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Recipe of the Week - August 23, 2012

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Rotisserie Chicken with Pan Dripping Gravy
serves 2 to 3 people | 15 - 20 minutes prep time | 2 hours cooking time

Instructions – Stuffing:

  • Take the yellow onion, apples, basil, cilantro, garlic, ginger, and orange, throw them all in a bowl (glass, plastic, or stainless steel), and mix together.
  • Season the cavity (that empty space in the chicken) with the Southwestern Seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
  • Then fill the cavity with the ingredients you mixed together.
  • Use the excess fat around the cavity to form a drape over the hole. We are going to try and keep as much of the aromatics inside the bird as we can.

Now to truss the Chicken: (time for twine!)

  • Position the chicken breast-side-up with the legs facing you. Place the center of the twine directly beneath the tail of the chicken so that there is twine extending out from both sides.
  • Loop both ends of the twine around a drumstick. Then reverse the twine to make a cross.
  • Pull tightly on both ends of the twine so that the legs come together.
    This next part is the semi-hard . . . You need to loop the ends of the twine around the front of the chicken and over the wings. Then, you have to flip the chicken upside down so that the neck is now facing you, keeping the twine pulled tightly.*
    *Note: As you do the "flippy-chicken-keep-the-twine-tight move," make sure that the cavity gets closed in well from the legs crossing. Use that excess fat around the tail to help you fill the gap.
  • That's it. You've done it. Tie the twine off at the neck and get ready to roast a bird!

Preparing the Chicken: (Now, we're ready to season and skewer the chicken!)

  • Use the salt and Southwest Seasoning to coat the outside of the chicken. For best results, use your hands. Salt first - rub it nice and evenly all over the chicken. The same goes for the Southwestern Seasoning - rub it evenly and cover the entire bird.
  • Use the pointed end of the rotisserie skewer to pierce the bird, starting from the chicken's bottom. Try and get in-between the crossed legs and the bottom of the breast. This should help to keep the legs down and locked so the cavity doesn't open up all over the grill. Push the metal skewer all the way through, and out the neck. Try to keep the skewer centered for the whole length of the bird.
  • Then slide the spiked clamps on both sides and squish the chicken to keep it secure while cooking. I always tighten the clamps with pliers because, if they come loose, the bird won't spin. The chicken IS going to shrink by about 10% while cooking. So, it's better to screw the spikes tighter than looser. Two Chickens are Better than One Chicken: The Bull Rotisserie can easily handle two chickens at once. That's what I always do - cook two birds at the same time. Why waste the space on the grill?!

Cooking the Chicken:
Note: 1 three-pound chicken has about 90 minutes cooking time on the spit at medium heat.

  • First, make sure you put a pan under the spit to catch all the drippings from the roasting birdy (a throwaway aluminum pan works well). You're going to need those drippings later! Plus, you don't want your Bull's BBQ grill getting all greasy and gooey for no reason. Remove the center grills and burner covers to ensure your pan fits without touching the chicken.
  • Start cooking the chicken on all the way high for about 20 minutes. This helps to set everything up for the long haul. After 20 minutes, reduce to medium heat.
  • Balance and centering in front of the burner is key when using the rotisserie. If you need to, use the counter weight (you should have one - it came with the rotisserie). Make sure the chicken spins freely and all the bird's bits are close to the body. Nothing should be sticking out further than the other.
  • Check your chicken about every 15-20 minutes, adjusting the burner if /when necessary. Keep the lid closed and always keep the grill burners off when using the rotisserie.
  • After about 60 minutes start checking your chicken's temperature. Bull's Instant Read Flip Tip Digital Thermometer is perfect for this task. You want to check the temperature in two places. First place is inside the breast and closest to the bone. The second is inside the thigh meat closest to the body and bone. The USDSA official temperature for well-done poultry is 165-175 F. When your chicken reads 163 or higher on the thermometer, you can start powering down. It's important to remember that the temperature of cooked meat can rise as much as 10 degrees while resting. This is true of most meat cooked with their bones.
  • So . . . Your chicken is completely cooked to the USDA chicken temperature specifications of at least 165 and you are ready to eat. Using gloves or hot pads, take the giant metal skewer off the grill to a secure location for chicken removal.
  • Remove the spikes on one side of the giant skewer and slide off that birdie. Whew! That was easy! But, we're not finished quite yet.
  • Tip: You should always rest cooked meat (just under 10 minutes). Resting the meat allows all the muscles to relax naturally and retain all those juices you just made.
  • After your bird rests, cut and remove the twine before cutting off the chicken's parts. Remember - the oysters on the bottom side are chef's choice!!!
  • Remove your homemade stuffing from the chicken. Keep the stuffing in a bowl - you're going to need it to make that gravy!
  • You’re going to want to keep the "drippings," too. It's considered proper to always serve the juices with the animal from which it dripped.

Making the Gravy:

  • We are going to reduce the white wine (or beer) by half. To do this, pour your choice of alcoholic beverage into a 2-quart (or smaller) heavy-bottomed saucepot. Put the pot on the stove, and use medium-high heat to reduce by half. This takes very little time, so be careful! (You don't want all your alcohol to evaporate!) If you have done this correctly, you will finish with ½ the amount of liquid in your pot.
    After the reduction, add the chicken's drippings, your stuffing, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Simmering the stock brings all the flavors.
  • Strain the gravy (yup, we made gravy - that just happened) into another pot. With medium medium-high heat, bring your gravy back to a boil.
  • Lastly, add the "cornstarch slurry" (made by combining 2 teaspoons cornstarch with ¼ cup of water), a little at a time to the gravy. Stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes. You must cook out the starch or your gravy will be grainy and taste like flour. Try it out: If the sauce is too thin for your taste, then add more "slurry."
  • Do not add dry cornstarch directly to the gravy! It will never dissolve, I don't care how much you stir!
  • Always make a "slurry" first! If it's too thick, just add a little bit more water.
  • Give it another taste. Does it need more salt and/or pepper? If so, fix it 'cuz it's time to eat!



 

Easy Cast Iron Skillet Potatoes

Very simple dish, goes great with anything coming off the grill. If you have a grill with a side burner it’s nice to do this dish outside, your neighbors will wonder what you’re cooking.

Ingredients:
4-6 Medium Potatoes
3 Minced Cloves of Garlic
2 Seeded and Chopped Fresh Jalapeño
1 Large Sweet Yellow Onion
2 Tablespoons of Canola Oil (I prefer using bacon drippings)
Salt and Pepper

Directions:
1. Thinly slice you potatoes and onions, thinner you slice them fast and crisper they will cook.
2. Pre heat oil in a flat cast iron skillet on your outside side burner.
3. Layer the first four ingredients in the preheated oiled cast iron skillet
4. Every 4-5 minutes you want to rotate the potato mixture from the bottom to the top
5. Once potato mixture has browned to your liking, salt and pepper to your taste and enjoy!




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