HEY! IT'S SUMMER! My favorite...cooking over an open fire. There's nothing like grilling. And bbq. Which are totally different, by the way. I'm gonna share two of my new favorite recipes for cooking on the grill.
(side by side, aren't they gorgeous?)
(side by side, aren't they gorgeous?)
BEER CAN CHICKEN: So Greg decided to make Beer Can Chicken for the first time. Admittedly, it was my first as well. (How is that possible?)
So this is the scoop...the beer can is stuffed inside the cavity and is heated from the flame. The beer bubbles and steams, releasing moisture inside the cavity. It also imparts flavor (but not alcohol) from the chicken. It takes a while to cook, but is totally totally worth it. Greg brined the chicken the night before, so it would be extra extra succulent. Good job Greg!
So brine it overnight, and make a spice rub. This is what I would recommend, it's basically my "special" dry rub for everything.
For: 3 whole chickens...
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons paprika (not smoked)
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp dry thyme
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dry oregano
Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix well with your hands or a wire whisk. Put into ziplock bag or tupperware. Can be stored in a cool dry place (not refrigerator) for up to 2 weeks.
Word to the wise: You might want to truss your chicken to keep the wings and outer part of the breasts from drying out too fast.
Once you are ready to get going with your chicken, get your coals all toasty and split them in half on either side of the grill, which makes a kind of oven-like environment. (For gas grills turn on the left and right hand side to high) This is to make the chicken cook at an even rate (or at least hopefully). Place an aluminum pan in the empty spot in the middle to catch the juice drippings.
After removing the chicken from the brining liquid, you need to rinse them well and pat dry with paper towels.
Get out your trusty dry rub and apply a generous amount to the outside of the chicken, massaging it into crevices and making sure it is applied evenly.
You will need one beer can per chicken. On the tail end cavity shove the beer can up it's butt. Yeah, you heard me. Make sure you're grill is on even ground, so that the chicken will balance better. Place chickens carefully on the middle of the grill in between the hot spots.Ok, now that the chickens are on the grill just let them be!!! You've heard that saying "If you are a-lookin', it ain't cookin'!!!"
If the bottom of the chicken is looking kinda charred, you can move it up on the grill, or just farther away from the heat. Close the lid of the grill with some ventilation to cook internally. Check on it periodicaly, adding coals only if necessary as this chicken benefits from low, slow cooking. Depending on the amount of heat and the grill you have, it will take an hour and half to two hours to fully cook the chicken. Make sure to check the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh, it should read 160 degrees F if it's done. When it's done, transfer to cutting board or even better, an aluminum pan and cover with tin foil for 15 to 20 minutes. This is to allow the juices to reabsorb into the meat. Carve into 8 pieces and serve. It's a crowd pleaser, and is fun to make. Trust me.
STUFFED BACON WRAPPED JALAPENOS:
Hey, if you can't handle the heat, you don't deserve this tasty treat. So you like jalapeno poppers, right? Of course you do, I know you. Cheese and jalapenos. YUM. So, it's like that but stuff the WHOLE THING, (in this picture I stuffed them with Goat Cheese and a little smoked provolone, but have done carne asada and jack cheese- there are no limits to what you can stuff these with) and then WRAP THEM IN BACON. Woah. Magic. These went super fast. And people's eyes were tearing up because sometimes you get an extra hot one. Keep some milk around in case someone is sensitive. Anyways, I digress. Here's the recipe, which I have to give credit to my friend Scotty for coming up with-pure genius I have to say. We decided to get married, I believe, when he came to a bbq with some of these stuffed with roasted chicken and two kinds of cheese. LOVE YOU!!!
Makes: 12 Jalapenos
1 Log Goat Cheese4 oz smoked provolone (or whatever you want to stuff it with, seriously-try shredded pork, chicken with cheese, crab and bechamel, shrimp, etc)
12 thin slices Applewood Smoked Bacon
1)Cut all jalapenos down the sides lengthwise leaving the top of the jalapeno entact. Gently squeeze them open and with a regular teaspoon scoop out all the seeds, being careful not to split the jalapeno apart.
2)Mix the filling and stuff it into the cavity of the jalapeno. Squeeze it shut.
3) Take your slice of bacon and starting at the top of the jalapeno, wrap it around, angling it down towards the bottom. Take the extra bacon at the bottom (and you WILL have some) and pull it up over the stem on the top of the jalapeno. This is how you fasten the bacon onto the jalapeno so you don't need skewers.
4) I usually lay down aluminum foil on the grill, but since there was so much bacon, the fat started dripping into the fire and cause it to flare up and almost burned Greg's face off. Not recommended. What I DO recommend is cooking them in a recyclable aluminum tray. Just until your bacon is that perfect golden brown color. Careful, the inside of the jalapeno is going to be SUPER hot so wait a few minutes after it's done to let it cool a bit. Don't want any lawsuits. Can you do this in your house? OF COURSE! Saute them in a pan silly. Still works.