Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Barbecue Chicken, Grilled Pineapple, and Fan Mail

Well, well, well...  Somehow, over 3,000 times, people have been silly enough to come back for more of my inane ramblings.  When I started playing around here, mainly as a cooking journal for myself, I never IMAGINED that anyone else other than maybe my mother and a stalker or two would care to read along.  So, you.  Yeah, you.  Thanks for playing!  ((I even got hate mail.  I was so excited!!  Um, don't send me hate mail though.  Send me massage gift certificates.  You can even tell me to go to hell on the card.  I don't care.))


Some times the best things are the simplest things.  After scaring everyone ((including myself)) with the bechamel yesterday, let's do something easy and accessible, shall we?  Barbecue chicken and pineapple on the grill.

I have been told on more than one occasion that people have trouble getting chicken to still be tender when they have grilled it; either it is totally dried out or not done or just kind of generally effed up.  There are a few little tricks that I use, but this is, as usual, totally unscientific.

First off, use decent chicken!  I personally buy Trader Joe's* organic/free range boneless/skinless chicken breasts.  They aren't pumped full of chemicals/hormones and have less "filler" ((typically water)) added to amp up the weight.  However, typically, you need to re-trim them to get some of the extra fat off, but that's no big deal.   ((*I have sadly most definitely not been compensated by TJ's for my endorsement.  But their people can contact my people--shit, I have no people--me to work out a very favorable agreement to me.))

Once you have cleaned up the chicken, stab it with a fork a few times all over so the marinade can soak in.  Throw it into a gallon baggie with a big squeeze of marinade.  I usually make my own, but some days are just not conducive to that, so let's cheat.  I like Lawry's Mesquite 30-Minute Marinade.  It smells smoky and like a bottle of yum.  I would probably drink it.  The Jack Daniels' marinades are quite good as well, but you will definitely think you should drink those, so just be forewarned.   Throw the baggie ((tightly sealed, please and thank you)) in the refrigerator for at least a half hour, but longer would be better.

Heat up your grill for about 5 minutes on BLAST <--a real setting.  This will burn off any leftover crap and make sure the actual grill part is good and hot.  Remove the chicken to a small plate and just this once take your brush and put some of the marinade from the bag over the chicken.  Seal up the bag and throw it away. I don't care how much is in there.  It's garbage.  It has raw chicken juice in it.

Put the chicken on the grill, still on blast, and flip it after 60 seconds.  In another 60 seconds, flip it again to the original side.  Now reduce the heat to medium and leave it alone.  Keep the cover closed and wander off for 4 minutes.  In 4 minutes, you can flip it again and let it go another 3-4 minutes.  You do not need to keep basting it and re-basting it.  It has plenty of the marinade already!  If you must, you can do it once after you flip it, but you had damn well better be using a different brush and marinade from a different, clean bowl.  But seriously, it isn't needed.  ((Obviously, the times may vary based on the size of your breasts -- had to, sorry -- and how medium your medium is on the grill.  I'm talking about a pretty standardized 6-8 ounce piece.  You should probably test it with a meat thermometer or at the very least, cut into the middle to assess doneness.))

Remove the chicken to a new, clean plate.  If you put it back on the plate you took it out on, you just dunked it in raw chicken juice.  Even if it looks clean and dry, that's just not good enough.  Seriously, quit doing that.  I'm rarely picky about things, but this, this is enough to get me all riled up.  ((Side note: that is striking me as funny because I have used a meat thermometer exactly four times in my life and here I am preaching about salmonella.  I'm a hypocrite.  Disregard.))

One other thing I like to do, which I, of course, discovered by accident, is put the pineapple slices on the rack directly above the chicken.  They both get done at about the same time ((assuming you use pretty thick slices)) and the pineapple juice drips down for a little extra something on the chicken.  More free deliciousness!


All right, I'm off.  I have a couple of minutes of work-work yet this afternoon ((which is feeling less like work-work now that it isn't really my work)) and then making The Best F*cking Chicken Ever, Parmesan risotto, and maybe roasted brussel sprouts for a dinner delivery this evening.    

1 comment:

  1. I love chix breast on the grill. I like to smash those things a little flatter and they cook more evenly and quickly. Plus, I really enjoy banging the hell out it with the side of my big meat cleaver. My dogs always run and take cover. Good therapy.