February 25, 2012

My Friends at HotSauce Daily

I found a cure for Blogger's Block, use someone else's content!  I'm just kidding.  This week you can listen to my interview on the HotSauce Weekly Podcast hosted by Brian & Marilyn Meagher.  HotSauceWeekly is one of my favorite podcasts, I listen to the episodes regularly while I'm working for "The Man".  Click on the banner to listen the Podcast and be sure to subscribe and stay up to date on all the all the latest news and products in the Hot Sauce & BBQ world.

Listen to the Podcast!
Brian also wrote a great review of my BBQ Sauce and Rub during his Week of Wings series on HotSauceDaily.com.  I would really like to thank Brian & Marilyn for having me on their show and reviewing my products.  I had a great time doing the show and look forward to talking with them again soon.

February 18, 2012

Bloggers Block

I’m slacking again.  I have absolutely nothing to write about today.  You would think after over a year of blogging I would get my shit together and have a blog ready every week.  Or that I might possibly just write one extra post so that I could stay ahead of the game but, NO.  My goal was to have a new blog post on Thursday, but as you can see that did not happen.  Yes, I suffer from the debilitating condition known as Bloggers Block.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Rosemary and other seasonings?
So I started scouring my photo library just looking for anything to spark my culinary composition.  I got tons of pics, incomplete cooks, blurry in process photos and series of photos missing the final dish plate.  My iPhoto library is an orphanage for unwanted food photos.  I also found some photos of cooks that I have no clue what I did.  I can remember episodes of Sesame Street from 40 years ago but I cannot remember a meal I grilled six months ago.  If had known I was going to need all those brain cells now, I might have though twice about all the high octane beverages I consumed in my younger years.

Lamb Chops on the Big Green Egg.
After an hour of perusing my photos I finally found these great pics of some lamb chops I cooked this summer.  Unfortunately I have no clue how I cooked them.  I don’t remember what seasonings I used or how long I cooked them, and the little nuances of cooking lamb, no recollection what-so-ever.  All I can tell you is I grilled them on the BGE, dropped some fresh rosemary on top and they were delicious.  At some point this year I will get ahead of my blog posts and grill these lamb chomps again so I remember the recipe.  Until then you can at least enjoy the pics.

Rich and Delicious Lamb
Bloggers Block is a real disease that I struggle with on a daily basis.  Currently there is no cure but I promise you I will continue to search for one.  If you would like to contribute to the search for a cure, just leave a comment below and suggest something you would like to see me cook this year.  You can suggest a cut of meat, a product or a cooking technique.  Whatever suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated and together we can defeat this crippling affliction.  Thank you for your support!

February 10, 2012

Grilling 101: The Boneless Chicken Breast

I'm sure you all have noticed that I’m cooking a lot of chicken lately.  Since I started the Gravity Reduction Plan poultry has become a big part of my diet. The staple of our new eating regimen has been grilled chicken breasts...lots of grilled chicken breasts.  With all the chicken I’ve been cooking lately I realized I’ve never done a blog post about grilling a tasty and delicious chicken breast.  So here you go my loyal readers, my tried and true techniques for cooking a perfect chicken breast every time.

Grilled Chicken Breast with Cous-cous
Here it is, years of hard work and research in 7 Simple Steps.

1.    Fire up the grill and heat to 425-450ยบ.  I have found through trial and error that this is the best range for cooking chicken, any higher and it dries out the breast and any lower just takes too long. Be sure to season the grates with some cooking spray or cooking oil.

2.    Starting with a package of boneless chicken breast, spray each breast with a light coat of cooking spray or oil and season with your favorite rub or seasoning blend.  A simple blend of equal parts Salt Pepper and Garlic always makes for great all-purpose seasoning.

3.    Place the breasts on the hot grill and cook for 4 minutes.  Just a reminder, cook with the lid down.

4.    After 4 minutes, flip and cook for another 4 minutes

5.    For the next flip turn the breast ¼ as during the flip. This will create those beautiful and delicious grill marks that will make you look like a grilling pro. And again cook for another 4 minutes.

Look at those grill marks!
6.    For the final flip cook the breast until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast is 160F.

7.    Remove the breasts from the grill and let the chicken rest for another; you guessed it, 4 minutes.

Grill Chicken Caesar Salad
If you followed these steps your chicken breasts will be perfectly cooked, tender, moist and delicious.  Your cooking times will differ depending on your grill, but all you need is a little practice to perfect your own technique.  Good luck and happy grilling.

February 3, 2012

BBQ'ed Chicken Wings

 On Superbowl Sunday Americans will eat over 125 Billion chicken wings; this is how I plan to cook and eat about 0.00000003% of them.  Starting with a couple of packages of whole chicken wings, some spicy BBQ Rub and my favorite brand of BBQ Sauce is all I’m going to need to prepare a tasty and semi-healthy wing.  I say they are semi-healthy because I’m not frying them but leaving the skin on. But most of the fat will drip out during cooking they would actually be a healthy wing, right??

Wings on the BGE with AlbuKirky Rub & Sauce
I started by liberally seasonings the wings with my spicy BBQ Rub and placed them in the fridge overnight, uncovered.  My theory for seasoning and leaving them uncovered is that the some of the moisture in the skin will evaporate and will result in crispier chicken skin when cooking. I have no scientific proof that it really works, I saw it on the food network and it sounded reasonable to me.

Wings BBQ'ing on the BGE
The next day I fired up the Big Green Egg with a mix of Royal Oak and mesquite charcoals.  Set the smoker up for indirect cooking waited for the temperature to come up to 225-250F.  Once the egg is ready it was time to get cooking, I placed the wings on the grate, closed the lid and let the wings absorb that sweet smoke for about an hour, flipping the wings after 30 minutes.

Crisping up the skin
After an hour of smoking they are almost done, but need just a few more minutes to be perfect.  To get the skin to  crispy golden brown they need to be cooked over direct heat for a few minutes.  Just 2-3 minutes on each side it all that it takes.  This works best with the lid open so that you can watch for flare-ups and not scorch the delicate poultry.  As the wings are done I dropped them directly into a bowl of BBQ sauce and tossed them around to get a good coating of the spicy sweet nectar.  The heat from the wings was just enough to fuse the sauce to the wing.

AlbuKirky BBQ Chicken Wings 
Now for the moment of truth, the first bite.  I first taste the sweetness of the sauce followed by the tang of the vinegar and as I bite through the skin and sink my teeth into the tender juicy chicken meat the spice from the rub starts to shine through.  I don’t mean to brag, but damn these wings were good! And the best part since they weren’t fried they I can eat more with out feeling guilty.  So if you got plans to cook up a batch or two of your own chicken wings this weekend, grab your favorite rub and sauce and fire up your smoker or grill and get cooking.