Add more fresh coals…

because even though the 4th of July has passed, grilling fits any summer day or night. Besides, grilling is awesome, enough said. Today we visit barbecued chicken with a sauce from Tyler Florence. For this particular recipe, he used one whole chicken. I used thighs and drumsticks. Thighs are the best chicken parts for BBQ because they’re fattier and oh so flavorful.  Drumsticks are just easy to eat for those unsuccessful with utensils. Don’t be ashamed; we all really prefer the dark meat.

I like to brine poultry because it ensures you’re getting a moist, tender product after cooking. That is unless you totally wreck it. Yikes! I keptthe chicken thighs in the large Tyson bag it came in because it’s a thick sturdy bag. No one wants slimy chicken stuff on the bottom of their fridge. Yikes! (Ok, two in one paragraph may be a little much). Throw the chicken in the fridge and let it sit there overnight.

I took a different path for the sauce, sorry Tyler. You’re still a good guy :). After mixing everything into the saucepan and cooking the sauce, I put it into a blender and pureed it into a more consistent sauce.  A few lumps are OK.

After the chicken comes off the grill, toss it in the sauce and it’s ready.  But wait! Man cannot live on chicken alone; he needs side dishes.

Before you grab your wooden stake and lunge for the picture of the brussel sprouts, listen up. Brussel sprouts are only nasty and bitter if undercooked or overcooked. If cooked properly, they’re lovely and have a nutty flavor. I roasted mine in the stovetop toaster oven with shallots and bacon. After all, everything goes better with bacon. No, really, it’s scientifically proven.

I also had a round Rye loaf from Whole Foods Market. I will only say this once. If you live near one of these havens, be cautious. A plethora of gourmet treats will try to suck you in and make you a frequent visitor. I’m already addicted, but save yourselves! To get back on track, I grilled the sliced the bread (sure a toaster would have worked, but the coals were still hot and I just love grilling). After they were nice and toasty, I spread some garlic herb butter on it.

I make garlic herb butter maybe once a month and store it in the fridge or freezer. It’s easy and very convenient to have on hand. Put it on all dinner breads and you’ll save yourself time.

Barbecued Chicken
Recipe modified from Tyler Florence

3 quarts water
3 T  kosher salt
3/8 cup brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, smashed
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1  8? or 10? lb bag thighs and drumsticks (all thighs works too)

In a bowl with a lip, mix the water, salt, sugar, garlic, and thyme. Pour the brine over the chicken, leaving it in the manufacturer’s zip-seal bag. Refrigerate overnight.

3 pieces end-cut bacon (cheaper and thicker pieces)
4 sprigs fresh thyme,  stripped off the stalk
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 T  red wine vinegar
1 T dry mustard
1 t ground cumin
1 t smoked paprika (regular is fine if you don’t have smoked)
ground black pepper to taste
extra-virgin olive oil

Chop the bacon into smaller pieces (they don’t have to be tiny).  Heat 2 T olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until some of the bacon fat renders out, about 3-4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly without browning for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix it up, and reduce heat to low. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. Put sauce in blender and puree to eliminate big bacon  or onion chunks.

Prepare your charcoal grill to a medium to medium high heat. For my large Weber kettle grill, that means using 2 full chimneys of charcoal. I always brush the grill’s grate to clean it before grilling (after grilling too). If your grate is no longer shiny from the steel coating, rub the grate with a paper towel with vegetable oil on it.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken on grill and cook for a total of 10 minutes. You don’t want them cooked fully through. Coat chicken with half of the sauce and put in the oven for about 15 minutes to finish cooking. Check to see if the juices run clear and the meat’s no longer pink inside (a little pink is ok by the bone, that’s just blood). Coat the chicken again with the rest of the sauce or keep a little on the side for people that want more sauce.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Shallots

About 10-15 brussel sprouts, cut in half
2 shallots, sliced
Bacon pieces, cooked (as much as you want, I used a good handful)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle brussel sprouts and shallots with salt, pepper, and extra-virgin olive oil. Put in oven until sprouts are a darker green and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add cooked bacon.

Garlic Herb Butter

1 stick salted butter
1 T fresh thyme
1 T fresh oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced

Soften butter and add herbs. Mix well and spread onto bread. You can use more or less herbs and garlic. Sometimes I add rosemary too. Use whatever herbs you like on bread. This makes a quick garlic bread spread too.

Keep extra butter in the fridge or freezer.

*Tip: make an oblong loaf of this and keep it in the freezer. When making hamburgers, put a tablespoon in the middle of your patty. It melts as you cook the meat and is oh so good!


2 Responses

  1. yup, you always have those weird bread loafs at your house.

  2. the round loaves are artisan style. They taste awesome and you’re just jealous haha

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