Sunday, August 31, 2008

Unique Barbecue Dinner and a Dessert to Die For

Last night, we had some friends over, and since I already had this dinner in the works, they were part of my new dinner experiment. :-) (no pictures today, sorry! I was too busy eating and talking).

Bon Appetit's July 2008 issue is the Barbecue issue and they had some rather unique things to barbecue. Coleslaw for one. A whole chicken for another. I started with the whole chicken and loved most of the recipe (I didn't do one half of it).

Sicilian Grill-Roasted Chicken, Shirley Style (since I didn't follow theirs the whole way; and here it is, cut in half, though since we had company, I doubled it and did two chickens...and this is one I really do wish I took a picture of because MAN did it look good when it was done cooking)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/8 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 3 1/2 to 4-pound roaster fryer chicken

Time involved: one hour for marinade, one hour for grilling.

Whisk together lemon juice, parsley, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place chicken in a zip-top gallon size storage bag, then pour marinade over chicken and refrigerate one hour (or more if you want to do this in the morning), turning every once in a while.

Preheat grill. Mine is old, so I ended up having to turn it to high, even though BA said medium was good. When it's time to put the chicken on, TURN OFF THE SIDE THE CHICKEN IS ON, so the chicken doesn't cook too much on the bottom, and keep the other half of the grill on so that the grill inside stays at 350-400 degrees F. I used a digital meat thermometer (these are GREAT; I highly recommend them. They're the kind you can stick in the meat, and the digital thing stays on the outside of the oven or grill and keeps track of the meat's temperature). Anyway, cook until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees F. Just leave it be; no need to baste or anything.

Now, BA had also had this recipe for this mediterranean drizzle that went with the chicken that had garlic, salt, lemon juice and olive oil. But when I made it, and tasted it, it was...salty and oily. Ugh. So I didn't do that part.

But the chicken itself was AWESOME. I'd love to try this lots of other ways, with a little kicked up spices, rotissiere-style spices, etc. It was quick and easy and VERY juicy. And you can make like four or five chickens at a time on the grill, just cook them and strip them and freeze the meat for later meals. So if chickens go on sale, that's just what I'm going to do. If summer doesn't just go south on me here . Or my grill doesn't give up the ghost (it's been fighting me lately).

I also made a grilled cole slaw. I know, it sounds weird. But it was kinda cool. Very different and totally healthy. It made a LOT. Way too much, LOL, for one family or even two. I am not a fan of the mayo-based cole slaw at all, but I liked this because it was so light. I adapted this too after tasting it because it needed "something."

Grilled Red and Green Cabbage Slaw with Apples

1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for grilling
2 tablespoons Honey Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

Salt and pepper
1 medium head red cabbage, quartered through core
1 medium head green cabbage, quartered through core
6 green onions
4-5 apples (I used Galas), cut in half

Whisk together vinegar, sugar, oil, mustard and tarragon and set aside. Preheat grill to medium. Brush cabbage with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on grill, turning every three to four minutes, until grill marks form and it's slightly wilted. Grill green onions (one minute). Spray apple halves with vegetable spray and grill for three minutes.

Remove all. Chop onions and cabbages (you probably won't need all the cabbage; I used all but two of the quarters), slice apples. Toss in a large bowl with dressing. Serve warm or cold; I served it warm.

I also made these FABULOUS Roasted Red Potatoes wtih Bacon and Cheese from the Kraft Food and Family magazine (a tip: save some bacon and some cheese, and throw those on the top in the last five minutes, then roast a bit more).

And for dessert, OMG, you TOTALLY HAVE TO MAKE THIS easy and SO good.

Easy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Eclair Dessert. It couldn't be easier if you had the Keebler elves themselves in your kitchen. And it was SO STINKIN' good. It says to refrigerate eight hours. Uh, some people don't plan that far ahead ;-). I can tell you on good authority that freezing for one hour also works (and then defrost while you eat dinner).

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