Monday, September 20, 2010

Grilled Dancing Chickens

"Dancing Chickens" on beer cans - grilled
We had overnight guests and I did my beer-can grilled chicken. When I made it for guest Norwegians a couple years ago they all (5 of them) had to get their cameras to take a picture of them on the grill! Travis gave me this recipe and made it for us a few years ago, and I named them "Dancing Chickens". I always do an extra chicken for leftover sandwiches and soup - the bones make the greatest broth that I like to use for my white chili chicken soup (which I'll be making soon and posting the pics and recipe. We've got more company coming for supper tomorrow night, but she's bringing most of the meal, so I'll probably make it Wednesday. Tonight I'm cooking and freezing the last of my large zucchini as a soup, and I'll be posting it's recipe ... it's actually a bit hard to think of soup when the weather is abnormally hot and dry for this time of year, but gardens often dictate menus.)

My greenhouse sink
Start soaking, in the morning, various chunks of wood for providing great smoke flavor. Since this slow cooks a long time I use large wood chunks with some smaller. Usually I use Hickory, but sometimes mesquite.

Brine the chickens for at least 3 hours. I often put the frozen chicken in a bucket and pour the brine over, and let brine overnight in our cool to cold garage - if it's warm weather, I  brine them in a cooler. If the chickens are snug in the container, I think this brine can cover up to 3 chickens.

1 gallon water (1 qt hot first, for dissolving salt and sugar, the rest ice-water)
3/4 C salt
2/3 C sugar (Travis uses brown sugar)
1/2 C soy sauce
several tsps of herbs: thyme, rosemary, bay, pepper, onion and garlic powder
1/2- 1 C olive oil
Submerge with a plate with a weight for at least 3 hours.

Initially we did this with just the beer cans holding up the chickens, then I found the wire can holder with legs, which helps it not be so tippy. Open the beer cans and pour off half of the beer - poke, with a can opener, two more holes in the can top. Put the can up into the rinsed chicken. Sqeeze lemon juice over the chickens and stuff the lemon half in the neck hole. Sprinkle a herb seasoning mix over the chickens.

Make sure the grill is preheated on high for 15 minutes. Put the drained soaked wood chips on one side of the grill and leave this side on high the entire cooking time. Turn the burners under the chickens to low and close the grill. You want the inner grill temp to stay around 300 degrees. I cook the majority of the time with the burners off under the chicken, so their grease drippings do not catch on fire. But when I open the grill for occasionally turning the birds I'll turn their burners to high until I close the lid, turning them to low a bit and then off again, leaving one wood chip burner on high the entire time.

1 chicken cooks in about 1 hour.
3 birds in about 2 hours, but I plan for 2 1/2 hours.
Last night I did 2 birds and planned on 2 hours. My propane tank emptied some time in the midst, so they probably would have been done in 1 1/2 hours.
Pull the done birds off the beer cans to a serving board and enjoy!

Brining is good to do with a lot of meats. Salt pulls moisture out and after a little while it equalizes pulling moisture back in. So you're seasoning the meat thru-ought and not just the surface.

Monte 'stir-fried' veggies and greens in our cast-iron wok, but with no seasoning (therefore no chinese seasoning, leaving it for us to put what we wanted on ours), for the side dish. I had an artisan bread loaf fresh from the oven, with pesto and chopped tomato and chives in it for putting on the bread. George had to have one slice with honey on it. I'd made a rhubarb crisp and the electric ice cream maker churned the fresh yogurt ice cream (recipes posted here earlier).

We had sourdough pancakes for breakfast. And let them try the kale smoothie I posted. We sent them off with sandwiches of the deboned yummy chicken from last night on homemade bread.

As I'm writing this it's clouding up! YEAH!!!!! We might get some rain. We've not had rain for 1 1/2 months!

1 comment:

Dana said...

Hey! I recognize this meal! As the recipient, I can verify that it was as delicious as it sounds!

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