Grilled Cocoa Rub Chicken
1/4 cup sea salt
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
Chicken thighs or breasts - 1 to 4 lbs*, de-bone or buy boneless.
Making the rub -
1. Stir the salt, cocoa powder, white sugar, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper in a small bowl until combined. Store in an airtight container.
2. Rub good amount of the spice mixture onto a serving of meat, and put into fridge for 3-24 hours to marinate.
Cooking the Chicken -
1. Take chicken out of the fridge, place your cast iron grill pan on burner and turn stove on medium heat, allow pan to get warm (good way to test is hold the back of your hand about 5 inches from the pan and start to feel heat within 10 seconds).
2. Put rubbed chicken onto pan and cook on one side for 10 minutes, flip and let cook for another 10 minutes.
3. Flip again (going the other direction to get opposite grill lines) and cook for 5 mins, flip and cook for another 5.
4. Ensure chicken is done and enjoy.
The Science of Flavor:
Marinade is a mixture of seasonings used to flavor or tenderize food. Depending on the cut and type of meat, it may need a little assistance to bring it to a palatable range of tenderness. Certain plant and fungi enzymes and acids can break down muscle and connective proteins in meats, this can be done with marinade. Direct contact is the important point, since it is necessary for the chemical reaction to occur. This means that soaking a piece of meat in a marinade will only penetrate just so far into the surface of the meat. Puncturing the meat for the marinade to penetrate gives an uneven result, with the further undesirable side effect of allowing the meat to lose even more juices while cooking, therefore it's not recommended.