Archive for the ‘chicken’ category

My Top 3 Recipes

May 31, 2010

This week on the grill I’ve been going back and making 3 of my favourite recipes. 

Shrimp and Scallops – Early in the week, I stumbled upon some amazing looking colossal shrimp that I couldn’t resist. I marinated these (and some scallops to keep them company) in a mixture of olive oil and fresh lemon juice, with a bit of lemon rind, and served them up with some mega tasty garlic fries. These colossal shrimp (about 10 shrimp per 1 lb) were the bomb, and I don’t know how I can ever go back to the piddly little ones… Boo. 

Shrimp on Steroids

Beef with Wild Mushrooms – I also went back and made the Beef with Wild Mushrooms. I overcooked this slightly on the first outing, so I wanted to get it just right this time around. The beef turned out great and the shrooms were very garlicy. This is a tasty one that requires lots of mouth wash afterwards. 

Beef with Wild Mushrooms

Ribs with Plum Glaze – I loved the Baby Back Ribs with Plum Glaze recipe that I tried out recently. My only complaint was that I wanted more MEAT! So you can imagine what happened when I was walking past the meat counter and laid my eyes on this bad boy… 

Big Daddy Ribs

Talk about beauty to my eyes – all 3 lbs of it. Unfortunately I had to cut it in half as I didn’t have a Ziploc big enough for it. This bummed me out a bit, but will teach me to be better prepared for next time. I followed the same recipe as before, but had to keep these ribs on the grill for 1.2 hours until it was fully cooked. 

Afterwards @TheSkivvy got chased across the balcony by a giant  moth who had taken up residence in my grill. Monty the moth didn’t stick around for long though… I think the screaming drove him away. 

Lessons Learned: 

  • Practice makes perfect
  • Invest in Ziplocs the size of sleeping bags
  • Giant moths are a sign that I need to grill more

Bangkok Chicken

May 12, 2010

Do you ever feel like you’re running out of recipes and need to go on the hunt for more? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. Then I stumble across beauties like this – Bangkok  chicken is well worth trying out. 

For the marinade: 

  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 large shallot (roughly chopped)
  • 1 one-inch piece of fresh ginger (roughly chopped)
  • 1 medium chilli pepper (roughly chopped)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (ground)

Use a food processor to finely mince the garlic, shallot, ginger and chilli. Then add the basil, followed by the remaining marinade ingredients until well combined. It will smell amazing, even though it looks like a bit of a dog’s dinner! 

Cut two chicken breasts into cubes, place in a Ziploc with the marinade and leave overnight. 

Either skewer the chicken (or place in a cast iron pan) and grill it on indirect heat, at around 300. The smells coming off the grill for this recipe is like the philharmonic orchestra playing a concert in your nostrils. I cooked mine in a cast iron pan for about 10 minutes, partly to test out my pan and partly out of laziness. I know skewers will work just as well. 

This dish looks pretty unassuming on the surface, but the flavours take you by the taste buds and slap you about, just like the Tango Man

Serious Bangkok Flavours

Lessons Learned: 

  • Don’t be fooled by marinades that look like mashed up dog food
  • Cast iron pans rule

Tandoori Chicken

April 26, 2010

I am finally back on the road to grilling glory. I had a successful second outing of cedar-plank salmon on Sunday, and then scored with a great tandoori recipe, which would be mega tasty served up with naan bread and raita (I lurve Indian food).

For the Tandoori chicken marinade (leave overnight):

  • 2 cups (1 pint) plain yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 tbs garlic (minced)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 tsp cumin (ground)
  • 1 tsp coriander (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (ground)
  • 1/4 tsp cloves (ground)

@TheSkivvy kindly skewered these succulent morsels, and I placed them in the center of the grill, on 250 indirect heat, for 20-25 minutes (making sure to keep the lid down as much as possible). I tell you, the smell coming off that grill made my nostrils sing out to the food Gods.

Delicious Smells of Grilled Tandoori

I cooked these guys low and slow, learning a lesson from my past chicken satay disaster (aka the burnt devil spawn). This way, the chicken cooked right through to the center without cremating the outside too much. I still need to do a better job at cutting the chunks all the same size though, as there were a couple of over-seared stragglers in there.

Where's the naan bread and raita?

As we were sitting down to eat, something funny appeared on TV – the new Weber Grill ad.  Yes, this should’ve been me with my Q-320, body popping on the balcony, in the rain, with my beany hat on. Weber, you totally missed out.

Lessons Learned:

  • My mojo is back, and it’s alive and kicking

Honey Mustard Chicken Legs

April 3, 2010

For some reason, I’ve always been quite picky when it comes to meat, so much so that I have two golden rules about meat:  

1. I have to be able to identify what animal it came from  

2. I have to be able to identify what part of the animal it came from  

…which meant that in my younger years, late night visits to the local kebab van (a popular eating destination after a night out drinking in Britain, usually around 2-3am) for me consisted of a bag of chips. It’s true; I would rather eat raw lobster body meat from a crustacean that is sitting on a plate right in front of me with his antennae flexing, than a kebab (I’ll save that story for another time).  

My pickiness somewhat extends to chicken. I’ve been known to eat the odd leg or wing now and then, but I am definitely a breast/white meat person. For my British reader(s), the US distinguish different chicken cuts as white meat (aka: the breast) vs. dark meat (aka: leg, wings, thigh etc). My parents on the other hand disagree with me, of course. They always told me that the breast is dry and flavorless and that the legs and wings are much more tasty cuts. But this is coming from people who like to eat the bum and the feet. Hmm…  

Anyway, today I ventured outside of my comfort zone and tried chicken legs on the grill. I’ve never cooked anything other than the breast before, so this was a first for me.  

For the Honey Mustard Marinade:  

  • 6 large chicken legs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

The marinade smelled absolutely divine, so much so that I had to stop myself from just gulping it down the hatchet. Instead, I was good and poured it over the chicken legs leaving it to marinade in the fridge for one hour.  

Happy legs bathing in marinade

After an hour I nervously fired up the grill to about 350, and continued to baste the legs, until they looked like this…  

I could just be a chicken leg convert

They looked more or less done after 35 minutes, so I took them off the grill and @TheSkivvy and I sat down for some serious munching. It smelled absolutely delicious and the marinade had caramelized beautifully. The honey mustard flavor was to die for, but what about the chicken?  

Now I know the chicken was cooked (because my trusty Weber wand told me so, and because the meat was white and not pink), but there was something about the texture of the meat that was a bit odd. Was it because I’m more used to eating breast? Or maybe because when I do eat legs they have been cooked to hell, and as dry as the Sahara?  To be honest, I’m not exactly sure, but they seemed a little undercooked for my liking. Plus I get REALLY paranoid when it comes to cooking chicken properly… food poisoning from chicken is the worst (even more so than Flatulence Beans).  

So not wanting to poison us again, I battled the leg off @TheSkivvy’s plate and put them back on the grill for another 10 minutes… This time, much better.  

Take 2... getting used to this now

So after my first chicken leg experience, the jury is still out on legs. When I was eating, all that I could think about was how great this honey mustard marinade would taste on a nice breast, or chicken kabob.  

Lessons Learned:  

  • Breast is best
  • This honey mustard marinade should be made into a drink

Chicken Satay and Tropical Rice Salad

March 11, 2010

From the moment I first lit my grill, I’ve been on a mission to produce at least one meal without any f*ck ups. Well hooray for today! 

Here was the golden recipe for Chicken Satay: 

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 8 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp creamed coconut
  • 4 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 fresh red chilli pepper (chopped and de-seeded)

Unlike previous meals (where I had portions that could potentially feed all of my neighbors), I only had three skewers of chicken to work with, so there was no room for error. 

After reconsidering my infamous “Mega-Sear” technique, I decided to concentrate very hard on temperature control. On previous outings, my Weber guide told me to  pre-heat the grill to between 400-450 (cheers Weber). This time, I ignored it and took it down a notch to 200-250, and voila… 

Not-Mega-Seared Chicken Satay

I was extremely happy with myself on this one. It may have taken five goes, but I got there in the end. Maybe it’s because I do my best work in the rain (it was absolutely pissing it down tonight!). On top of that, the tropical rice salad made by my first-class helper @TheSkivvy was divine. Onwards and upwards Bar-B-Khoo! 

Lessons Learned: 

  • I am awesome at this