Peachy Keen Chicken

Posted on September 9, 2010. Filed under: chicken, grill, poultry, recipe | Tags: , , , , , |

Sweet sweet love affair with the Big Green Egg continues. I smoked a brisket the other day. Happiness. There is a strong possibility of ribs or perhaps a pork shoulder this weekend. Jealous? You might be. Come to Pittsburgh, I’ll share the love. In the meantime, here’s a chicken dish I invented that you can do on your grills, too.

1/2 Cup Grapeseed Oil (feel free to substitute if you don’t have grapeseed)
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1.5 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Dijon Mustard
1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper
1/4 Tsp. Chili Powder
1/4 Tsp. Celery Seed
1 Shallot
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Peach, pit and skin removed

Slather generously over Chicken Breasts or Thighs, and grill.

Peaches? Indeed. Trust me.

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Big Green Egg BBQ First Run

Posted on August 26, 2010. Filed under: grill, hodgepodge, meat, smoke | Tags: , , , , , |

Finally moved into my new place. It’s amazing. I don’t know why I’ve been living in mega expensive cities when I could have lived in a place where I could get a massive loft and private back yard for the same amount of rent I paid 10 years ago to live in a  Hoboken railroad flat. A person should celebrate new digs, so I treated myself to a wicked awesome housewarming present. A Big Green Egg.

Billed as the “World’s Best Smoker and Grill”, and focus of a proud cult of pitmasters, the Big Green Egg is a modern ceramic take on an ancient Japanese clay cooking vessel. It enables you to direct grill with direct heat up at 750F, yet also smoke for 24 hours straight at 225F. The manual also seems to offer a pizza oven throwdown- several times it mentions using your Big Green Egg as the Universe’s Dopest Brick Oven. Challenge accepted Big Green Egg. I will make pizza in you.

I purchased my Egg from the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff at Rollier’s Hardware. They walked me through a quick demo in store, and offered to deliver it for free the next day. The fellas showed up promptly at 2:30, assembled it, and showed me a few smart tips. When they walked away, I had a sense that they knew I was in for a good time.

Quick note about Rollier’s: It’s a first rate, family run store. Everyone that I spoke with was exceptionally helpful, and rather cheery, too. It’s the kind of place that makes you think we’d be better off with a few less UltraSuperBoxBoxBoxeyBox stores, and a few more Rollier’s. I don’t mean that metaphorically, either. Small chains would offer some of the consistency and risk reduction of a bigger business, but still keep the individual attributes that makes a place like Rollier’s unique. So maybe Rollier’s should open up a second store. Maybe somewhere on the Allegheny River side of Pittsburgh. I’m just sayin…

Oh…the Big Green Egg…turns out it’s not just for musing, it’s for cooking, too. And cook I did.

I rubbed a couple of giant, bone-in, Pennsylvania strip steaks with grapeseed oil, salt, and pepper. Once the coals heated up to 600, I grilled the steaks  for 6 minutes per side. Let them rest for 5 minutes. Perfection. Seriously. Best steaks I’ve ever made at home. Happiness.

Big Green Egg, I love you already. We’re going to make some brisket and ribs very soon. And I might just see how you smoke bacon. I might just do that.

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Yogurt Grilled Chicken

Posted on June 10, 2010. Filed under: chicken, easy, grill, poultry, recipe | Tags: , , , , , |

A simple yogurt slather will do wonders for your grilled chicken. Yogurt’s combination of mild acidity and calcium work to tenderize the meat. You’ll be able to mix a lot of flavor in, too. Serve the chicken as is, or add it to a salad or flavorful curry.

The mix below is what I used. It was lovely. But feel free to choose your own adventure. Let me know what you come up with!

1/3 Cup Plain Yogurt
1.5 Tablespoons Honey
2 Teaspoons Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Coriander
1/4 Teaspoon Powdered Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Chili Powder
Pinch of Cumin

Rub mix on to:
Two Chicken Breasts

Let the chicken sit at room temperature 1-2 hours, or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Remove most, but not all, of the marinade.
Grill 6 minutes per side, over high heat.

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Whiskey Soaked Flank Steak

Posted on August 6, 2009. Filed under: beef, grill, recipe |

Whisk together:
1/2 Cup Whiskey
1/2 Cup Apple Juice
1/2 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Serrano Chili, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, smashed
1 Tbs. Agave Nectar
2 Tsp. Onion Powder
2 Tsp. Salt
2 Tsp. Fresh Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Liquid Smoke (optional)
15 Stalks Fresh Time

Pour over:
2 Pound Flank Steak

Marinate for about 24 hours.
Grill over direct heat for about 7 minutes per side.

*If you don’t have agave nectar, use the same amount brown sugar.
*If you have a smoker, feel free to smoke beef instead of adding liquid smoke. That’s what I did.

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Grilled Chicken, Variation 235

Posted on July 9, 2009. Filed under: grill, poultry, recipe |

Chicken Breast

Season with a pinch of:
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder

Grill for approximately 6 minutes per side. Remove from grill, and top with:
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 Teaspoons Diced Fresh Tomato
1-2 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Parsley

*This recipe only works with really fresh, ripe tomatoes. Avoid, at all costs, the cheap grocery store tomato. Only attempt during summer.

*If you don’t have access to a grill, bake chicken at 425 degrees for 6 minutes per side.

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Chili Lime Chicken

Posted on May 19, 2009. Filed under: easy, grill, poultry, recipe |

This is an easy to make grilled chicken that has a bit of a kick. Eat it as is, or add some cheese and make it part of a killer grilled chicken sandwich.

3-4 Chicken Breasts
Juice of 2 Limes
1/8 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Dijon Mustard
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Tsp. Fresh Cracked Pepper
1/4 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 Tsp. Onion Powder
1/4 Tsp. Chili Powder
1/4 Tsp. Cumin
1/4 Tsp. Ground Coriander

Juice limes. Whisk in mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Whisk in spices. Stop using word whisk.

Coat both sides of chicken with mixture. Let stand, at room temperature, one to two hours. Grill over high heat, 7 minutes per side.

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Simple Grilled Pork Chops

Posted on August 25, 2008. Filed under: easy, grill, pork, recipe |

I picked up some really nice looking pork chops from the Hollywood Farmers’ Market yesterday. Since they looked so good to begin with, I went with a very simple preparation.

In a medium sized bowl, combine:
2 Cups Warm Water
1/4 Cup Sea Salt
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1/8 Cup Bourbon

1 Cup Ice Cubes
2-4 Bone-In Pork Chops

Leave on counter for two hours, or refrigerate for up to 24.

Grill chops over hot direct heat for 5 minutes per side.

Easy as pie. Hell, much easier than pie. Pie making is hard.

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Technique: Grilling Corn

Posted on August 11, 2008. Filed under: corn, grill, technique, vegetable |

Sweet corn is one of the joys of summertime.  As we enter August, corn is in high season.  The tasty, giant stalks of grass are plump with sweet kernels.  My favorite was to enjoy corn this time of year is to grill it.  Screw wrapping it in foil, I’ve a better way.
First step is to peel the husk back, all the way to the bottom, but not off.  Remove the silks, and a layer of the outermost husk.  Dispose of the silk, but save the husk.  Tear the husk into a few long, thin strips.  Rub corn with butter and salt.  Return the husk to first position, and secure it by tying with the strips.
Submerge the corn in cold water for 30 minutes to an hour.  Pat dry and place over hot coals.  The husk will begin to brown, while the corn steams in it’s on deliciousness, aided by butter.  After ten minutes, remove corn and tear off the husk.  Careful, it’s hot!
Apply more butter (if desired) and return to grill.  As the kernels brown, turn the corn.  Remove, adding salt/spices to taste.  
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Flank Steak, Southern Style

Posted on August 6, 2008. Filed under: beef, grill, recipe |

A southern steak, eh? Indeed. However, despite my love of U.S. southern cooking, this isn’t from there. This flank steak comes courtesy of the Southern Hemisphere. I’ve blended south Asian with South American, and the result is great.

1 Flank Steak, 2-3 pounds
1/3 Cup Light Soy Sauce
1/3 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Mirin
1/4 Cup Ketchup, try to use ketchup without High Fructose Corn Syrup!
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Hot Thai Peppers, seeded and diced

Combine everything. Marinate steak for 8-24 hours. Remove from marinade, pat dry. Take to the grill.

Now, here’s the South American part. Instead of cooking over coal, I used whole wood mesquite wood chunks. Working this way allows for a combination of direct high heat grilling and smoke. Start the wood as you would your charcoal. The chunks will be ready in about fifteen minutes (time saver!). You want the smoke to still be fairly heavy, but the chunks to be burning hot. Oh, you might want to warn the neighbors, too. This style, while producing great flavor, will also make it smell like you have a camp site in your yard. Make sure you have a good amount of space, and a lot of ventilation. Might want to keep a bucket of water handy, too!

Cook for 5-6 minutes per side. You want the outside caramelized, the inside nice and pink. Let rest for 10 minutes, then carve against the grain.

Your fire will still be going pretty strong. Use it to grill some pineapple, or, even better, make some smores. I mean, if your already making the neighborhood smell like a bonfire, better put it to good use!

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Smoked Chicken

Posted on July 16, 2008. Filed under: grill, poultry, recipe |

4 Chicken Breasts
Italian Dressing
Wood Chips
Simple, healthy, and excellent.  All you need is smoke.
Marinate chicken for 3-24 hours in your favorite italian dressing.  Transfer to grill and smoke over indirect heat for 35 minutes.  The fire should be around 300 degrees.  If you don’t have a smoker attachment, soak wood chips for one hour, wrap in foil, poke some holes in it.  Then, make a fire on the opposite side of the grill from where you’re going to place your chicken.  Put chip packet on fire at same time as chicken.
Add salt as needed.
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