Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category

Legs And Ribs (With Gas)

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I wanted some variety for dinner, so I decided to do some drumsticks and country style pork ribs. Why don’t I ever seem to do ribs still on the bone? Well, I have, I just haven’t documented it yet.

Anyway, there was no rub involved this time, but I did put both meats in foil pans with some Head Country marinade that I found on clearance at Walmart. It has similarities to Worcestershire, so it would probably work well with beef, too. Just be sure to shake it well before pouring, as it has spices in it that settle at the bottom of the bottle otherwise.

I also deviated from my normal routine this time by using my gas grill and smoker boxes instead of the barrel smoker.

I turned the meat over in their pans about half an hour in so they would cook evenly. Another half hour later I took them out of the pans and let indirect heat cook them. Of course, the drumsticks finished a lot sooner than the ribs, but that was okay because it gave us something to eat while we waited for the rest to be done. I kept the ribs on the top rack, dripping down into their pan to minimize the mess and keep some moisture in the air inside the grill.

Of course, the last half hour I mopped the ribs with my homemade sauce. I know, you really only have to do the last ten minutes or so, but I really like a good glaze of sauce soaking in at the end.

When it hit the plate, I served it up with baked beans and loaded potato salad.

Chicken, Mushrooms And Vegetables

This one is probably a bit healthier than most of the entries here.

Start out with a zucchini squash, a yellow squash, a red onion, grape tomatoes, and bell pepper. I got an assortment of red, green and yellow bell peppers a little smaller than the size of my fist. Slice ’em all up, toss them in a bowl with some olive oil and seasoning before putting them in the grilling basket. For this one I’m using Weber’s Roasted Garlic and Herb seasoning.

Next, I have boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins marinading in a bag with some olive oil and the same seasoning before putting them on the foil-covered grill. Chicken sometimes likes to stick, even if you have a clean, oiled grilling surface, so foil and oil make it easier.

While the chicken in over direct heat on low, the vegetables are next to the chicken getting indirect heat. I toss the vegetables whenever I check the chicken. But for now, I’m inside, using the stove and a cast iron skillet (sorry no pics) to saute sliced mushrooms in olive oil with minced garlic and some red onion.

Running back and forth between the two, trying not to burn anything is no fun, so I kept the chicken on a little lower than normal until the mushrooms were done. Then turn it up a little more for the big finish.

Smoked BBQ Chicken

For a family campout at the lake, I decided to take the portable charcoal smoker and this time, chicken was on the menu. Once again, I turned to Kingsford’s Hickory briquettes in addition to actual hickory chunks to give the meat that irreplaceable smoky flavor.

Using four filleted chicken breast halves, I added the BBQ rub from Bud’s Custom Meats and let the flavor soak in while I started the charcoal and let the briquettes burn down to coals. Once they were ready and the water bowl in place, all I had to do was moved the pan to the upper grilling surface. It makes it so much easier when it comes to cleanup, and the heat and smoke still swirl all around the meat and get into it. Since it’s going to be finished in sauce, it doesn’t have to have the cosmetic touch of grill marks.

I let the meat sit on the smoke for two and a half hours, turning it over in the pan halfway through. After that it was time for the sauce. This time I chose to give the Sam’s Choice Sweet Rich BBQ Sauce a try. It’s a molasses sauce (I have yet to meet a molasses sauce I didn’t like) with, according to the label, “a hint of black pepper and a touch of heat.” And since there were some in our group who had never had the pleasure of experiencing the sweet southern pleasure of molasses sauce, it was a no-brainer.

2015-06-12 19.48.29Since we had six people, I cut the meat into large chunks and then smaller chunks before criss-crossing them with sauce and then slathering it all over with the baster. Another half hour with higher heat, to thicken the sauce (and wait for the baked beans to heat up), stirring occasionally, it was finished. I’ve never been much of a fan of fighting to get to the meat with bones, fat and skin on BBQ chicken, so this is the perfect alternative.

Bud's bbq rubI had a bite of the smoked meat itself before applying the sauce, and offered the same to everyone else at camp. Most accepted, all of whom loved it, as did I. It was juicy, smoky and perfectly seasoned. Bud’s BBQ rub has a sweet, smoky flavor without being too salty that’s as great for smoking chicken as it is on pork.

Sam's BBQ sauceThe Sam’s choice sauce was exactly as described: sweet and smoky with just a little bit of bite. I’d recommend it right along with any of my other favorites.

Dr. Pepper-Bourbon Brine

chicken and brine in a bagI’m trying a new brine tonight. I’ve cut two chicken breast fillets into skewer-size pieces and put them in a Ziploc bag. They’ll be in the refrigerator for about 48 hours, due to plans for dinner out tomorrow night, but the alcohol should keep any bacteria at bay.

In a mixing bowl I combined:

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Dr. Pepper
1/4 cup bourbon (I used Evan Williams)
a few shakes of salt
a few shakes of black pepper
a few shakes of ground cloves

I stirred it all together with a fork, put the chicken in the bag and then poured in the brine. Looking back, it would’ve been easier if I’d used a large Pyrex measuring cup instead of a mixing bowl, or just poured all the brine ingredients into the bag, sealed it, mixed it by mashing it with my hands until blended and then added the meat. Oh, well. Next time.

The final product was tender and flavorful, but not overly juicy, so I may have just cooked them too long. First I got the grilling surface good and hot on both sides, with some hickory chips in the smoker boxes on the right. Then I turned them both down to medium and put on the skewers. They got a few minutes on one side, then the other, then back and forth one more time each. The second round is when they got basted with a good coat of the Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce. Some folks like a mustard-based sauce, some like vinegar. Others like sweet and smoky, or maybe even molasses or honey. I definitely fall in the sweet category. But still others prefer it hot and peppery. That was my impression of this sauce, and I couldn’t really tell that there was any Dr. Pepper flavor to it. So it made an okay glaze, but I definitely needed a refill on my iced tea before it was all said and done.

Beer Batter Grill-Fried Chicken

in the panI had a craving for some beer batter fried chicken but, as usual, wanted to cook on my grill. What’s a southern boy to do? Aluminum pans to the rescue! This way I can fry chicken for real (not bake pre-fried, frozen stuff on a cookie sheet in the oven), not fill the house with that stale fried grease smell for hours or days to come, not make a mess on the stove, not have to wash a pan afterward, and (BONUS!!) I get to use my grill.

Now granted, it had been a coon’s age since I’ve fried chicken myself, so I forgot one important step in the process. But it still came out alright, and I’ll remember next time.

For the batter:

1 cup plain old bleached flour
1 egg
1 12 0z. bottle of beer
seasonings of your choice

I used a “French Fry Seasoning” from the store that smells and tastes an awful lot like the stuff they have on the table at Steak N Shake restaurants.

Instead of filling the pan with a couple of inches of vegetable oil, I melted two sticks of real butter over low heat, so not to scorch it.

Paula Deen would be proud.

crunchies on the plateI wanted to see if this method will work for camping trips later this year. I’ll remember for next time, but I forgot that after dipping in the batter the chicken should be rolled in another, dry mix of flour and spices so it’ll stick. Also, I had the burners on medium to prevent scorching the butter, but it took forever to start sizzling. Once I set them to about three quarters, it went just fine. So I got fried chicken minus a lot of its crust, but a lot of really good crunchies. (Yeah, just like the crumbs at Long John Silver’s.) Flour, seasoning, beer, egg, butter. It’s practically buttered french toast. Minus syrup plus beer.

I asked my girlfriend if she wanted to try some of the crunchies with me (and they were soooo good!), but she kept saying something about arteries… or some such nonsense… I couldn’t hear over the crunching sound.

drumsticks, crunchies and iced teaMore for me.

Gave her neighbor one of the drumsticks, as he was getting home just as they finished, so I had three legs, a lot of crunchies and sweetened iced tea. I love being southern! Now for a slice of lemon icebox pie…

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