Crunchy Grilled Chicken Breasts

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Tell me these don’t look good, I dare you! Just kidding. Smile

It is possible to make crunchy and grilled chicken breast at the same time on the grill. This isn’t KFC styled crunchy but there’s a good bit of attitude in each bite of these. This cook is a variation of a recipe in  Bill and Cheryl Jamison’s Chicken on the Grill: 100 Surefire Ways to Grill Perfect Chicken Every Time

Today in NE Philly

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As you can see the sky was grey and drizzly, a dreary Sunday afternoon brewing up. Plus, the weather was under 60 degrees so you know what that means, Summer has officially left the building. Doesn’t mean I can’t grill though.

Today’s cast:

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Dry Ingredients Wet Ingredients (Basting blend)
  • 4 tbsp raw rice (ground to consistency of bread crumbs)
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (always homemade!)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs (Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, etc)
  • 5 cloves crushed garlic

Grinding the Rice

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At first I tried my tried and true Cuisinart food processor. But after a minute or so of pulsing this is what the rice looked like. I was not looking forward to digging out my marble mortar and pestle. So I got down my Oster blender. Here’s a shot of it grinding away. Look at that rice fly!

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Ground rice anyone? As you can see it is ground to about the texture of bread crumbs. The blender really made short work of the rice. If I had left it on for much longer I probably would have had rice flour.

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The resultant rub:

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It’s Hammer Time! I hate pounding chicken breasts. One tip I’ve found is to use a freezer bag for the chicken breasts and whack them while inside. The freezer bag is a lot easier to get chicken in and out of then Saran Wrap.

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…and Rubbin’ son, is Racing!

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I’ve given each breast a liberal coating of the rub. They will go in the fridge for 3 –4 hours as I get some other things done today.

4 Hours later…

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I’ve got my trusted Half-Moon Griddle on my Weber One-Touch-Gold. I only lit a 3/4 full chimney. Knowing how fast breasts cooks I didn’t need a full chimney today. Plus I wasn’t going to cook anything else after this. Underneath the griddle is a weber basket full of coals. The rest of the chimney was spread out halfway across the charcoal grate.

3 minutes per side…

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I cooked each breast three minutes per side. As soon as I flipped, I brushed on the basting marinade on top of the sizzling meat. As soon as 6 minutes had passed I moved the breasts off to the cool side of the grill as I cooked the other breasts.

Basting Beauties…

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Here you can see my phone playing double duty as a timer for the breasts.  I can get a bit anal about these things sometimes. The basil baste is in the center of the photo.

A group shot…

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Last of the chicken breasts going on the griddle. You can see some of the herbs on some of the other pieces. One of these breasts never made if off the grill and into the house. He sacrificed himself by jumping straight into my mouth!

The heat is on…

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Once all the breasts had their 6 minutes of fun, they went back over the hot coals for 3 more minutes. I basted and flipped after about a minute each side. The smell of the baste on top of the sizzling meat chased the Autumn away.

The Money Shot…

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The chicken came out great. The ground rice in the rub was a nice surprise. It gave the breasts a bit of a bite as you bit into them. Almost like coarse sea salt but without the salty taste. Next time I make this rub I make increase the amount of ground rice a bit. But overall I’m very satisfied with this outing.

White Barbeque Sauce

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at “White Barbeque Sauce” ever since I first saw it in featured in Jamie Purviance’s cookbook Charcoal Grilling: the Art of Cooking with Live Fire. The recipe is pretty straight forward. And of course I’ve modified it a bit. Here are the players:

The Dry The Wet
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • Large Yellow Onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup Miracle Whip Dressing
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed, rough chop basil
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. hot sauce

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Step 1: Here I’ve minced the garlic & onion until they were basically a paste. I ended up straining this mixture as there seemed to be a lot of liquid left over. Since I was going to be sautéing this mixture I didn’t want it too wet.

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Step 2: In this shot, I’ve melted the butter and have begun to cook the onion mixture. It took about 4 minutes. I cooked it until it was just starting to turn opaque; stirring occasionally.

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Step 3: Next I added in the white wine and cooked until half of the liquid evaporated out of the mixture. This took about five minutes at a good rate of simmer.

Step 4:  Remove from heat and let the onion/garlic/white wine mixture cool for about 5 minutes. During that time you can assemble the remaining ingredients

Step 5: One the mixture has cooled whisk in the remaining ingredients. My sauce had the consistency of lumpy ranch dressing. But man, did it taste better than any ranch dressing I’ve ever had. You could probably use this as a dip for other things besides a sauce for grilled chicken.

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Step 6: Cover and refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving. If grilling chicken, brush on the White BBQ sauce onto the pieces about 10 – 15 minutes before they are due to be pulled from the grill. I’ve included a shot of what the chicken will look like after cooking with the sauce in the pic below.

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Try it and let me know how it comes out.

Big Green Egg Half-Moon Cast Iron Griddle

I first saw this tool pictured in Adam Perry Lang’s BBQ25 Cookbook. Below is a picture of the griddle on my Weber One Touch Gold. The Griddle is actually made by the Big Green Egg Company. I found one on Ebay for sale and quickly ordered it. I love this tool!

WHY DOESN’T WEBER MAKE THIS?! As you can see below the half moon doesn’t fit exactly. But it’s close enough, and works so much better than trying to use circular cast iron frying pans or griddles on the grill. Until Weber wakes up and makes one that fits 50% of the surface area. I’m using this!

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Flat Side: Perfect for sautéing vegetables, blackening chicken or fish.

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Raised Grill Side: Perfect for grill marks, and giving a place for your meat to hide from flames.

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If you got a Weber One-Touch, do yourself a favor and find one of these. You won’t be disappointed.

Basil & Garlic Grill Roasted Pork Tenderloins–Part II (Cook)

Here is the follow-up to my previous post, Tenderloins Part I

Step 4: Tenderloins pulled out of the refrigerator after a soaking in brine/marinade overnight. Aroma of the fresh basil and garlic was still rich after a night’s soaking.

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Step 5: Here I’m just putting the tenderloins on. Grill surface is medium hot right now. With lid closed the temp was around 375. As you can see I have my cast-iron half moon griddle taking care of some onion burgers on the side.

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Step 6: Here are the tenderloins about halfway through at about 15 minutes. I’ve flipped the cast iron griddle over so the grill part is up top. My plan during this cook was to use the cast iron griddle as a constant heat source as the single layer of coals on the right started burning down. Underneath the griddle is a weber charcoal basket to provide a longer term source of heat. If I plan this right, the briquettes on the right side would have burned down and the griddle will be the source of indirect heat as the tenderloins finish on the right.

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Step 7: Here are the tenderloins just as I’m pulling them off the grill.  I guess for my attempt at tenderloins they came out pretty good. I was looking for a darker more carmelized outer surface. Maybe a higher temp setting using lump and briquettes might do the trick. Total cook time was 45 minutes.

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Step 8: A tenderloin sliced after resting for about 15 minutes. Oh, the fork in the shot got a good amount of use prior to this picture being taken!

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Garlic, Broccoli, and Cheddar Bratwurst

I picked up a pack of these brats from the local whole foods store. (By local I mean Jenkintown) I went to get something else completely and decided to pick these up while I was there. Complete impulse buy.

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I used a whole Weber Chimney full of Kingsford briquets. I also cooked corn, and two pork roasts so I needed all the coals. (I’ll blog about those at another time)

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I’ve raked the coals to one side as you can see. I smoke roasted these at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. I used 1 chunk hickory and 1 chunk cherry during their cook. The picture below was taken about halfway through.

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Here are the brats as I’m pulling them off the grill. I probably could have pulled them five minutes sooner as a couple split. But all in all, a successful cook.

By the way they tasted great!

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