Wife’s away…

…so I’ve been cooking up the stuff that’s not on her diet…which makes it not on mine. Funny how marriage works that way.

Started off with a pizza on Friday. Three cheese and pepperoni and salami.

My usual dough recipe, Egg setup (Bge stone on top of the AR) and temp, but for some reason it didn’t cook up like normal. Bottom was getting done, so I popped it on the oven under the broiler to finish up the top. Only thing I can think of is that my dough was less than 24 hours old and I usually let it go 48 to 72 hours. Oh well, still good.

Last night I went with burgers, 1/4lb patties

Double meat, double cheese, corn and some fries. Apparently we were out of tots.

Sitting here at work, trying to finish up and wondering what’s on the menu tonight. Me thinks wings might be in order…

Not “The Best” Marinade for Chicken

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Chicken quarters on the Egg

A few days ago, a member on the Big Green Egg forum shared a link to a blog for  “The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade”. I thought it sounded ok, but the title was off putting. Something about bloggers claiming “the best” anything just turns me off. Makes me not want to even try it.

A day or two later, I find myself needing a marinade for some chicken quarters and I stumbled on that same site again. Was it fortuitous? Was it destiny? Or was it just dumb luck?

I made a few changes. Didn’t have white onion, so subbed red onion. Italian parsley for parsley as I had that on hand. Garlic? I almost always double what a recipe called for. Same with cayenne pepper. After mixing it up, I tasted it and decided it wasn’t quite there for me so I added in 2 tsp of Louisiana hot sauce (I went light knowing that Duke would probably be eating some chicken). Mixed it all up, reserved about a cup or so and dumped the rest on some chicken quarters and let it go just short of 24 hours in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 12oz Mexican beer (I used Tecate, but any popular ones like Dos Equis or Modelo Especial would work)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 4 Tbsp chopped red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

The next day, I got the Egg ready for a raised direct cook at 450F. Notice I said raised? I wouldn’t try this at the normal grate level of a Kamado cooker or direct on any other grill. You want to cook this either above the gasket of your Kamado grill or indirectly on a gas or charcoal grill. All that fat will cause flare ups and flare ups are bad. I threw in a bit of peach wood cuz why not? I had it on hand and fruit wood goes good with poultry.

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My setup for this cook. I used an Adjustable Rig from the Ceramic Grill Store and had my grate on the top level.

This cook took around 40-45 minutes, checking on it every 10-15 minutes, flipping and moving the chicken as needed. Poultry is generally safe to pull at 160F as it will continue to rise, but I like to take dark meat a little higher. 170-175 generally. Allows more fat to render out and the skin to get crispy.

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Getting there

The last 5-10 minutes, take the reserved marinade and brush it on the chicken, but watch out…it will cause your fire to start flaring up. If you aren’t using a Kamado grill, now might be a good time to take that chicken and move it to direct heat to get the skin to crisp up, but keep a close eye on it as it will burn fast.

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Done

I think the chicken came out pretty good. Had a good flavor to it, just a tad bit of heat, barely noticeable, but still tasty. Had a very interesting orange almost peachy color to it. Not sure what that was, but I know cherry wood can make poultry appear reddish, so I’m guessing it was from the peach wood.  Duke ate it up, but that’s not saying much. He’s hit or miss lately on whether he wants to eat meat on any given night. The wife and I both liked it. Was it the best? No. Was it the greatest? No. Was it good? Yeah, and I’d probably make it again. Probably tweak it a little more, so yeah…there you go. A pretty good marinade for chicken that won’t disappoint you that has potential to be really good if you doctor it up to meet your tastes.

Two pet peeves about the original post:

  1. I hate it when recipes say beer. Just beer. What kind of beer? An ale or a lager? Dark or light beer? Hoppy like an IPA? There are so many kinds of beer out there and each could add its own flavor. I went with a Mexican beer because I figured a light beer would work best with chicken. It was left in my fridge by somebody and I was willing to sacrifice it over one of my homebrews. Plus it wouldn’t be too hoppy. I think I’d like to try it again with a Hefeweizen or a Wit beer to see how that might work.
  2. “The Best” Who decided it was the best? Was there a panel of judges and if so, what are there qualifications? What was the judging criteria? Has it won any awards at any BBQ competitions? Look, I understand they are trying to…actually I don’t understand what they are trying to do. It might be good, it might be great, I just hate it when bloggers (or anybody) calls something “the best”

 

Settling in to a new Home

Moving.

Nobody likes to do it. Sure, the prospect of a new place is fun. But the actual moving…not so much. Packing, turning off utilities and setting up new ones, getting all the bills updated with new addresses. The actual physical act of moving (while a new roof was getting installed on the same day !!). And then unpacking. Throw in a 17 month old boy, a sick wife and a MIL on moving day and well I’ll let you imagine…

But now we’ve been in the new place for two weeks and things are starting to get back to normal.

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We’ve landed on the tee box on the 18th hole of a golf course somewhere or other

I knew when we first saw the house, that we’d start cooking more outside once again. Mr.s G really did not like the backyard at the last place and I don’t blame her. But she’s enjoying being outside here, and so has Duke.

We had to break in the house with some burgers

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There’s something special about lighting up a grill at your new place for the first time…

Done

 

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Served on our finest China of course

And some simple drumsticks

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Nothing fancy here

And fish is always healthy

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Rainbow trout, I believe

And can’t go wrong with pizza

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My preferred setup on the Egg for the dough we like

And what Texan doesn’t like brisket

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I’ll let you wonder how it turned out. I might have had one too many and then forgot to take pictures. LOL

Last night I tried a new marinade for shrimp. It was pretty darn tasty, but I think I need to tweak it a bit. When I get it down just right, I’ll be sharing it here I think.

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Pretty good shrimp, but they need some work

And after Duke went to bed, I smoked some meatballs that will be for dinner tonight

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Meatball’s view of the backyard

I tasted one when they came off and I can already tell you that they will also need work. Not enough seasoning in them at all. Another item to work on.

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Meatballs finishing up

So that’s what’s been keeping us busy lately. We’ve got a ton of work to do. Landscaping, expanding the patio possibly. Tons of little projects here and there that went neglected with the last owner. I’m gonna have to do something to get the Egg off the porch since its so small and still keep it covered so I can grill/smoke in the elements. All the joys of home ownership. At least Mrs. G was smart enough to convince me to get the inside of the house painted before we moved in…

And I couldn’t leave without the obligatory pic of the kiddo.

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Monkeying around at the aquarium

Another beer…

Chocolate Stout

I really meant to get another post up on food but I guess that didn’t happen. Instead, I brewed a chocolate stout. I wasn’t 100% on how it would turn out, so I opted to brew another 1 gallon batch instead of the normal 5 gallon batch most homebrewers do. Who wants 5 gallons of something they don’t want to drink?

My home made cooler mash tun

My home made cooler mash tun

 

Mrs G was already complaining about the smell from the mash in the tun and since it was so nice out, I did my boil outside.

My outdoor setup including Duke's pot of sand and shovel

My outdoor setup including Duke’s pot of sand and shovel

 

The chocolate flavor comes from the addition of 85 g of Hershey’s Cocoa powder at flameout.

 A little over 1.064 OG

A little over 1.064 OG

Into the one gallon fermenter

You can kinda see me in the reflection if you look hard enough

You can kinda see me in the reflection if you look hard enough…and our messy kitchen. Actually, don’t look hard.

 

Fingers crossed that the yeast will do its thing and time will smooth it out, otherwise based on an initial testing I’ll be stuck with a chocolatey, hoppy, bitter mess. I’m sure it will be fine…I hope.

And the obligatory phot of Lil Griffin taken recently at a photo shoot.

And the obligatory photo of Lil Griff taken recently at a photo shoot.

Ruh Rho, Shaggie!!

The other week, I took out all the insides of my Egg to give it a good cleaning. Get rid of all that ash that builds up between the firebowl and the base. That’s when I noticed this crack along the bottom on the inside….

That's not that bad...

That’s not that bad…

So I looked at the outside..

Well that's not good!

Well that’s not good!

One of the reasons I got a Big Green Egg and not another Kamado style cooker was their lifetime warranty on all ceramic parts. When I was looking to get one, the only other really big name brand out there was Kamado Joe, if I recall correctly, and their warranty at the time was only 5 years. Had I gone with them, I’d be in trouble now as my Egg is older than 5 years.

So I called up Bruce at BGE (I’ve got his number around here somewhere if anybody needs it, but I’m not going to post it here) and he was very nice and he worked with me to get a replacement. I was worried because I now live in Dallas and my Egg was purchased in another town over 8 hours away. That was not a problem though as Bruce told me I could work with whatever vendor I preferred in the DFW metroplex. I chose to use Elliot’s in Plano and they got me hooked up in no time.

First thing you want to do when replacing the base is to lock the hinges. This is done by putting those white plastic thingees back on that came with your Egg? Wait…you don’t have them? After two moves, neither do I. Or if I do, I have no idea where they are. I just used a bunch of zip ties to ensure that the springs wouldn’t open up the metal bands once I removed the top. Maybe I should have taken some pictures of that step.

Step two, unscrew the bolt on the bottom band and remove the top.

Top removed.

Top removed.

Now you are left with just the base.

Top removed

Top removed. You can always tell when somebody has a toddler because there are always toys laying around.

 

Remove the base from the nest, replace it with the new base, align the top back on and you are almost done. Tighten the bolt back up and cut off the zip ties (or take off those plastic pieces if you happened to still have them) and you are ready to cook.

Ready to go

Man…that is way to clean. I need to break it in ASAP!

It didn’t take long and although I did it by myself, the job would be much easier with two people. Although there wasn’t much my lil partner could have done to help, he was preoccupied.

What is it about kids and boxes?

What is it about kids and boxes?

I didn’t have a chance to break it in last night as Mrs. G wanted to try a new recipe out for King Ranch chicken, but I will tonight with some burgers. I’m excited to cook on an Egg with a gasket again after burning mine off years ago.

Now what to do with this? I'm thinking it might make a great planter.

Now what to do with this? I’m thinking it might make a great planter.

Bavarian Hefeweizen

Beer. Cuz sometimes you don’t feel like grilling.

Had a few hours to myself yesterday for a change and decided to brew 2 gallons of Bavarian Hefeweizen. Weather was nice, sunny and around 65F so perfect for brewing some beer outside.

My outdoor brewing set up yesterday

My outdoor brewing set up yesterday

Got the wort cooled and into 2 1gallon carboys and pitched the yeast.

Into the carboys

Into the carboys

I know I’ve been real bad about posting anything lately. Life changes and priorities change. Amazing what a kid can do to your life. That, and we’ve not been doing anything fancy lately. Steaks, burgers and simple cuts of meat. I need to do better, but am not going to make any promises, although I do have a few things I’ve got planned so we’ll see.

Duke's showing some interest in grilling already.

Duke’s showing some interest in grilling already.

 

Alabama White Wings

Geez…it’s been a long time. I s’pose I could give you a dozen reasons why I haven’t done a blog post in a while, but I’m not that kinda guy, this isn’t that type of blog and you probably don’t care. So I’ll just give you one…

Meet Duke

Meet Duke

I’m sure you don’t want to see a ton of baby pics. Nobody does unless they are family or close friends, but let me say he’s already made a pilgrimage to Lockhart. And while he didn’t get to try the brisket (come on, he only had two teeth at the time), I know he’s looking forward to it.

Duke's first trip to Black's BBQ in Lockhart, Texas

Duke’s first trip to Black’s BBQ in Lockhart, Texas

OK. On to the real reason you are here. BBQ. You know my obsession with wings. My fifth food group. Love just about any type of wing out there. I’ll try any kind and I’m always searching for new recipes. So why did it never occur to me to add Alabama white sauce? No clue, but when Mrs. G showed me the recipe in her latest Southern Living, I knew it was on.

Now, I’m no expert on Alabama sauce. Never been there. Never eaten it out at a BBQ joint. I’ve made it once, but I have no idea how authentic that, or this recipe, was, but I was willing to try it. For you guys. ‘Cause that’s the kinda guy I am.

As I mentioned, this recipe came from Southern Living. June 2015 issue, page 118. I did make one change to the recipe. It called for Creole Mustard. I didn’t have any, so I used Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard. Didn’t feel like going to the store and I figured it was close enough. Oh, and I didn’t oil my wings and toss with salt and pepper. I skipped the oil and used John Henry’s Texas Chicken Tickler rub, although any good bbq or chicken rub would work.

Alabama White Sauce

  • 1/3 cup Mayo (We use Duke’s)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Creole mustard (or spicy brown)
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 finely grated garlic clove

Makes about 2/3 cup which will be plenty for about 3 lbs of wings

Whisk together all the ingredients a coupla hours ahead of time, or overnight if you have the time, and park it in the fridge until you are ready to use

I’m not going to get into how to grill wings again. I’ve done it plenty of times. In fact, I don’t even do them the same way twice anymore. Get your grill somewhere around 400-450F indirect, cook turning every so often until temp reaches 175-180F. Thirty, forty minutes or so. Or a coupla beers. I don’t know. I wasn’t paying attention. Just enjoying the evening You really can’t overdo wings like you can a chicken breast, and that higher temp gets you a crispy skin.

Grill chicken wings indirect

Grill chicken wings indirect

When the wings are done, place them in a large bowl and pour the sauce over and toss to coat.

Getting happy

Getting happy in the sauce

Once the wings are nice and coated, grab a roll of paper towels, or a real towel, dig in and enjoy.

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

I really wanted to have some tater tots on the side, but I remembered I didn’t have what you would call a healthy lunch, so I opted for a salad instead.

I thought the wings were pretty good. Interesting for sure. Creamy and tangy. And messy…like all wings should be. Mrs. G used the words “Unique” and “Different” and “Tangy”. Not my favorite wing ever, but not bad. I’d probably do them again. Maybe even try it with some half chickens or chicken pieces.

Like I said before, I have no idea if the sauce is authentic, so please don’t come cursing me and saying that this isn’t real Alabama sauce. And that no self respecting Alabaman (is that right?) would make it that way. I’m just a guy following a recipe.

I’m gonna try and start writing some more posts again. I’m not gonna promise one a week, or every other week. I don’t want to lie to you or myself. Hell, I might not make one a month. I’ve got other things that are demanding my attention, but when I get time and when I stumble on a good recipes worth sharing, I’ll try to get them up here for you. For now, I’ll leave you with one final parting shot…

Is there anything cuter than a sleeping baby on your lap? Goodnight.

Is there anything cuter than a sleeping baby on your lap? Goodnight.

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