Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can ChickenYou had me at beer. My hubby looooves chicken and I loooove beer, so when I was searching the internet for new chicken recipes and came across Paula Deen’s Drunken Chicken I knew I had hit the jackpot. I posted her version along with a couple of others on the blog a while back, and have been meaning to try one of them forever. The fact that we did not have a grill and other intimidating factors, such as removing the giblets and shoving a beer can up a chickens yoohoo deterred me. But I knew the time had come, so I put my big girl panties on and finally defiled a chicken. I ended up using Simply Recipe’s version pretty much to a T, and all in all I think it turned out pretty good. The coolest part is I was able to use the leftover chicken in my chicken chili recipe the next night. So, essentially we got two meals out of one. I love when that happens!

Ingredients

  • 1 4-pound whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 opened, half-full can of beer, room temperature (I used a blonde ale, but next time I am going to try Guinness!)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried thyme (I used fresh thyme.)
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

Directions

Prepare your grill for indirect heat. If you are using charcoal, put the coals on one side of the grill, leaving another side free of coals. If you are using a gas grill, fire up only half of the burners.

Remove neck and giblets from cavity of chicken, if the chicken came with them. (Mine did and it was simple, so don’t get scared! It was all tied up in a little bag inside the chicken cavity. Super easy to throw away)

Rub the chicken all over with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, and thyme in a little bowl, then sprinkle it all over the chicken.

Make sure the beer can is open, and only half-filled with beer. You can drink the other half! (I did that and had a couple more while I was at it.)

If you want, you can put a sprig of thyme, or another herb like rosemary or sage, in the beer can. (I did that and it turned out well.)

Lower the chicken on to the open can, so that the chicken is sitting upright, with the can in its cavity. Place the chicken on the cool side of the grill, using the legs and beer can as a tripod to support the chicken on the grill and keep it stable.

Cover the grill and walk away. Do not even check the chicken for at least an hour. (I love recipes like this!)

After an hour, check the chicken and refresh the coals if needed. Keep checking the chicken every 15 minutes or so, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160°F – 165°F. The total cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken, and the internal temperature of the grill. A 4 lb chicken will usually take around 1 1/2 hours. (Mine was 4 lbs and some change and it took exactly 1 1/2 hours.)

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, a way to tell if the chicken is done is to poke it deeply with a knife (the thigh is a good place to do this), if the juices run clear, not pink, the chicken is done.

Carefully transfer the chicken to a tray or pan. I say “carefully” because the beer can, and the beer inside of it, is quite hot. One way to do this is to slide a metal spatula under the bottom of the beer can. Use tongs to hold the top of the chicken. Lift the chicken, beer can still inside, and move it to a tray. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. Carefully lift the chicken off of the can. If it gets stuck, lay the chicken on its side, and pull out the can with tongs. (Or call your husband in to pull it out while you hold it.)

Notes: This recipe was a complete success! The chicken was moist, the flavor was just right and we had enough for left overs. I am definitely making this one again, but like I said, next time I am using Guinness.

EGG Signature

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Braised Short Ribs

So in my new adventures of learning how to cook, I have only taken risks with meat recipes that include chicken. I have not tried making any red meat dishes, except for sausage, but that does not count in my book. Sausage is easy. I have decided to make my first red meat adventure with a braised short rib recipe I found on Pardon the Dog Hair. Not only does it look tasty, but it seems super easy. I love any recipe that includes a dutch oven and me doing nothing while it sits in the oven cooking away. Let’s get this party started… Red meat or bust!

Ingredients

  • 3 strips bacon
  • 6 short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ large shallot, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup red wine
  • 32 ounces beef stock
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper

Directions

Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2. In a large dutch oven, saute bacon strips. Once cooked, remove from pan and set aside. Next you want to brown the short ribs. Place them in a dutch oven and rotate every 45 seconds or so, until a light brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
Step 3. Chop your veggies, garlic, and shallot and add them to the dutch oven. Saute for about 6 minutes, until translucent.
Step 4. Then, pour in the wine. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the dutch oven, loosening up all the flavor from the bacon and short ribs.
Step 5. Add short ribs and bacon back to the dutch oven. Pour in beef stock.
Step 6. Add in fresh rosemary, thyme, dried bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate all the spices. Bake at 350 degrees for about 2 and a half hours. Then, reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Step 7. Once done, adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve over a nice absorbent starch, like mashed potatoes, risotto, brown rice, etc. It would probably also be nice served over quinoa, which would definitely help out the nutritional stats.
Notes: Be sure to check out Pardon The Dog Hair’s other recipes. They are fabulous!

Broiled Zucchini and Potatoes

You guys know I am always looking for some good potato recipes. For one they make for a great side dish for any meat recipe, and secondly my Hubby loves them. I came across a potato dish on the Food Network today that just might work in my house. It uses red potatoes (skin on) and zucchini and herbs, which I like, because sometimes I get a little bored with the bland color of skinned potatoes all by themselves. Boring! I also like that since the veggie and starch are mixed together in on dish, I only have to make one side. Saves me some time, work, cleanup and money. Check it out.

Ingredients

  • 4 small new potatoes (red or white, about 1 ½ inches in diameter)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (feel free to add more if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 small zucchini, cut in ½ lengthwise (about 1-inch wide by 5 inches long)
  • Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan

Directions

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook until just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool. When cool, cut the potatoes in half.

Place a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter, garlic, thyme and rosemary and let cook until the butter melts, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, season the cut sides of the zucchini and potatoes with salt and pepper. Carefully place the zucchini and potatoes cut side down in the melted butter. Let them cook until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the browned zucchini and potatoes on the baking sheet cut side up. Sprinkle the tops with the Parmesan. Place in the broiler until the cheese is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and serve.

  • Source: Giada De Laurentiis
  • Prep Time: 15min
  • Inactive Time: 20min
  • Cook Time: 30min
  • Total Time: 1hr 5min
  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings

White Pizzas with Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette

I think Ina Garten is my soul mate, or at least we have the same taste buds. Except for her disdain for cilantro. They say you either love it or you hate and she hates it, but I love it. Other than that, we tend to see eye to eye. She has totally outdone herself this time by making her own pizza from scratch. Not sure how this would turnout if I attempted to make it myself. One time the Hubby and I bought raw pizza dough and toppings at Central Market and thought it would be fun to make our own pizza from semi-scratch. It was a complete failure and everything but delowcious, however, it did provide tons of entertainment for his roommate at the time. I can only imagine what would happen if I tried to mix my own dough… On the other hand I have been looking for a recipe that would allow me to use my new red mixer! Unfortunately, my mixer is still in Alabama from when I had my Wedding Tea there months ago. We are driving there for Christmas so we can pick up the rest of our wedding gifts. Still haven’t figured out where everything is going to go, but the red mixer already had prime counter top real estate waiting for her when she arrives. Now I just have to think of a name for her…

Ingredients

The Dough:

  • 1 ¼ cups warm (100 to 110) water
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Good olive oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

The Topping:

  • 3 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (8 ounces)
  • 1 ½ cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese (7 ounces)
  • 11 ounces creamy goat cheese, such as montrachet, crumbled

The Vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces baby arugula
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Directions

Mix the Dough. Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl. Knead by hand. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic. Let it rise. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. Make garlic oil. Place ½ cup of olive oil, the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (Be sure your oven is clean!) Portion the dough. Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place the dough on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Stretch the dough. Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 2 circles on each sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you’ve chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.) Top the dough. Brush the pizzas with the garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with fontina, mozzarella and goat cheese. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon more of the garlic oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown. Make the vinaigrette. Meanwhile, whisk together ½ cup of olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the greens. When the pizzas are done, place the arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough lemon vinaigrette to moisten. Place a large bunch of arugula on each pizza and a slice of lemon and serve immediately.

Notes: Make sure the bowl is warm before you put the water and yeast in; the water must be warm for the yeast to develop. Also, Salt inhibits the growth of yeast; add half the flour, then the salt, and then the rest of the flour. To make sure yeast is still “alive,” or active, put it in water and allow it to sit for a few minutes. If it becomes creamy or foamy, it’s active.
  • Source: Ina Garten
  • Prep Time: 40min
  • Cook Time: 25min
  • Inactive Time: 40min
  • Total Time: 1hr 45min
  • Recipe Yields: 6 pizzas

Sausage and Gorgonzola Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus ¼ cup
  • 12 ounces turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano leaves
  • ¾ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 cup (4-ounces) Gorgonzola
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 6 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed

Directions

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the mascarpone cheese. Add the thyme, oregano, bread crumbs, ½ cup of Gorgonzola, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir until all ingredients are combined.

Brush the mushrooms on both sides with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms, stem side down, for 3 minutes. Turn the mushrooms over and grill for 2 minutes until tender. Fill each mushroom with the sausage mixture and top with the remaining Gorgonzola. Return the mushrooms to the grill and cook until the stuffing is warmed through and the Gorgonzola starts to melt, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Notes: The assembled mushrooms can also be placed on a baking sheet and cooked under a preheated broiler until warmed through.

  • Source: Giada De Laurentiis
  • Prep Time: 20min
  • Cook Time: 20min
  • Total Time: 40min
  • Recipe Yields: 6 servings

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 quart chicken stock or water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

  • Source: Ina Garten
  • Prep Time: 15min
  • Cook Time: 1hr 35min
  • Total Time: 1hr 45min
  • Recipe Yields: 6 to 8 servings