Monday, June 27, 2011

Grilled Chicken...let me count the ways

There it is - staring at you again tonight - that chicken...what to do with it?

Are you sick of the Italian Dressing marinade or slathering on the BBQ sauce? There must be hundreds of ways to grill chicken ... here are some of our favorites.

Patti's Chicken
Patti's Settlement in Grand Rivers, Kentucky makes a sauce that is just out of this world! A boneless skinless chicken breast, grilled with seasoned salt and pepper never found a better friend. You can order the sauce from Patti's website and it is well worth the effort (it's also fantastic on steaks).

Mediterranean Chicken
3 Tbl balsamic vinegar, a splash of olive oil, 1 tsp Seasoned Salt, 1 tsp crushed rosemary, 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, two medium tomatoes, pepper to taste. Whisk the vinegar and olive oil together, add salt, rosemary and pepper, whisk again until all are well blended. Slice the tomato into hearty slices, brush each with oil mixture and place on indirect grill with low heat. Using a separate brush, baste chicken breasts and put them over low heat on the grill. (NEVER use the same basting brush on meat that you use on veggies). Turn them all with tongs every 5 minutes or so, the tomatoes may cook faster so you may want to put them on after the chicken is half way done. Dinner in 20 minutes or so!

Beer Can Chicken
My husband is the cook for this particular dish ... and it's only fair since he graciously donated the can! Take a whole bird (about 4 lbs or so) - wash him (or her) and remove all the cracker jack surprises from within ... rub the bird with salt and pepper. Open the beer can with a can opener, you want then entire top open, then place the beer can - you guessed it - in between the legs ... they should "sit" on the can (there is just no lady like way to possibly describe that process)! Leaving the beer in the can (or at least part of one) makes steam and helps to retain moisture in the bird. Sit birds on your grill with a low flame, you can brush them with plain water for he first couple of hours then change to your favorite BBQ sauce (in Kentucky, they call it "DIP" - recipe to follow) for the last hour. It takes approximately 4 hours to cook until done(when you turn the leg bone, it should twist easily) that's how you know your bird is done. It's important to keep the bird moist during the cooking process, just baste it every 20 minutes or so and it will be fine.

Chinese Chicken
1/4 cup dry cooking sherry, 1Tbl Asian sesame oil, 1 Tsp of Chinese Five Spice powder, 1/4 Tsp of ground red cayenne pepper, 1/3 cup hoisin sauce, 1 Tbl soy sauce, 1 Tsp sesame seeds, 1 chicken, washed and cut (skin on or off for every piece except the wings - your preference). Mix sherry, oil ,Five Spice and cayenne pepper, toss chicken into a large zip lock bag and add the oil mixture to coat chicken well. Grill chicken on medium grill for 20 - 25 minutes, turning only once with clean tongs. Remove each piece as soon as it is done and put on a platter. Brush the cooked chicken with the hoisin and soy sauce mixture and return chicken to the grill for another 5 minutes (flip once) to let glaze bake onto the meat. Sprinkle meat with sesame seeds and serve.

Kentucky Chicken "DIP"
I had never ever heard of chicken dip until I moved to Owensboro, Kentucky. They guard these recipes closely and pass them from one generation to another. I asked and have "official" permission to share our recipe with you! 1 gal Worcestershire sauce, 1 gal white vinegar, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 2 cups of hot sauce, 1 hand full of black pepper, 1 hand full of salt, 2 lbs brown sugar, 1 lb butter, 1 bottle of catsup ... quite a list huh? Mix all of this in the biggest pot you can possibly get your hands on and boil it for 2 minutes. We do this in the deep fryer and boil it outside (it will smell up your house quickly). This yields 2 gallons of dip. Use a food mop (even Wal-Mart sells them) to baste your chickens. This will freeze and keep for a couple of months. Cut the recipe in half for a more manageable amount.

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