Lemongrass adds a wonderful fragrance to this dish. To prepare it, trim off the tops and enough of the bottoms that you no longer see a woody core and then remove the tough outer leaves. Thinly slice the remaining light-green stalks crosswise and then finely chop them.
Make Ahead Tips
You can make this dish through the braising step the day before serving. Just cool and wrap the chicken and braising liquid separately. Refrigerate overnight and glaze the next day. To spread out the work even more, you can season the chicken the day before you braise.
To use a charcoal grill: To sear the chicken, build a medium-heat fire: Ignite about 5 quarts of charcoal (80 to 100 briquettes), using either a chimney starter or an electric starter. When the charcoal is burning well, spread it out over the surface of the charcoal grate and put the cooking grate in place. Let the charcoal burn down until it’s coated with gray ash. To test the temperature, hold your hand about two inches above the cooking grate; when you can hold your hand there for 3 to 4 seconds (a medium-heat fire), you’re ready to sear the chicken.
After searing, divide the coals evenly, banking them against two sides of the grill (use long-handled tongs to move the coals). Put the cooking grate in place; if your cooking grate has hinged sections, position them over the charcoal. Place an oven thermometer on the grate over the cooler area, close the lid, and let the coals burn until the thermometer reads about 350ºF. When ready, place the pot over the cool zone and braise as directed above. Check the thermometer every 20 minutes, replenishing the charcoal as necessary to keep the temperature between 325ºF and 375ºF. If the coals are still burning well, you can simply add a handful of unlit coals on top. Otherwise, you’ll need to add lit coals.
To glaze the chicken, build a second medium-heat fire just as you did in the searing step. Continue with the glazing, as directed in the recipe.
Loved the flavors. Especially loved being able to prepare it ahead and finish on the grill just before serving. AND it was great at room temp, so it is a great dish for easy summer entertaining. I was pressed for time in the initial cooking and after allowing 24 hours between applying the rub and the first heat, rather than firing up the Weber, I seared the legs on my cast iron grill pan and then braised in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour. That was in the morning. In the evening I finished them on the charcoal. It was fabulous and a great hit with all!
This grill-braise recipe is one of the best from the series. The flavors were wonderful, and the grilling really added to the flavor in the end. This one's a keeper! I served with basmati rice with thai basil on the side, it was perfect with the chicken and the sauce.
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