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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back to the Grill

Well, I am back to cooking on the kettle.  It has been since August 6th since I could cook on the kettle and make some good food.  I am still recovering from the troubles, but, I can get to the kettles which is a big deal.  And I have been wondering, what to cook for the first cook, prime rib, very fancy, or maybe a brisket, I would enjoy making a nice brisket or pork butt.  So many choices, go fancy with grilled lobster or shrimp etc...

What I chose was chicken, yes, chicken.  The maligned food of banquets and Caesar salads.  Well, not that kind of chicken, I am a huge fan of properly wood-fired grilled roasted chicken, I think it really shows off when you get it right.

When I was a child and through my teen years, I participated in an annual event at my church, it was the annual Teriyaki Chicken dinner feed, and out church really did it right. One of the keys was that we had a huge live fire pit, another key was the secret sauce, but, the key in my mind was that we dipped the chicken twice as we cooked it.  It was a right of passage to be welcomed to the chicken cooking, it was where the men worked. When I saw the double-dip, I knew this was a technique I wanted to hang onto.

So, I made up a rub for use on the chicken, rubbed it up and let it sit for 2 hours in a bowl. This was because I forgot to open the fire vents on the kettle, so it took an hour for me to realize my mistake and an hour to reset and refire.  The chicken looked like this.
Once the kettle was ready and rolling at 300F, the chicken was put on. My butcher and I had an issue today, which I believe he was a little offended when I mentioned the thighs looked tiny, hence I got the mixed bag of one regular one and 7 tiny ones. This could normally be an issue, but, I can handle that on a grill.
Once the chicken was on for about 40 minutes, it was placed in the chicken wash, tossed and allowed to sit for a few minutes. The process was repeated at around 50 minutes.  The idea is to dip and soak the chicken just as it reaches being done to aid in penetration of the wash. Top image is dunk one, second image is dunk two.
Once dipped, the chicken cooks on until done. In this case, about another 10 to 15 minutes, it ends up with a rich dark color and wonderful texture and flavor.  The wash is largely acidic with some sweet/sour flavors that really complement the chicken. The skin was crisp yet tender enough to bite through, which I attribute to the fact that apparently dwarf chickens provided the thigs, so the skin was very thin.
Here is the chicken wash recipe as well:

Chicken Wash/Dip/Bath
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
2 tablespoon rub mix
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons herb mix (I used Todd's Dirt which I grind down to a fine texture)

Thoroughly whisk ingredients prior to each use. Put in bowl and dip chicken when desired.

The nest time, I am using red wine vinegar, fresh chopped garlic, crushed onion instead of the cider vinegar and rub.


  1. Looks very tasty, Bob. Glad to see you're back at the kettle!

  2. Welcome back to the back yard, Bob! Pull up a chair and a beer.

    I like your technique here, it's kind of like Chris Lilly's white bbq sauce technique but not exactly since yours goes back on.

    I am saving this post to try soon. Hopefully my butcher won't give me the skinny thighs, lol.

  3. Thanks for the welcome back fellers. It was good to get back to the kettle. I do want to try that white BBQ sauce method that Chris Lilly does.

  4. Glad to see you back - can't keep a good grill meister down. The chicken looks great. I love that vinegar, oil, Worcestershire base. You take care!