“Lick your fingers” BBQ Baked Chicken

I spent my first 2 years of college at East Carolina University (go Pirates!), which is in Greenville, NC. This also happens to be the heart of BBQ Country. This is also where I fell in love with good barbecue. I’m talking about REAL barbecue with a tangy and slightly spicy vinegar sauce, cold crisp coleslaw on top and Oh Heaven!!

Living in Florida, there’s not an awful lot of good ‘real’ barbecue! I’m sorry if I’ve offended you with that statement, but it’s the truth. So I’ve had to settle for good meat, but covered in a thick sweet sauce. I’ve adapted by mixing some hot sauce into the sauce and now I actually really like it like that. (I can’t believe I’m admitting that!)

I wanted to grill chicken for dinner tonight, but we were having some serious thunderstorms so I had to go for the oven instead. I mixed up this sauce, which is the perfect mix of a sweet traditional sauce and my vinegary love. It’s not spicy, but has a subtle hint from the cayenne.  This is super easy to whip up. The hardest part is waiting for the chicken to cook!!

Note: I cooked it on a pan lined in foil, but next time I make it, I’m going to put it on my broiler pan or on a baking sheet with a rack on it – like this. Using the straight foil method, the chicken couldn’t drain and sat in a little bit of liquid. It was fine, but just a little softer on the bottom. If all you have is foil, don’t worry and just go for it!

“Lick Your Fingers” BBQ Baked Chicken

Serves 4 (1 drumstick and 1 thigh per serving)

4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thighs
salt and pepper to season chicken
3 Tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. (If you dont have a giant pan, you can do this in batches) Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Brown the chicken by cooking for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set on a plate.

3) Combine the remaining ingredients (garlic through kosher salt) in a medium-sized bowl. Stir with a whisk until well combined. Remove 3/4 cup of the marinade and set aside.

4) Give the chicken pieces a good dunk in the sauce and place on a baking sheet or broiler pan.

5) Bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste the chicken with the remaining marinade. Return to the oven and bake 10 minutes more, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature 165 degrees (this is the USDA recommended temperature!)

6) Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes before eating. Enjoy!

Meatless Monday – Balsamic Grilled Portobello Sandwiches with Goat Cheese and Roasted Peppers

Another Meatless Monday is here with another lure to the grill. It’s just so stinking hot here in FL, that grilling is a much welcome end to a busy day. It certainly beats standing over the hot stove!! I loved the last grilled portobellos that we made, so I was in search of another variation to try. This sandwich combines all of my favorite things in the world – balsamic vinegar, roasted peppers, goat cheese, and mushrooms! It’s SUPER easy to put together and you can customize it to your tastes. On a diet? Cut the cheese in half. Don’t like red peppers? Go for tomatoes instead. The variations are endless!

A quick note on the goat cheese
– for this recipe, use a log of goat cheese, not the precrumbled stuff. I find that goat cheese dries out considerably when it’s precrumbled. That’s fine for a salad or a casserole where it will be mixed with other things, but for this recipe, you need the creamy texture of a good goat cheese.

Balsamic Grilled Portobello Sandwiches
with Goat Cheese and Roasted Peppers

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large portobello mushroom caps – washed and stems removed
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
4 tsp dijon mustard
4 large slices roasted red peppers (freshly made or from a jar)
4 ounces goat cheese
2 ounces arugula

1) Combine first 7 ingredients (garlic through olive oil) in a bowl, stirring well to combine. Place the mushrooms in a large container with a lid or a plastic zip-top bag and pour the marinade over top. When the container is sealed tight, give it a few turns to make sure that the mushrooms are well covered with the marinade. Keep at room temperature for about an hour (more is fine) and turn once or twice.

2) Preheat grill to medium heat. Place mushroom caps on the grill and cook approximately 4 minutes per side, until they are soft. Use the remaining marinade to baste the mushrooms as they cook.

3) Toast the buns and then on each of the bottom halves place 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1/2 ounce arugula, 1 large slice of roasted red pepper. On each of the top buns place 1 ounce of goat cheese. Add the mushrooms and close the bun to make the juiciest, tangiest dinner feast! Enjoy!

Makes 4 sandwiches

Orange-Ginger Grilled London Broil

One of the most exciting things about joining the CSA this year was finding out that our farmer sells grass-fed beef. I bought a small portion because, honestly, we had never had it before. I understood the health benefits of grass-fed beef (no hormones, no antibiotics, etc), but does it TASTE GOOD?! Oh man, does it taste good?! It’s amazing! It tastes like it’s got butter in it. Heaven. But that’s not the point of this particular post….

I will admit here and now, that at age 32, I had never cooked a London broil. I had no idea what to do with one or what part of the cow it came from, but I did know that they can be notoriously tough if not cooked correctly. Come to find out, London Broil is really a cooking method and not even an official cut of meat. Most often, supermarkets will sell a top round cut into a large cut that borders between steak and roast and call that London Broil. I’ll file that away for Jeopardy…

So back to my ‘London Broil’…. this recipe gives the meat a nice soak in orange juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a few other flavors before going onto the grill. This steak holds the flavors of the marinade and when you pour that cooked down leftover glaze over the top, you have a meal you’re not likely to soon forget! Make sure to serve it with something to soak up all that delicious sauce!

Orange-Ginger Grilled London Broil

2 pound London Broil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp freshly minced ginger
1 Tbsp brown sugar

1) Place London Broil, soy sauce, sherry, olive oil, orange juice, garlic, and ginger in a dish with a tight fitting lid (or a ziplock bag). Toss around so the meat is well coated with the marinade. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 12 to 24 hours.

2) Heat grill to a medium heat. Remove steak from marinade, reserving marinade. Place the steak on the grill and cook 8-10 minutes per side, turning only once. [I recommend you use a meat thermometer to get your meat just how you like it. Here’s a good chart on what temp you’re looking for!] Loosely cover the steak with a piece of foil. Allow meat to rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing.

3) While meat rests, pour reserved marinade into a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly.

Meatless Monday – Grilled Portobello Burgers

This summer is quickly on it’s way to becoming “The summer of the grill”. I can’t get enough of the charbroiled goodness! When thinking about Meatless Monday, I knew that our love for the grill would eventually have to join our meatless crusade (ok, not really a crusade, but it sounds fun, doesn’t it?!) and that one week would have to be portobello mushrooms on the grill. Portobello mushrooms are a surprisingly rugged stand in for hamburgers and can be doctored up a thousand ways! I roasted my own peppers, but you could easily use pre-roasted peppers from a jar, add pickles, banana peppers, anything your heart desires, really.

I realize that Worcestershire sauce is not normally a meatless item (it contains anchovies?! Surprising, huh?!). You can, however, buy a Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce! Learn something new every day, don’t you!!? 🙂

Grilled Portobello Burgers

3 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons yellow mustard
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
4 large portobello mushroom caps
1 medium onion, sliced into thick slices
4 pieces of roasted red pepper (or roast your own – pepper cut into quarters)
4 (1-ounce each) slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
lettuce, tomato, ketchup

1. Prepare grill.

2. If roasting your own pepper – quarter a large red pepper and remove the stem and seeds. Place the pepper on a baking sheet covered in foil, skin side up underneath the broiler for 10 minutes or until slightly charred. Place in a paper bag for 10 minutes. Peel off the skin. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, stir together honey and mustard.

4. Stir together 1 Tbsp of the honey mustard mixture, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. Brush both sides of the portobello caps with the sauce mixture.

5. Place the mushroom caps and onion rings on the grill and cook 4 minutes on each side or until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are soft and starting to blacken. Top the mushrooms with cheese and continue to cook until the cheese is melted.

6. Time to build your sandwiches! On the 4 buns, share the remaining honey mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, grilled onion, roasted pepper, and a top each with one grilled portobello. Have napkins ready, these babies are juicy and delicious!

Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs

Summer is officially here in North Florida and boy did it come in with a bang! We went from a pretty cold winter to a mild spring. It felt like spring lasted all of 2 days and then WHAM, summer. It’s been so hot and muggy here – saunaish outside, really. When it gets hot like that, all I want is fresh fruits and veggies, lots of water, and something good on the grill.

One of our favorite things to do on the grill is veggie kebabs. I had a feel for Hawaii when I came up with this un-recipe (it’s a method, really, but I still wanted to share it!). I absolutely love pineapple on the grill and the combo of onions, peppers, and pineapple truly make my mouth water. Quick, someone pass me a grass skirt and a mai tai!

One of the girls I work with has a neighbor that’s a commercial fisherman and a few times a year, she will announce that he has extra shrimp for sale for CHEAP. I always buy a few pounds to have in my freezer and I am sad to say, this is the last bag of shrimp. You could easily use chicken, pork, or beef to make kebabs, though, but I that shrimp was calling my name!

If you are serving kebabs to guests, you can always put a little bit of everything on one stick for presentation purposes. When we are just preparing dinner for the family, however, I cook each item separately. This allows you to start with the things that will take the longest (like peppers and onions) and put the quick-cook items (like the shrimp) on last! There’s nothing worse than a rubbery shrimp from the grill!

Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs

Serves 4

3/4 cup teriyaki sauce, divided
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large red bell pepper
1 large red onion
20-30 chunks of fresh pinapple
skewers for making the kebabs

1) Cut the onion and pepper into fat chunks. Place them, along with the pineapple chunks, into a medium dish with a lid or a ziplock baggie. Add 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce and toss to combine. Let refrigerate 30 minutes.

2) In another medium dish or bag, place the shrimp and 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3) If you are using wooden skewers on for the kebabs, now is a good time to soak them in some water so they don’t spontaneously combust!!

4) Thread vegetables, pineapple, and shrimp onto individual skewers (one for shrimp, one for pineapple, etc) and grill over medium heat until soft and slightly charred. Use remaining 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce to baste as you grill. [Be careful not to cross contaminate between your meat and veggies.]

Related Posts with Thumbnails