to one side, so you can manage grilling ingredients (like the chicken) that don’t require that intense heat. As you cook over indirect heat off the coals, you can cook other stuff over the coals.

Mind Your Meat
When the coals are hot and the chicken is cooking slowly on the cooler side of the grill, drop the pork porterhouses right onto the hot spot, turning them clockwise every minute or so, so the meat colors evenly. Flip, and do the same thing. By the time you get good color on both sides, move the pork chop over from the heat side and set it on its fat side so it renders and gets some good color on the fat, too. I like to eat these at medium rare, so I make sure the meat never gets too firm. Prod it with your finger right near the bone — if it’s soft to the touch, it’s still undercooked, so it should be right in between that and firm.

Dress Up Your Veggies
When grilling vegetables, I like them on high heat to get that good color, then I turn them onto their backs and let them slow cook over indirect heat while the meat’s being grilled. Then I chop them up and splash on Chinese black vinegar, and then stir in a couple spoonsful of Lao Gan Ma chile oil. My old boss turned me on to it, and it should be as tableside as sriracha and ketchup. Garlic cucumbers are another super simple, really tasty option. Usually, after marinating, the flavors need to be woken up with a pinch of salt, MSG, raw garlic, and sesame oil. In Taiwan these are enjoy[ed] in the same way that salty snacks like peanuts or potato chips are — but they’re cold, crunchy, and refreshing.

Recipes:

Slow-Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Mint Gremolata
Serves 6 to 8

For the chicken:
2 tablespoons Chinese 5-spice powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup sesame oil
6 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
4 drumsticks

For the gremolata:
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch mint, stems removed and discarded
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems removed and discarded
2 cloves garlic, grated
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

  1. Combine the spices in a bowl. Whisk in the sesame oil to form a paste, then whisk in the soy sauce, a few tablespoons at a time, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the chicken.
  2. Add the chicken and spice mixture in a large resealable plastic bag and let marinate in a refrigerator overnight.
  3. Prepare the gremolata: Using a food processor or chef’s knife, finely chop the cilantro, mint leaves and parsley leaves. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the garlic, lemon zest and juice, olive oil and salt. Set aside until just before serving.
  4. Bank the coals off to one side of a charcoal grill, then preheat until the coals are covered in white ash and the heat is low, 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Brush the grates with an oiled rag. Arrange the chicken, fat-side down, on the section of the grill without the coals; cover and let the chicken cook slowly over indirect heat for 30 minutes. Flip the chicken, and grill, turning occasionally for even browning, for 30 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a platter to rest for 10 minutes, then serve topped with the gremolata.

 

Grilled Porterhouse Pork Chops
Serves 6 to 8

Four 14-ounce porterhouse pork chops
Kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper

  1. Season both sides of each chop generously with salt and pepper. Let rest at room temperature as the grill preheats.
  2. Bank the coals off to one side of a charcoal grill, then preheat until the coals are covered in white ash and the heat blazing, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Brush the grates with an oiled rag. Arrange the pork chops over the coals and grill, rotating them clockwise about every minute and flipping them halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone but not touching it registers 130 to 135 degrees; alternatively, the meat near the bone on the sirloin side should be firming up—if it’s soft to the touch like when it’s raw, it’s undercooked, but do not let the meat firm up entirely or it will be overcooked. Let the meat rest on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes.

 

Guacamole
Serves 6 to 8

4 ripe avocados
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 small radishes, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, grated
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt
Stacey’s Jalapeno Pita Chips and Garden of Eatin’ Red Hot Blues tortilla chips, for serving

  1. Halve and pit the avocados, then scoop the flesh into a bowl.
  2. Add the cilantro, radishes, shallots, garlic, lime zest and juice, and 1 tablespoon salt.
  3. Mash with a fork to reach desired consistency. Season to taste with more salt, as needed.
  4. Serve with pita or tortilla chips.

 

Garlic Cucumbers
Serves 6 to 8

4 cucumbers
Kosher salt
Sesame oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (about 4 cloves)
Aji No Moto umami seasoning (MSG)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Store-bought fried shallots, such as X.O Hanh Phi (available in Chinatown or Asian specialty stores)

  1. Peel the cucumbers and trim the ends. Cut crosswise into thirds, then quarter each third lengthwise; remove seeds and discard.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cucumbers with 1 tablespoon each salt and sesame oil, 1 ½ tablespoons garlic, and 1 teaspoon umami seasoning. Mix to combine, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Toss the mixture again, then drain most of the liquid and discard.
  4. Season to taste with more salt, sesame oil, garlic and umami seasoning.
  5. Just before serving, top with the cilantro and fried shallots.

 

Grilled Vegetables
Serves 6 to 8

3 summer squash, halved lengthwise
3 summer zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 red onion, sliced ¾-inch thick
Grapeseed or extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Aji No Moto umami seasoning (MSG)
Lao Gan Ma chili oil, for serving
Black vinegar, for serving

  1. In a bowl, drizzle the squash and zucchini with the oil, then season with salt and a pinch of umami seasoning.
  2. Bank the coals off to one side of a charcoal grill, then preheat until the coals are covered in white ash and the heat is low, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Brush the grates with an oiled rag. Arrange the vegetables on the grill over direct heat and cook, turning occasionally, until grill marks appear, then transfer to indirect heat and let cook until tender. Coarsely chop the vegetables, then toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons chili oil and a splash of vinegar.

 

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