Cherry Roasted Thighs and Brats

IMG_20130101_172726IMG_20130101_152809

It’s the first of the New Year and I had to create a bit of Summer. Right now it is 35 degrees, grey, and a bit dreary here in Philly. But that doesn’t have to stop me. Mind you, my wife and neighbors are sure I’m insane. Besides, its been a couple of months since I’ve been able to grill. Let’s see Hurricane Sandy, an unnamed storm, traveling to Detroit and Chicago for work,  a couple of bouts with some good chest colds, and voila!, There goes your time.

Official sponsor of today’s cook

IMG_20130101_141938

Winter in Philly…

IMG_20130101_134551

So as before, let’s get started with the players:

Dry ingredients for rub: Wet Ingredients:
3 tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic salt
1 tsp Onion powder
t tsp Coarse black pepper
3 tbsp Brown sugar
Potato Rolls
Johnsonville Bratwurst
12 chicken thighs
2 tbsp EVOO

Since I only thought of barbequing this morning, I didn’t have time to brine the thighs, so I used this basic rub and let it sit for a couple of hours while I grilled some bratwurst and potato rolls. Also, I will do a complete slow and low cook without starting the chicken directly over the coals first. This way they get a chance to absorb as much of the cherry smoke as possible.

I rubbed the thighs with the EVOO first then liberally sprinkled and rubbed in the dry rub. The rub is very basic so go with as heavy as a hand you like.

IMG_20130101_142237

The temperature outside is a bit on the cold side, 35 degrees and about 10 mph wind. So I don’t have to worry about temps getting away from me at the beginning of today’s cook. I lit one full Weber chimney of coals that I split between a weber basket and the rest heaped against the other side of the kettle.

This allowed constant heat for the cast iron griddle for the onions, mushrooms, and green pepper, as seen below. I used a bit of smoked sea salt and dried porcini mushrooms while cooking the vegetables.

IMG_20130101_143552

After about 30 minutes:

IMG_20130101_151722

Best Potato Rolls in Philly!

IMG_20130101_140711

Toasting the potato rolls:

IMG_20130101_151958

 

PART II: Thighs

During the brats, the temperature of the kettle wavered between 350 and 300 degrees. About an hour into the cook I added 20 unlit briquettes on top of the burning coals and gave it ten minutes to catch. I poured out the basket onto the side as well as I wouldn’t be needing it for the chicken

At about 30 minutes later in I added in 15 additional unlit briquettes to ensure I had enough heat for the planned cook time of 1:45 minutes totals.

Final Pics of Thighs

IMG_20130101_172707

Thighs came off and were perfect. Meat fell off the bone. They went great with a 1:1 mix of Sweet Baby Ray’s and Srirachra Chili Sauce.

Advertisements

Butterflied Smoked Chicken

For this cook, I am started with a standard Perdue fryer. I need to find a good Amish butcher so I can get some organic free range birds to play around with. My local grocer stopped selling organic Kosher so I have been using Perdue birds.

IMG_20120901_213159

Here you see I’ve cut through the back of the chicken to one side of the backbone. When I butterfly I usually leave the backbone in, vs cutting it out. There is some decent flavor that gets missed when you pull the backbone out.

IMG_20120901_213443

Here the bird is flipped over and you can see where I left in the backbone on the left side. Next step is removing the keel. Which I will show in the next shot.

IMG_20120901_213511

After spreading the two halves of the bird, I position a sharp chef’s knife against the upper edge of the keel as in below. Using a slight cutting motion the blade will cut a small indentation into the bone. Once done, spread the bird with slight pressure and the breastbone will split. Then run your finger along the underside and pull the whole thing out in one shot.

IMG_20120901_213534

Here is a picture of the bird after the center breast bone has been pulled out.

IMG_20120901_213723

I flipped the bird over and cut two small slits in the lower part of the breast halves to tuck the drumsticks in as in the below picture. I season with rub with the drumsticks untucked then tuck them back in before I place on the grill.

IMG_20120901_213848

Applying some rub. My basic recipe is as follows:

Wet Ingredients Dry Ingredients
  • Rinse bird with water (dry with paper towels)
  • sprinkle with 2 tbsp lemon juice lightly rub all over bird
  • 4 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dried chipotle pepper
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper

IMG_20120901_214324

Going on the grill with some spare thighs I had leftover from an earlier cook.

IMG_20120902_162250

Not too bad if I do say so myself. I pulled the thighs off earlier than the butterflied bird as they were finished sooner.

IMG_20120902_182659