Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s Classic Caesar Salad

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

     I like to think that I am in the camp of cook once, eat twice. Or three times. Sometimes four. Quite often, we’ll cook a big batch of food on Sundays and use it to make weeknight dinner prep a little quicker. The other night, I was really wanting some chicken thighs. I figured if I was going to fire up the Egg to cook a few chicken thighs, why not use up all the available real estate and fill it up? I figured I could find something to do with the extra chicken, even if it just became lunches during the week. It does make prep easier, but it is also cheaper to buy the larger packs of meat. Cook it all and save it for later, or vacuum seal it and freeze it for later.

Using all the available real estate. I could have fir a few more on there, but the package only contained nine.
Using all the available real estate. I could have fit a few more on there, but the package only contained nine.

     I decided that my first use of leftover chicken would be Grilled Chicken Caesar Salads. A quick, easy and healthy weeknight dinner for sure. We’ve done these in the past and really enjoyed them, but I realized I hadn’t shared them with you guys. You can take the easy route and opt to use bottled Caesar dressing, but you really should try to make the dressing by yourself just once. It’s really worth it. I guarantee. And you probably have all the ingredients on hand. Well…probably not the anchovies, but they are like $3 a tin and there is enough to make two batches.

If you are going through all the trouble, make some home-made croutons as well. It only takes 10-15 minutes.
If you are going through all the trouble, make some home-made croutons as well. It only takes 10-15 minutes.

     I’m not sure what recipe Mrs. G has used for the dressing in the past and when I asked her about it, she couldn’t remember either. So I asked around on a few forums and took Kristi’s advice from Necessary Indulgences to use the one from Bon Appetit. Well…as much as I can follow directions anyway. It got a few tweaks.


  • 6 anchovy fillets packed in oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 2 egg yolks *
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about one large lemon)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups of fresh bread cut into 1″ pieces (we used French bread)
  • Romaine lettuce (if serving as a side, figure 1 head pre 2 people, if as a main dish 1 head per person)
  • Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and cayenne
  • 2 cups of precooked chicken, breast or thigh meat (about two chicken thighs); shrimp would also make a great substitution
Romaine lettuce grilled direct at about 450F.
Romaine lettuce grilled direct at about 450F.


For the croutons

  1. Preh-heat your oven to 375F
  2. Tear your bread into 1″ cubes. Toss the bread with about 3 Tbsp of olive oil on a baking sheet. Season with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and a touch of cayenne.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden brown.

For the dressing

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Gently lower in two eggs and allow to cook for 1 minute. Remove eggs from boiling water, rinse with cold water and  allow to cool (this is called coddling an egg)
  2. Chop together 6 anchovies and one clove of garlic.
  3. Add a pinch of Kosher salt and using the side of a knife blade mash into a paste. Scrape into a medium bowl.
  4. Whisk in two egg yolks, 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice and 1 tsp of Dijon mustard.
  5. Slowly whisk in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, then 1/2 cup of canola or vegetable oil. Whisk until dressing is thick and glossy.
  6. Whisk in 4 Tbsp of freshly, finely grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper if needed.
  8. Pour the dressing into a mason jar so that you can easily shake it up right before serving. Can be stored in the fridge up to one week.

For the Lettuce

  1. Set up your grill for a direct cook and preheat to 450F.
  2. Slice the romaine lettuce in half. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Cook the lettuce cut side down for about 2 minutes or until lightly charred.
  4. Roll the lettuce 1/3 and cook for an additional minute, then roll another 1/3 and cook for one more minute (since the outside is kind of rounded, it will need to be rolled to get all sides)
  5. Remove the lettuce from the grill and either prepare your salad immediately, allow to cool at room temperatures or even chill slightly.
Romain cooling off at room temperature
Romain cooling off at room temperature

     You can either prepare your salad immediately after it comes off the grill, allow it to cool a bit or even chill it slightly in the fridge. We like to let ours cool a bit on the counter before building our salads. Take the romaine lettuce and slice off the bottom (sediment collects here as the lettuce grows and is hard to clean off while it is whole). Arrange the lettuce on a plate and top with chicken and croutons. Drizzle on the dressing and then shave Parmesan cheese on top.

Who knew a salad could look so good?
Who knew a salad could look so good?

     What a quick and tasty weeknight meal this was. You may scoff at the idea of grilling lettuce, but have you ever done it? The smoky flavor adds another level of depth to the romaine lettuce. Topping it off with home made croutons and grilled chicken elevates it even more. Bottled Caesar dressing? Please. One taste of this simple and easy to prepare dressing and you will never buy it again. The citrus flavor from the lemon. The hint of brine from the anchovies. Like taking in a breath of ocean air. I’m not afraid to admit that I took a hunk of bread and wiped the bowl clean after transferring the dressing to a mason jar. Yes, it was that good. I think this will be going into our rotation much more often now.

** The Center for Disease Control says “Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs should be avoided, especially by young children, elderly persons, and persons with weakened immune systems or debilitating illness.” Pregnant women are also advised not to eat raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs. If you choose to use raw eggs, make sure to buy pasteurized eggs and coddle them for one minute. You may also use 1 Tbsp of mayonnaise to replace one egg yolk in most recipes. In the case of this recipe, use 2 Tbsp. This is a recommended substitution, but I have not tried it. **


Annual Guy’s Dove Hunting Trip

…and some Smokey Pork Tenderloin Sliders

This past weekend, I headed down to our family’s ranch, The Dos Locos,  outside of Goliad, Texas for our annual Guy’s Dove Hunting Trip. Although this post does not really contain a recipe, I thought I’d share some pictures anyway (there is a link to the recipe for the  Smokey Pork Tenderloin Slider’s that I got from NibbleMeThis. You should really check out his blog.).

You may or may not know that I went to Baylor and am a huge fan. Hard to snap a picture while flying down I-35, but here’s the new stadium they are building right on the Brazos river. It will be sad to see Floyd Casey Stadium go, but its way past time that we got a new one. It should be ready for the 2014 season.

Baylor's New Football Stadium
Baylor’s New Football Stadium

The wife asked me to stop and get her a new Baylor shirt for the upcoming Homecoming game. While I was there, I spotted this. If anybody is looking for ideas for a Christmas present for me…

Chili Pot
Chili Pot

After hunting Thursday night (I got 2 dove, they weren’t really flying), it was time to pull out Old Faithful, my offset that retired down to the ranch after getting the Egg. On the menu was just some simple wings.

Old Faithful (Brinkman Pitmaster or something like that)
Ole Faithful (Brinkman Pitmaster or something like that)

It felt odd using charcoal briquettes. I haven’t used them since…ummm…I guess since the last time I was at the ranch. Felt good to fire the old lady up once again, though.

Chicken Wings indirect on the old offset with hickory for a touch of smoke.
Chicken Wings indirect on the old offset with hickory for a touch of smoke.

Maybe it was the ambiance, being down at the ranch all by myself, no distractions, just a cold bourbon and coke in one hand and a book (actually a Kindle) in the other, or maybe I did something right, but these were the best wings I have put out in a long time. It wasn’t the recipe as I did them the way I always do. Just plain ole Buffalo Wings. The skin came out extra crispy, yet they were till moist and tender on the inside. Might sound sacrilegious, but better than any I’ve done on the Egg in a long time. I really don’t have any excuse as to  why I forgot to take a final picture. You’ve seen wings before, though, so I’m sure you will forgive me. Regardless, it was a good, quiet first night before everybody was scheduled to come in on Friday.

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon. I wanted to cook up something for lunch that would hold us through the evening hunt until we could get back, start a fire and grill steaks for dinner. Awhile back, I saw Chris of NibbleMeThis do some Smokey Pork Tenderloin Sliders on his blog and I knew it would be perfect (check out his blog for the full recipe). 

I started off with 4 yellow onions (he used Vidalia, but I couldn’t find them), sliced thin for carmelized onions. He did his on the grill and I was planning to as well, but at the last minute, just did them on the stove.

4 yellow onions, sliced and ready to be carmelized
4 yellow onions, sliced and ready to be carmelized

Next up was the tenderloins.

I added in an extra step that was not on the original recipe. A quick brine. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add in 1/2 cup of salt, 1/8 cup of suagar, 8-10 peppercorns, a tsp or two of the rub you will using, a dash of sriracha and a few by leaves. Stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add two cups of cold water and allow to cool. Place your tenderloins in a gallon Zip-lock bag and pour the brine in. Place in the refrigerator for 2 to 5 hours. Before smoking the tenderloins, drain the brine and rinse the tenderloins, before adding the rub. I used Salt Lick rub in lieu of what the orifginal recipe called for. Good, but it was a bit peppery. Would probably use a different rub next time.

Pork Tenderloins on the smoker
Pork Tenderloins on the smoker

He glazed his with a bacon honey mustard sauce. I was planning on doing that, but there was no honey to be found at the ranch, so mine got a glaze of bacon mustard sauce right at the end. Pulled at 140F. Sliced super thin, as thin as you can get it. Either use a really sharp knife, an electric knife or a kitchen slicer if you have access to one.

Slicing up the pork tenderloins.
Slicing up the pork tenderloins.

My plate up picture wasn’t the best, because I wasn’t sure I was even going to post anything about it, but at the last minute I figured what the hell. Served up on King’s Hawaiian Roll sliders, pork tenderloin, coleslaw, carmelized onions and bacon mustard sauce. This stuff was the bomb. Off the hook and the chain both. No, seriously…it was really freakin’ good.

Smokey Pork Tenderloins served up on the finest paper plates. Who wants to do dishes while on a hunting trip?
Smokey Pork Tenderloins served up on the finest paper plates. Who wants to do dishes while on a hunting trip?

So good, I’ll probably serve it at the next Eggfest I attend. Or tailgate party. Heck, there’s still a bit leftover and I’m having it for lunch today and I’m still excited about it.

And just in case you wanted some proof that we did do some hunting, here’s a few I got. Ended up only getting 8 total. I’m telling you, they really weren’t flying, but I did take my oldest and best friend and saw him shoot his first dove. He was super excited and now I think he is hooked so it was all worth it. That about wraps it up for another successful Annual Guy’s Dove Hunting trip.

Two of my hall. Look for them in an upcoming post.
Two of my haul. Look for them in an upcoming post.

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.


  • 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


  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.


     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)


  • 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.


  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.