Posts tagged ‘chicken’

Hatch Chile Lime Wings

Hatch Chili Lime Wings

Hatch Chili Lime Wings

     Since the season for Hatch Chilies is so short, I thought I’d take advantage of it and see how many ways I could use them. If you’ve been following this blog or know me, then you probably figured I’d find a way to incorporate them into wings. What can I say? They are my 5th food group as Mrs. G jokingly refers to them.

Roasting some peppers on the Mini Big Green Egg

Roasting some peppers on the Mini Big Green Egg

     Still being a newbie to Hatch Chilies, I thought I’d start off doing a search on the internet for wing recipes. I was kind of shocked that I was not able to find one, maybe you are a better searcher than me, but darned if I wasn’t able to stumble along anything. I did find a recipe that used green chilies, so I thought I would use that as a base and develop my own.

Ingredients

  • 5 Hatch Chilies (I suppose you could use Anaheim if Hatch isn’t available)
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 3/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp McCormick’s Grill Mates Lemon Pepper with Herbs
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1Tbsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2.5 lbs chicken wings
Grill the wings at 400F using a raised direct method if using a Kamado style grill

Grill the wings at 400F using a raised direct method if using a Kamado style grill

Directions

  1. Preheat your grill (or broiler) to 500F
  2. Roast Hatch chilies and jalapeno peppers until blackened on all sides (10-15 minutes)
  3. Remove peppers from the grill and place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool. This process with help steam the peppers and make peeling the skins off easier.
  4. While waiting for the peppers to cool, add the rest of the ingredients (minus the chicken) to a food processor or blender.
  5. Once the peppers have cooled enough to handle, remove the skins and cut off the stems. Slice open the peppers, lay flat and using a knife scrape out the seeds and veins and discard (you can reserve some of the seeds if you prefer hotter wings).
  6. Add the peppers to the food processor and puree. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. Place the chicken wings in a gallon zip lock bag and add the marinade. I like to put the bag in a bowl or casserole dish in case there are any leaks. Put the chicken in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for 2-8 hours.
  8. Preheat your grill to 400F. If using a Kamado style grill (like the BGE) set it up for a raised direct cook. For other grills, set up a two zone fire, one hot and one warm.
  9. Remove the wings from the marinade reserving the marinade. Bring the marinade to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes.
  10. Grill the wings for about 30 minutes, flipping and basting with the marinade every five minutes. If using a grill other than a Kamado style grill, you may need to shuffle the wings around to avoid flare ups or burning. Chicken is done when it reaches 165F, but I generally take mine to about 175. It allows more of the fat to melt off.
Time to eat

Time to eat

      I was quite surprised by these wings. At first, you get a strong taste of lime, followed by an earthy flavor from the peppers along with a touch of smoke from cooking over lump charcoal. Finally, a slight burn on the lips begins to develop after eating two or three. Not too much, just enough to remind you of the Hatch Chilies and jalapeno peppers that were in the marinade. I never did get much of a mouth burn, however, which sort of surprised me. I thought the addition of the jalapeno peppers would have made it hotter.

     I would have to say that these are probably some of the most unique wings I’ve ever had due to the addition of the fresh squeezed lime juice. Heat and citrus, who would’ve thunk it? Definitely a top five for me in the wing category. Once Hatch Chile season is gone, I’ll have to try them with Anaheim peppers and see if they work. I really hope I don’t have to wait until next year when Hatch Chiles come back.

Since Mrs. G was out of town, this was a sit in front of the TV kinda meal. Poor Olie didn't get any.

Since Mrs. G was out of town, this was a sit in front of the TV kinda meal. Poor Olie didn’t get any.

Super Chicken Shit: A Seasoning Review

A beam of light shining down from heaven on my chicken (no, this picture was not "doctored" in any way)

A beam of light shining down from heaven on my chicken (no, this picture was not “doctored” in any way)

     You may have figured out that Mrs. G sometimes goes out of town for work. She’s got two busy seasons, one in January and one at the end of July/beginning of August. In simplest terms, she goes to “shows” to sell her companies products to stores. One of the cool things is she gets to see a lot of merchandise before they ever hit the shelves, next season’s newest stuff. Sometimes, she gets free samples. And sometimes, companies don’t want to rebox their stuff and ship it back home, so they sell it right there on the last few days. The last show she did was in Las Vegas, and yes, I went with her for a few days to “help her out”. Hence, the lack of recent posts. Anyway, her showroom shared a floor with a gourmet/food section. It was pretty cool to be able to walk around and check it out some of the new things that are coming to market, rubs, spices, dips, salsas, etc.

Super Shit

Super Shit!!

     I didn’t stay for the whole show, I was there for four and a half days and poor Mrs. G had to suffer through nine days. If you’ve been to Vegas (and done it right), you know that three is about as much as you need. Can you imagine nine? When she did get home, she said she had some goodies for me in her suitcase. Among other things, she had three bottles of Super Shit. Just on the name alone, I knew I was going to have to write a post about it. How could I not? My inner child was giddy and laughing, and I told a few jokes while cooking which after the first couple just earned me a bunch of eye rolls. Come on…you would have done the same. Admit it.

The chicken has been liberally dusted with Super Chicken Shit

The chicken has been liberally dusted with Super Chicken Shit

     You’ve seen us grill chicken plenty of times on the Egg, nothing new here. This post is mainly about the rub Super Chicken Shit. Just in case you haven’t, this is our preferred setup for grilling chicken. We like to get the Egg stabilized at 400F and use the Adjustable Rig from the Ceramic Grill store with the grate sitting on the top level. This raises the food above the felt line of the bottom dome. Not really direct cooking, not really indirect cooking, but more of a raised direct cook. If you want, you can add some wood chips or chunks, but when trying a rub for the first time, I usually do without. I don’t want the smoke to mask or cover up the flavor. I want to experience it as purely as I can so I can form an opinion on the rub just by itself, so this night we did without.

Chicken quarters on the Egg

Chicken quarters on the Egg

     The benefit of this setup is that you don’t have to worry about flare ups from the grease dripping down on to the lump charcoal and you don’t have to constantly flip or more your chicken around. If you are bored or have guests over and want to make it look like you are really working, you can shuffle your chicken around and flip it every 15 minutes or so. Me? This time of year with temperatures over 100F? I throw it on there and go back inside and watch TV. Maybe halfway through the cook I’ll go and check on it. Flip it if necessary, then go back inside and cool off.

Almost done

Almost done

     This set up is great for leg quarters, thighs and even whole chickens. It generally takes about 45 minutes to an hour. While I like to cook my chicken breasts to 160 and then pull them and let the residual heat carry them over to 165 so they don’t dry out, I find that legs and thighs can take more heat and actually benefit from it. Gives it a chance for the fat to melt off and the skin to get really crispy. I generally take them to 175F on the low-end and sometimes up to 180F. And no, they do not dry out. Still plenty juicy.

Finished

Finished

     With the name Super Chicken Shit, I really had high hopes. Just picture it. You’re sitting around with your buddies, enjoying a cold beverage and they ask you what you put on the chicken. Super Chicken Shit. You know you’ll get some laughs and entertainment out of that.

     So I’m sitting here typing this out. I got the bottle of Shit in front of me, trying to think of what to say about it. The ingredients say it has granulated onion, pepper, salt, chopped onion, hungarian paprika, granulated garlic, sugar, parsley, basil, fennel and other natural flavors (as well as up to 2% tri calcium phosphate as an anti-caking agent).  You can clearly see fresh parsley, basil and fennel in it. That’s what struck me first in appearance. That and its very pale, it doesn’t have much red to it like most BBQ rubs, but then again, it never claims to be a BBQ rub, just chicken seasoning. You open it up and you can see the chopped onion in it and smell the fennel. A dab on the finger tastes good and is promising, this could be good stuff.

     Sadly, I was proven wrong and disappointed. Maybe if the seasoning was used on chicken cooked in the oven, it would have been better. Cooking over lump charcoal, the flavors and spices just got lost. It was bland and underwhelming. The herbs didn’t stand out, we couldn’t detect the paprika or the garlic. That being said, the chicken didn’t need any extra salt or pepper. Overall, it just felt weak and underpowered.  I didn’t add any BBQ sauce during the cook or after the cook as I wanted to get the full flavor of the seasoning. That being said, after having a few bites to test the flavors, I pulled a bottle of our stand by BBQ sauce, Stubbs, out of the fridge and poured a bit on my plate to dip the chicken into. I wasn’t going to eat bland chicken just because the seasoning couldn’t hold its own. Maybe I’ll try it on something cooked inside without fire, but it won’t be going on any of my chicken that is destined for the Egg. I’ve got a pantry full of other rubs and seasonings that are way better.

King Ranch Mac and Cheese

King Ranch Mac and Cheese

King Ranch Mac and Cheese

WARNING: This recipe is a DIET BUSTER!! If you are on a diet and don’t have planned cheat days (who doesn’t plan cheat days for their diet?), then go ahead and close this page and go about your normal daily activities. But if you are not on a diet, or you are a big fan of King Ranch Chicken and are obsessed with mac and cheese, then by all means keep reading.

Mixin everything into a cast iron skillet

Mixin’ everything into a cast iron skillet

     When I first spotted this recipe in Mrs. G’s Southern Living back in January, I knew I was going to make it, it was just a matter of when. Mrs. G loves mac and cheese, have I mentioned that before? Well, she does and she can whip up some pretty mean ones and her King Ranch Chicken is out of this world (although you can’t tell from those horrible pics I took. Hey, I was just getting started, cut me some slack). What a fantastic idea to combine the two of them. This past Sunday, I grilled up a bunch of chicken thighs (lately, I’ve been grilling up extra food on Sundays for lunches and casseroles and what not during the week) with no real plans of what I was going to do with them. Mrs G has a bunch of casseroles that use chicken, but I wanted something new. Something different. That’s when I remembered this recipe that I believe graced the cover of Southern Living back in January 2013.

King Ranch Mac and Cheese

(Slightly modified from original Southern Living version, serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a 16-oz. package of elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced (the recipe originally called for 1 green bell, but you know how I feel about those)
  • 1 (10-oz.) can Ro*Tel (diced tomatoes and green chiles)
  • 8 oz Velveeta (or more if you really like cheese), cubed
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken (leftover BBQ chicken if ya got it ;) )
  • 1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Mexican Four Cheese Blend
The original recipe called for shredded cheddar cheese. I figured a Mexican Four Blend Cheese would work better. Ready for the oven.

The original recipe called for shredded cheddar cheese. I figured a Mexican Four Blend Cheese would work better. We’re ready for the oven.

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Do NOT follow the directions on the package or you will end up with soggy, overcooked macaroni after it spends 25-30 minutes additional cook time in the oven. The directions on my box said to cook it for 8-10 minutes, we opted for 6 and it came out perfect.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes and green chiles and Velveeta; cook, stirring constantly until cheese melts. Stir in chicken, next 4 ingredients, and hot cooked pasta until blended. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 11- x 7-inch baking dish; sprinkle with Mexican cheese blend. (The directions said a 10-inch CI skillet, but to us it looked like it wasn’t going to fit, so we used a slightly larger one. I’m not sure on the size as I forgot to measure. maybe 12″?)
  4. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  5. Allow mac and cheese to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
After cooking in the oven approximately 25 minutes.

Cooling after cooking in the oven approximately 25 minutes.

How do you like to serve your macaroni and cheese? In a bowl or on a plate?

Mrs. G likes to eat hers out of a bowl.

Mrs. G likes to eat hers out of a bowl.

Me? I’m not real picky. I don’t figure there’s really a right or wrong answer as long as you give me a big ole helping.

I had mine on a plate

Mrs. G served mine up on a plate.

     What can I say? This dish was everything I hoped it would be. Ooey, gooey cheesy just like mac and cheese should be, but with the flavors of a good King Ranch Chicken. Just a touch of heat from the Ro*Tel and chili powder. Not enough to make your nose run or tongue burn, but enough to remind you that this is no ordinary mac and cheese. A slight earthiness flavor from the cumin combined with the chili powder gave it a Tex-Mex/Southwestern flavor. At first, it was a little weird. Missing was the flavor and texture of the corn tortillas that go into a King Ranch Chicken, to be replaced by elbow macaroni. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just different.

We probably ate more than we should have, it was that good.

We probably ate more than we should have, it was that good.

     If you are going to blow your diet, or you plan your cheat days, this dish it totally worth it, IMHO. Not something we’re going to make on a regular basis for health reasons, but next time we have left over chicken, I’m seriously going to consider this recipe when deciding what to do with it.

What I Would Do Differently

Not a damn thing. Winner, winner, mac and cheese and chicken dinner. Honestly, not one thing would I do differently.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

     When we cook whole chickens on the BGE, we generally like to spatchcock them and we usually do two or more if we have the time. Its a pretty simple, fool proof method of cooking them that doesn’t require much attention of the cook. The reason we like to do two or more is to have leftovers for later in the week to toss in casseroles or other chicken dishes (or to vacuum seal and freeze later).  This past Sunday, the weather was beautiful and we didn’t have any prior engagements demanding our time, so we decided to enjoy the weather, let the dogs play in the yard and cooked up a few yardbirds.

One spatchcocked chicken cooked solely for casseroles or other dishes.

One spatchcocked chicken cooked solely for casseroles or other dishes.

     When we cooked up this bird, I had no idea what we were going to use it for. Still didn’t yesterday morning. Now, Mrs. G has an arsenal of casserole dishes that she can whip up on the spot, but I was looking for something a bit different from the ones she normally makes. And then it hit me, why not make it Tex-Mex? How about some sour cream enchiladas? So off to the internet I went to gather some ideas, comparing recipes and ingredients for inspiration until I could come up with my own.

Every good sauce begins with making a roux.

Every good sauce begins with making a roux.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (if you don’t have grilled chicken on hand and don’t feel like cooking one, grocery store rotisserie chickens will work just fine)
  • 1 lb Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 12 corn tortillas (yes, I suppose you could use flour, but why would you for enchiladas?)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz sour cream (1 cup)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped ( for milder tastes, remove seeds and membrane, then chop)
  • 4 oz canned green chilies
  • green onions or cilantro for garnish
Soften the corn tortillas by frying them in oil for a few seconds

Soften the corn tortillas by frying them in oil for a few seconds

Directions

  1. Soften tortillas by frying them in hot oil for a few seconds, not too long, you don’t want them to get crispy. Drain on paper towels or a cooling rack.

    Filling the enchiladas

    Filling the enchiladas

  2. Once cool, fill tortillas with chicken, onions and cheese (use about half the cheese). Roll them up and place them in a large shallow pan.

    Your enchiladas should look a little something like this once you have finished rolling them

    Your enchiladas should look a little something like this once you have finished rolling them. Yeah, I know, I said 12 tortillas and there are 13 there, you got a problem with that? ;)

  3. Melt 1/4 cup of butter. Add flour and whisk until a light, blonde roux has formed. Slowly add in chicken stock while continuously whisking (you don’t want to break your roux). Cook over medium heat until thickened.
  4. Add sour cream and cook until hot, but do not boil.
  5. Add jalapeno peppers and green chilies and some extra Monterrey Jack cheese if you feel like it. We did and it really adds flavor to your sauce.
  6. Pour sauce over enchiladas and add more cheese (about 4 oz or more)

    Pour on the sauce and add a little extra cheese for good measure. Or a lot of cheese, I won't stop you.

    Pour on the sauce and add a little extra cheese for good measure. Or a lot of cheese, I won’t stop you.

  7. Cook indirectly on your BGE, cooker or smoker for about 25-30 minutes at 375F. If you are cooking in an oven, 350F for about 20 minutes.

    On the BGE, indirect at 375F (cook at 350 if using an oven)

    On the BGE, indirect at 375F (cook at 350 if using an oven)

  8. If your enchiladas haven’t “browned up” at the end of 30 minutes, pop them under the broiler for a few minutes. Watch carefully as they can burn pretty quickly.

    Finished, but something seems to be missing...

    Finished, but something seems to be missing…

  9. Top with green onions and/or cilantro.
Garnish!! Now it looks better!

Garnish!! Now it looks better!

     Green onions or cilantro work well for a garnish for this dish. We opted for green onions because somebody, meaning me, forgot to get cilantro while at the store. Whoops.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

     Plated it up with a simple salad of iceberg lettuce, some cherry tomatoes and green onions and chipotle cheddar salad dressing for a cool, crisp contrast with a bite of heat to the creamy, cheesy enchiladas. For a relatively quick and easy meal, this one packed quite a bit of flavor. They had just a bit of smokieness from the grilled chicken and then cooking the enchiladas on the BGE. Creamy and cheesy goodness with just a hint of heat from the jalapenos. 

So good that I had to go back for one more! :)

So good that I had to go back for one more! :)

What I’d Do Differently

I opted to take out the seeds and veins on the jalapenos. That’s where the majority of the heat is stored and taking them out removes the heat but still gives you a nice flavor. I think next time I’ll leave them in as I wanted a bit more heat. Either that or get the Monterrey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers instead of plain ole Monterrey Jack. Other than that, I’d leave it just the way it is.

 

Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings Updated 11/4/13

Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings

Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings

     I know what you are thinking…another wing recipe? What can I say? I love wings. And since my birthday was this past weekend, I decided I wanted to cook some wings. I was trying to come up with a new recipe and I remembered some spicy ranch wings that I got at a wing place called Pluckers. They were ok, but I figured I could find a better recipe that incorporated that ranch flavor into the wings. These came out nothing like Pluckers, BTW.

Calibrating my thermometer in boiling water.

Calibrating my thermometer in boiling water.

     Before I got started, I decided to calibrate the dome thermometer on my BGE. Lately, some of my cooks have been taking longer than usual. I started boiling some water and placed the thermometer in the pot. In the above picture, the water wasn’t even boiling and it was already reading over 300F. For those who don’t remember their science classes, water boils at 212F at sea level. My thermometer was reading about a 100 degrees too hot, that could explain quite a bit! If you are running a Tel-Tru thermometer (and possible some other ones), you will find a nut on the back of the thermometer. Using a wrench to turn that nut, you can adjust the needle so it reads 212F when placed in boiling water. Always a good idea to check your thermometers a couple of times a year.

Wings in a Zip-LOck bag with the marinade.

Wings in a Zip-LOck bag with the marinade.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken wings
  • 3/4 cup hot pepper sauce (we like to use Franks)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1  envelope ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions:

  1. In a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, combine hot pepper sauce, melted butter and vinegar.
  2. Add chicken wings, seal bag and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
  4. Set up your grill for an indirect cook at 400F. If using a BGE, set it up for a direct raised grate cook.
  5. Mix together the ranch dressing powder and paprika.

    Ranch dressing mix and paprika for the rub

    Ranch dressing mix and paprika for the rub

  6. Remove wigs from marinade and sprinkle liberally with dressing mix and paprika.
  7. Grill  for 35-40 minutes. Wings can be cooked higher than chicken breasts and I usually take them to 175-180. More of the fat renders out and they become crispier than if you pull at 165.
Raised grate on the Egg at 400F

Raised grate on the Egg at 400F

     The wings should take 35-40 minutes to cook, but keep an eye on them. You may want to flip and rotate them if you have hot spots on your grill to prevent them from burning and to ensure they cook evenly. If desired, add some wood chips to give them a hint of smoke flavor. We really like a touch of mesquite with our wings.

Done

Done

     The wings are done and separated into flats and drums. Is there a picky eater in your house that prefers one over the other? In our house, Mrs. G likes the drummettes and I prefer the flats, so it works out perfectly.

Plated up

Plated up

     Plated up (or should I say basketed up?) with some steak fries, celery and ranch dressing. This was a first for us. Although the marinade is pretty close to a classic Buffalo Wing Sauce, I’ve never marinated them in it before. Usually I just toss it on at once the wings are done. Not sure that it really added any extra flavor. I did get a nice twang from the ranch dressing powder that was sprinkled on before grilling. I really liked that added flavor to the wings and can see doing it again. Didn’t catch much, if any, flavor from the paprika, however. Nor was there much heat. For a “spicy” recipe, this one fell short of the mark. Overall, I’d say it was a very good recipe, the name was just misleading. Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wings would have been more accurate. Maybe I’ll throw in a bit of chipotle powder into the rub next time just to give it some heat and really make them Spicy Ranch Wings.

Update

     This past weekend, I attended the Plano Outlaw Eggfest. A decision that was made at the last minute. Not having much time to plan, I decided to cook these wings, but changed the recipe to address the lack of heat. In addition to the ingredients listed above, I added:

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle chile pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1/8 tsp chile powder
  • 1/8 tsp of white pepper

     I really think it helped out quite a bit. It gave it more of a complex flavor, more depth and increased the heat, but not so much that your mouth was burning. I’d say it came out just right and people were asking me for the recipe all day so that says something.

 

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