Friday, July 17, 2015

Herb-Roasted Chicken with Zucchini and Peppers

I got to try out my new poultry roast on the Weber.  Very good chicken and even better vegetables

1 Whole chicken, 4 to 4½ pounds, neck, giblets, and any excess fat removed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1½-inch pieces
3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1½-inch pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or Italian parsley leaves

Pat the outer surface of the chicken dry with paper towels. In a small bowl combine 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and ½ teaspoon of the thyme. Use that mixture to season the chicken outside and inside the cavity. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.

Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium-high heat (about 400°F).

Pour enough water into the center cup of the poultry roaster to fill it about one-quarter of the way (but no more). Place the chicken over the center cup so it sits firmly. Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken’s back.

Place the bell peppers and zucchini in a large bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt, the remaining ½ teaspoon thyme, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat.

Arrange the vegetables around the perimeter of the poultry roaster. Cook the vegetables with the chicken over indirect medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh (not touching the bone) registers 160° to 165°F, and the vegetables are tender, 1 to 1¼ hours.

Wearing insulated barbecue mitts, remove the poultry roaster from the grill and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest for about 15 minutes (the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees during this time).

Carve the chicken into serving pieces and arrange on a serving platter. Spoon the vegetables around the chicken. Garnish with tarragon. Serve warm.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Pepper Jack Cheese & Spinach

Not my favorite, but Lisa really enjoyed it.  It was good for something different even though I am not a huge fan of spinach

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 oz pepper jack cheese, slices or shredded (you can use up to 6 oz)
1 pkg fresh spinach sauteed until wilted in 1 tbs oil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbs Cajun Seasoning
Lots of toothpicks (soaked in water for 5 minutes before using)

Preheat EGG to 350 indirect

Flatten the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. To make this mess free, place the thawed chicken breast in a ziplock bag, remove the air as much as possible, place a hand towel over the package and pound lightly to flatten. Periodically remove the cloth to check on the progress.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat, once hot add 1 tbs of olive oil, heat until the oil is very hot. Add the fresh spinach, saute lightly until slightly wilted. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Add a dash of Cajun seasoning and half of the cheese (shredded or otherwise!).

Combine Cajun seasoning and breadcrumbs together in a small bowl, set aside.

If your chicken has "holes" in it from being pounded unevenly or cut unevenly you can place a layer of fresh spinach leaves, a layer of pepperjack cheese, then spoon 1/2 of the spinach mixture onto each breast. Roll each chicken breast tightly and fasten the seams with several toothpicks.


This part requires a tiny bit of skill, use about 8 toothpicks in each roll to ensure none of the filling seeps out. Be sure to count how many total toothpicks were used!

Brush each chicken breast with the olive oil. Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning mixture evenly over all. Sprinkle any remaining spinach and cheese on top of chicken (optional). Place the chicken seam-side up into a loaf pan that is lined with tin foil-lined (for easy cleanup). This also helps keep the insides from oozing out.

Grill for 35 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the toothpicks before serving. Count to make sure you have removed every last toothpick.

Serve whole or slice into thick slices. This dish goes well with just about anything, steamed rice,
veggies, salad, etc.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Maple-Smoked Turkey Breast

We bought a couple of turkey breasts when they went on sale after Thanksgiving.  This was a really good meal and the turkey sandwiches and quesadillas were even better.  This also gave me a chance to smoke something on my new Weber charcoal grill

For the rub and turkey:
2 tablespoons maple sugar or light brown sugar
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
5 pounds bone-in turkey breast
For the maple butter basting mixture:
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons salted, melted butter

Place the maple sugar and all herbs and rub seasonings in a bowl. Stir to mix.

Rinse turkey breast under cold water. Drain and blot dry with paper towels. Using poultry shears, cut out the ribs so the turkey breast lies flat.

Trim off and discard any excess fat. Sprinkle the rub over the turkey on all sides. Pat rub into the
meat with fingers.

Place turkey in a bowl or a Ziploc bag, making sure the turkey is tightly covered. Allow to cure
overnight in the fridge (12 hours is ideal.)

Make the basting mixture. Melt butter, syrup and whiskey in a saucepan.

Set up the BGE for indirect cooking. Preheat to 350°. Place maple wood chips directly on the coals.

When ready to cook, place the turkey breast in center of the BGE over drip pan.

Cook until cooked through, approximately 75 to 90 minutes.  After cooking for 45 minutes I basted the turkey every 15 minutes. 

To test for doneness, use an instant read thermometer. It should register 170°.

After cooking, brush with some of the maple butter basting mixture. Transfer to cutting board. Let it
rest for 10 minutes before slicing tenting with aluminum foil to keep warm.