Archive for the ‘bbq’ Category

Looking for a change from the same ol’ slather-chicken-pieces-with-bbq-sauce routine? Would you like a sweeter bbq on occasion? Here is the recipe for you!

  1. Split and flatten two medium sized chickens (4ish lbs each). Cut out the backbone (freeze to use for chicken stock). Flip the birds over and press down on the keel bone till it breaks to flatten the chicken. You now have a “spatchcocked chicken” which makes one wonder where that name came from. Here is a good step-by-step visual of the process if pictures help you understand: http://goodeats.dyndns.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=39891
  2. Loosen the skin so you can get the rub directly on the meat.
  3. Brine the chicken to ensure juiciness. 1/2 cup table salt, 1/2 cup sugar and about a gallon of cold water. Stir till dissolved and slide the chickens into the brine. Add enough water to cover birds and place in fridge for 30 minutes to 4 hours.  Other seasonings can be added to the brine, but the salt and sugar are necessary.
  4. While coals are lit and coming to temp, soak apple chips (if anyone knows where I can get chunks of apple wood, I’d appreciate it). Rinse the chickens and pat dry with a paper towel. Dust liberally on both sides, as well as under the skin, with the apple dry rub or the bacon-apple dry rub (see recipes below).
  5. Bank the coals on one side of grill. Prep the grill grates as normal, and scatter the chips over the coals. Place the chicken skin-side down on the opposite side of the grill from the coals.
  6. Grill chickens until skin is well browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Flip chickens skin side up and grill, covered, until breast meat registers 165 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
  7. Transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil for ten minutes. Rise, carve and eat!

This is delicious! We really loved the apple rub. I never would have thought to use dried fruit in the spice rub, but it really works well. The rubs need to be developed further, but this is worth exploring and enjoying again. I wonder how dried peaches would do?


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apple dry rub

Today I stumbled across a new path in bbqland. I had two chickens that I wanted to grill-roast, but, being a wee bit tired of the same old dry rub, I pondered what to do differently. I spied a partial bag of apple wood chips. “Hmmm,” thought I, “something sweeter instead of spicy. But what to do? What to do?” To gain some inspiration, I googled  something along the lines of “dry rub for apple-smoked chicken” and found a dry rub recipe that used-get this!-ground up dried apples!! “Whoa Nellie. Whodathunka THAT?!” flashed through my mind. Followed immediately by, “That sounds really interesting. Gotta try that.”

The original recipe had possibilities but needed tweaking (in my never-to-be-humble opinion). So here is the Apple Dry Rub that we used on one of the chickens tonight; it is outstanding!

Dried Apple Spice Rub
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp thyme
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp brown sugar
½ tsp granulated sugar
1 Tbl kosher salt
2 Tbl ground dried apple*
*Core and peel two apples. Slice very thin. (The original recipe said to oven dry the apple pieces – 150 degrees for 2-3 hours – and then leave them out overnight to dry to brittle. I didn’t have time for that, so I spread them out on a microwave bacon pan and microwaved them for about 10 minutes at power level 3 or 4. Then popped them in the oven for an hour or two till they were dry.) Grind them in your spice grinder. They will grind very fine, almost like dust.
As I was compiling all this, Jill decided to make BLT’s (without the L) for lunch. “Bacon? Bacon! Baaaaaacooooonnnnnn!!!” You got it, here is the recipe for the second chicken:
Bacon-Apple Spice Rub
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp kosher salt
2 Tsp ground dried apple
1 slice bacon oven baked and ground*
*If you don’t oven bake your bacon, you are really missing the boat. Spread the bacon on a cooling rack that is laid in a sheet pan. Bake it at 225-300 until done to desired crispiness. For this recipe, it needs to be pretty crispy. It wasn’t really dried out for us today, so it kinda gummed up inside the spice grinder bowl. But it worked well enough to make a rub. And this is fantastic!
These will need some more experimentation. The rub could use a bit more sugar, and the bacon needs to be bumped up, but they are excellent new paths to explore in bbqland. Try it and send your feedback.

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Friday was smokin’ day. Began at 5am and ended at about 10:30pm. Two pork shoulders and a whole brisket.

An 8# Brisket Point Cut

Brisket has become one of our favorite new cuts of beef. It is relatively inexpensive and has great flavor.

The brisket yielded 3+ cups of defatted juices, which were poured back over the sliced meat. Rewarmed on Monday, this will be smoky, moist, tender, and incredible. (It is already unbelievably flavorful. Jill and I snuck a slice. To be sure it was edible, you understand.)

We will enjoy this with family this year. Youngest brother, Tim and his family, are coming from Charlotte. We will all be with our oldest brother’s family in Christiana. If you come ahuntin’ bbq, follow your nose from there!

The pan to the left holds two flat cuts, while to the right are the point cut slices.

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I am not a big fan of sweet sauces. I much prefer a sauce that has a bit of kick and a lot of tang (ie. tomato-based sauce with an eastern-NC flair. It isn’t done right without a cider vinegar base). Jill, on the other hand, much prefers sweet sauces. I found the following recipe on line but had to adapt things:

Honey Barbecue Sauce
1 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses Didn’t have any
3 tablespoons ketchup Needed more. I think I added about 1/3 cup
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon meat tenderizer
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup steak sauce This was necessary
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 1/2 cups brown sugar

I made a batch at first without any steak sauce. Made a second batch with it and it helped a lot. I also had a rather old bottle of Southwest style bbq sauce in the pantry (a gift from someone), so I added about half (8-10 oz) of that.

SWEET! It’ll give you diabetes. You could pour it over ice cream. But Jill likes it. It does have a good depth of flavor and is well worth making again. But I am not a fan of sweet sauces.

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