Persian Grilled Chicken

One of my favorite cuisine is Middle Eastern. And I'm told this is the favorite way of preparing chicken in Iraq; and it harks back to the Persian Empire. The recipe can be done over hot coals on an outdoor grill or in an oven broiler. I like this recipe because its very similar our method of broiling chicken in Puerto Rican or Nuyorican neighborhoods. The only difference being that we add oregano to the marinade. And Iraquis marinate the chicken overnight, just like we do. Farther afield, in Turkey, they like to flavor the chicken with a little cumin instead of the garlic and lemon in the marinade.

PERSIAN GRILLED CHICKEN

1 3-pound broiler fryer chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
1 small onion, chopped and crushed to extract juices
1-3 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to tatse

1. Rinse chicken pieces under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Place chicken in a bowl or large zip-lock bag. Add the remaining ingredients. If using a bowl, rub the seasoning thoroughly into the chicken parts. If using a zip-lock bag, make sure the chicken parts are thoroughly coated with the marinade. Refrigerate overnight.
3. If using a grill: place the chicken pieces on an oiled grill (preferably over a charcoal fire) that is very hot and glowing, and no longer smoking. Grill the pieces until golden brown but still pale and tender inside, basting with marinade and turning once.
4. If using oven broiler: broil in a pan (I prefer cast-iron), rack or greased aluminum foil 7 inches from heat source for 30 minutes. Turn once during broiling and baste frequently with the marinade.
    Yield: 4 servings.
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