Thursday, 29 December 2011

018 - Triple Play Chicken

Number 18 in the list of 100 things to BBQ is the flavourful Triple Play Chicken. It's another from Weber's Complete BBQ Book, and builds up a rich BBQ taste with 3 layers of flavour. First a rub, then some smoke and finally a coating of BBQ sauce... intense! :-)

The recipe calls for chicken thighs and drumsticks, but any bone-in piece of chicken could be cooked this way. There's no reason why a whole chicken couldn't be treated to 3 layers of BBQ flavour!

Often, my attempts at using a dry rub just end up with it burning and turning black as soon as it hits the heat. So I tend to use a little olive oil on the meat before applying the rub. It helps the rub stick to the surface of the meat, and seems to protect it during the cooking process. The rub is left on the meat for at least 30 minutes, at room temperature - giving you time to warm up the BBQ.

I set the BBQ up 50/50, spreading the coals in a thin layer over half of the charcoal grill, giving a large area of medium direct heat and another area for indirect cooking. First, the chicken is laid directly over the coals (skin side first), to crisp up the skin a little and develop a nice bit of colour. First flavour... done!

Next, the chicken is moved over to indirect heat. At this point I added a handful of soaked wood chips to the coals. Second flavour... done! You don't have to worry about "low and slow" for this recipe, so leave the air vents wide open and crank up the heat!

Finally, towards the end of the cooking process, the BBQ sauce is basted over chicken and left on the grill in order to form a nice glaze. It's best to pre-warm the sauce, to maintain the temperature of the meat. I like to do this process 3-4 times, turning the chicken between applications of sauce to build up a lovely sticky coating. Third flavour... done!

I've made this recipe a few times now, using a combination of home made and shop bought rubs and sauces. In my humble opinion, it did taste better with the home made versions that the book calls for - but the combination of Bad Byron's Butt Rub and Bone Suckin' Sauce came a very close second. 

A lot of fun to make, and even more to fun to eat - if you've ever bought pre-marinated chicken from a supermarket and been disappointed with it, I'd urge you to give this recipe a try - you won't be disappointed.

As you'll have seen from the photos, I also made some ABTs to go with the chicken. Watch this space for a future write up of those fiery little treats :-) 

Monday, 5 December 2011

017 - Brandied Pears

Without wanting to sound like a Weber fan-boy, after I started using their briquettes to BBQ with this year, I haven't used anything else. However, because they maintain their temperatures for so long, it always seems like a waste of charcoal once I've stopped cooking - especially if it was just a quick grilling job. So, this recipe is a really quick dessert that you can throw together after you've cooked your main meal and leave to cook over the remaining heat.

I chose to use pears and brandy but really, you could use any fruit and alcohol combination that you like. Just be sure to choose a fruit that will stand up to the heat and not turn straight to mush :-)

I added the pears to a disposable foil tin, poured in a generous amount of brandy and then sprinkled with some sugar. Then the package was sealed, added to the BBQ and the lid closed. It's a judgement call on whether to place the package over direct or indirect heat, but generally speaking, the longer you've already used the coals then the more likely that you'll be ok to place the fruit directly over them.

After you've finished eating your other BBQ goodness, the parcel will have been steaming for a good while, the sugar will have dissolved into the alcohol and been absorbed into the fruit, making it deliciously soft. Great served with some whipped cream :-)