November 24, 2005

Grilling the turkey

GrillturkeystartYeah, baby! If you live in Florida, I'm pretty sure that it's state law that you have to own a grill -- and use it a lot. So we try to be good Floridians. When our house was being built, we were originally told that the house would be finished by November (2004). Our plan, therefore, was to grill the turkey for last year's Thanksgiving. Alas, we've since learned that Florida houses are never completed by the originally-forecast date. We moved in at the end of January 2005. But this year we are in the house and we do have a grill and we are grilling this bird! I basically prepped it just like I would if grilling a chicken: coated the bird with olive oil and then some Cholula rub (chili lime rub in this case). As per grilling suggestion from Weber, I'm expecting this to take around 3 1/2 hours (it's an 18 pound turkey). I put the bird on the barbie at 10am, so sometime around 1:30pm I hope to be snapping a pic of the finished product.

later that same day...
TurkeydoneTablesetIt only took 3 hours and the turkey was done to perfection. Since the first football game was starting, we decided to move the tv outside and load up the table on the lanai. So we had a bit of a feast, watched some ball, then after cleaning up and having some coffee, we all took a little dip in the pool before dessert :) Gotta love Florida!

Posted by Joe Litton | November 24, 2005 in Florida, Grilling | Permalink | Comments (8)

March 21, 2005

Corona chicken

Coronachicken1A month or so ago, we purchased a Weber Genesis Gold C gas grill (from Amazon of all places!). One of the very cool things about Weber is that they have a 24x7 grill line. So dummies like me can call at any time with inane questions to expose our incredible ignorance to the always polite and very patient and knowledgeable Weber folks. There's also a lot of good info on the Weber web site. This weekend I was browsing their site (not that I'm turning into a grilling fanatic, mind you ;-), and saw this cool poultry roaster. It's based on the idea of beer can chicken (also called beer in the butt chicken - follow the link and you'll see why). So we picked up a little device for about US$15, and tonight I took a chicken, a bottle of Corona, a lime, some salt and pepper, and some olive oil and experimented.
Coronachicken2I rubbed olive oil over the outside and in the cavity, sprinkled lightly with salt, ground some pepper over the bird, then put almost a half a bottle of Corona in the container that ends up in the bird's butt. I squeezed lime juice into the container and stuck the bird in an unholy position, and decided to put a half lime up where the head should be help keep in the steam (the rest of the Corona - and another for good measure - went to the chef). I grilled it on indirect medium, which means the front and rear burners were on half strength and the middle one was off.
Coronachicken3After about an hour and 20 minutes, the bird was done. We only tasted the mildest hint of lime. The meat, however, was very tender, fell from the bone, quite moist ...pretty darn good all in all. Next we'll experiment with using garlic, clarified butter and red wine in the cup instead of beer. Lots of room for experimentation, and we've got a fairly nice starting point :)

Posted by Joe Litton | March 21, 2005 in Florida, Grilling | Permalink | Comments (5)

March 02, 2005

Cooking on the grill: Process Improvement

BbqchickenLast night I pulled a whole chicken out of the 'fridge (it was the body of a dead chicken, actually, and we had placed it there after purchasing it at the food store, so it wasn't a shock that it was in the 'fridge ...but I digress). Anyway, not knowing what I was doing - as shall become more and more apparent though probably not at all surprising - I cut the bird into pieces and proceeded to cook the snot out of it on the barbecue (to those in other countries, "cook the snot out of it" - or to do "the snot out of" anything - means to do it to an extreme). As the image here will attest (click the thumbnail to see the full-sized image if you dare), the exterior of each piece ended up a tad in the well-done category. Not well-done as in, "good job!", but rather well-done as in, "much time was spent with Satan". I may have been a little impatient and perhaps the gas was turned up a little too much.

Bbqchicken2Realizing that there might be an opportunity for process improvement, I had another go at it this evening. This time I first popped on the 'net and read how to properly cut a chicken into the standard pieces. I also took a moment to read some suggestions about how to cook the bird if one's goal was not to produce pure carbon. So this evening I started the grill warming up and put the cut pieces of chicken into a bowl with some Newman's Dressing, a little red wine (a cab/merlot blend), and some garlic salt. Once the grill was heated, I turned the front and rear burners to half, and turned off the middle burner. I sprayed the grill with some olive oil to keep the meat from sticking, and the meat was placed along the center so it would cook via indirect flame. This turned out much better. Every 5-10 minutes I turned the pieces and brushed on a little of the liquid from the bowl. There's still room for quality improvement, and in the best Deming tradition I shall continue in this pursuit. There is definitely hope.

Tomorrow I'll try grilling some mahi-mahi. Hopefully the first attempt with it will prove more successful than the first attempt at grilling chicken :-)

Posted by Joe Litton | March 2, 2005 in Florida, Grilling, House | Permalink | Comments (5)