Choose your meats wisely, creatively
Sure, you can skewer the standard cuts of chicken and beef and grill up a fine dinner. But you have a unique opportunity to make dinner interesting. “Lean towards getting creative, first and foremost,” encourages chef Yuval Leshem of New York's HaSalon. He practices what he preaches, having recently served up sardine + king crab skewers.
Chef Toshi Kizaki of Denver’s Ototo, which specializes in Japanese-style robata, echoes that sentiment. “Be brave -- use duck,” he says. “Sear the skin first and skewer before grilling to render the fat. Make sure to rest for several minutes before serving to release the fat.” Chef/partner of Brooklyn’s Yaki Tiki JT Vuong likes some lesser appreciated poultry parts. “My personal favorites are cuts that are a bit more fatty like chicken thighs and bellies,” he says. “You get that distinct flavor from the fat dripping onto the coals.”
And don’t skip on grilling up the bounty of the world’s seas. “Grouper works really nicely,” says Solomonov. “Salmon also works well, and if you do it just right, you can keep the skin on and grill it skin-side down.”
Georgette Farkas, owner of Rotisserie Georgette, loves grilling octopus. “It’s very important to poach it first to give it a tenderness,” she says. “Then I either put the whole tentacle in an s-shape on the skewer or slice it into diagonal pieces and alternate them with cherry tomatoes or small potatoes. Grilling it gives it that beautiful crispy, charred outer edge and a wonderful combination of textures.”