Christening the new grill.

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Made some Chicken thigh/legs.  Dried the skin with some paper towels, and sprinkled some Kosher salt and pepper.  Cooked them hot, but indirectly.  Got some great color, and crispy skin.  Roasted some peppers too.

The new grill worked great, and the propane charcoal starter was a breeze.  The lid holder was really convenient, and the table is a lifesaver.  After I was done, cleaning the coals was really simple, and after closing off the dampers, it cooled down much faster than my old grill.

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Mini Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

It’s been a while since I have updated. I have been still cooking and eating, but haven’t had the time to document any of it. So here is something. Adapted from The Meatball Shop cookbook.

4.20.14 Easter Brined BBQ Chicken

So I haven’t posted in a while. I was busy making something else, a baby. Marisa and I are expecting our first child in June. I’m not going to get into the details of how I made that. But I did brine and grill a whole chicken for Easter.

The chicken floating in a bag of brine

The chicken floating in a bag of brine

I made a simple brine of water, salt, sugar, chili powder, onion powder, and some peppercorns. I let the brine soak in for two hours(osmosis baby!). I patted off the excess brine from the outside of the chicken. After that, I butterflied it, so it would lay flat on the grill and have more surface area to get crispy skin. After that I oiled the outside of the skin. I didn’t put any rub on the chicken, because I didn’t want to add any more salt, due to the large amount of salt in the brine.

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2.3.13 Superbowl Hotwings

Superbowl Sunday, one of the biggest eating holidays of the year. Since I am an obsessive Knicks fan, I don’t really have time for sports other than Basketball. So the Superbowl is usually the only NFL game I watch every year. I always enjoy it, but never enough to watch football religiously.

While football isn’t my favorite, food and beer are near the top of my list, so I usually use the Superbowl to make my chicken wings, which I seem to tweak a little every year.

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February in New York is way too cold to grill them, so I am reduced to baking the wings in the oven. I don’t really feel the need to deep-fry hot wings. I don’t find the added fat really worth it.

After being given a dried Ghost pepper from my friend Rob a few weeks before, I was a little scared to use it. I figured a 4lb pack of chicken wings would be perfect. Since it is a large pack, it wouldn’t overtake the wings.

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My method for chicken wings is to try to make them unbearably spicy. This is because they never turn out as hot as I expect. So if I try to make them too hot for anyone to want to eat, they usually turn out just right.

I started with a whole pack of wings, and cut them up into wingette and drumettes, and toss the tips. It feels a little barbaric cutting through joints, but it saves some bucks, and doesn’t take too long. I give them all a rinse, to get the blood off.

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To prepare my spices, I grinded up the dried ghost pepper, some chipotle peppers, and a few other dried whole chili’s in my Magic Bullet. Added some salt, black pepper, cayenne, red pepper flakes, and onion powder.

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I dried the wings sprinkled the spices on, and then some baking powder to get them crispy and help the sauce adhere to the wings. I set them in the fridge, uncovered overnight.IMG_6521

The next day, I added some peanut oil into the pan and baked them for 25 minutes, flipped the wings, and cooked for another 15 minutes.

Then I made a sauce of butter, hot sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and Worcestershire. My wife had me a little worried that these wings would be too hot, so I added much more honey than I normally would. I cooked it a bit on the stove to thicken it up, and melt the butter.

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When the wings were all finished, I poured the sauce in the pan with the wings. Got them all covered. I let them sit for a bit, and put them in the fridge, since our guests were not coming for another 2 hours. When our guests arrived, I heated them all the way through, and let the sauce cook into the wings and served.

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The end product was a deliciously sweet and spicy wing. The extra honey, gave it a really nice sweet flavor, and the peppers gave it nice flavor and bite. I was really happy how the wings turned out, and will probably follow a similar path with all my other hot wings, including my grilled hot wings.

11.10.12 Fried Chicken Day!

Southern Fried Chicken

Growing up in Queens, I always liked fried chicken, but never really loved it. I only really had KFC and Popeye’s. This all changed in 2007, after visiting The Lady & Sons.

That’s right, Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah, Georgia. Later in that same road trip, I had my second favorite fried chicken ever, in Dollywood* (who knew.) Since then I have been pretty obsessed with fried chicken, but never really thought to make it myself.

*That road trip also started my Barbecue obsession, but that’s another story.


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7.29.12 Sweet & Spicy Buttermilk BBQ Chicken

The chicken thighs marinated in buttermilk, hot sauce, and my homemade chili powder for 4 hours.

Then I patted them dry, brushed them with some Olive Oil, and rubbed them with my spicy BBQ rub.

Finally, I prepared the grill for indirect grilling (all coals on one side of the grill.) I cooked them over the hot side to crisp the skin. Then I moved them over to the side with no coals, and closed the lid for 40 minutes.

Finally I brushed them with my homemade BBQ sauce, and cooked them on the hot side again for another 10 minutes, flipping them over and applying more sauce.