Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy accident!

        I had an early start to my weekend last week. We had no planes to work on Friday and I had put in plenty of hours for the week, so I was home by lunch time. I got to spend the day playing with Isabella.  Saturday was also a fairly relaxing day too.
         For dinner, we had thawed a chicken. I attempted to make soda can chicken. I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper and Pampered Chef  Smoky Barbecue rub. I also put some garlic cloves under the skin. The whole chicken went on a can of orange soda on the Pampered Chef Roasting Pan and Can Holder. I then put potatoes, onions and carrots around the chicken. We made Isabella a foil packet of veggies. I put the pan with the chicken on my charcoal grill opposite the coals and left it alone for almost 2 hours. At that point I checked it for doneness. My thermometer varied on the temp, but I had clear juices coming out when I poked it. So I took it off and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. I cut into it and found that it wasn't done. I couldn't put it back on the roasting pan since I didn't think it would cook ok. I got out my cast iron skillet and put the chicken in it. Then I covered it with foil and put it back on the grill. This time it went directly over the heat. I cooked it for another 45 minutes this way and flipped it over a few times. I took it off and let it rest in the skillet in the cold oven until Isabella was in bed. Stacy and I carved the still warm chicken and ate it downstairs. We had a nice dinner just the two of us. We really liked the chicken. It was a lot like fried chicken. I will be using the cast iron skillet to cook chicken on the grill again. I am going to have to experiment with soda can chicken again. 
          While the chicken was cooking in the skillet, I made a blueberry nectarine crumble in my cast iron dutch oven. I cooked it next to the chicken on the charcoal grill. I used Steven Raichlen's blueberry crumble recipe from BBQ U. I used crumbled butter cookies instead of gingersnaps and a nectarine instead of some of the blueberries. We all liked it.
          Sunday, I mowed the lawn and cut down part of a cottonwood tree. The tree has been dropping cotton on my deck and grill. I need help to take the rest of the tree down. I have been wanting to do kabobs for a while and finally got my chance Sunday night. I did both savory and sweet kabobs. I put polish sausage on one set of sticks. Then I put onions, peppers, and pork cubes on their own set of sticks. If you cook them separately things are less likely to burn or be underdone. I salt and peppered everything, except the sausage which I only peppered. I next made a flavored oil with olive oil, fresh minced garlic, and Pampered Chef Chili Lime rub.I cooked the oil over low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Everything got basted or sprinkled with the flavored oil.
        For the sweet kabobs, I combined honeydew melon. fresh mint leaves (which grow wild at our house), and mango all on one skewer. I also skewered some grapes. For the the fruit I made a glaze. The glaze consisted of fresh lemon juice, mint leaves, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla extract. I also cooked the glaze over low heat. I grilled the fruit until it started showing grill marks and only for a few minutes per side. We loved it all and the grapes were surprisingly  really good.

    Have a happy 4th of July! This weekend, I plan on making bacon stuffed cheeseburgers. Have a great week!

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