I have a fantastic outdoor cooking system that grills and smokes over charcoal or propane heat. That means I have great ways to cook almost anything. In addition to the posts I have already shared with you, where I discovered the ease of making my own delicious nitrate-free bacon and impeccable home-smoked pastrami, I played around with a few other great recipes this summer.
One of my favorite smoker recipes is a beer-can chicken, and I have made them several different ways. They’re great with any type of beer, but they’re also very good with any liquid inside that beer can. I made a sangria chicken, which was tasty but red wine isn’t a very strong flavor compared to the wood smoke and chicken so the flavor wasn’t very strong; as well as a mimosa chicken with chardonnay and orange juice. But by far the best beer-can chicken I’ve made so far was with teriyaki sauce and pineapple juice in the can, and sliced pineapples stuck to the outside of the bird. Fantastic!
The next time I made a beer-can chicken, I just added coarsely-ground kona coffee to the beer (in the can) and stuck bacon slices on the outside of the chickens. The coffee actually brewed inside of the cans! That was a great one.
Another excellent recipe is poulet yassa, a wonderful Sengalese/ West African chicken dish made by marinating the chicken in lemon juice, mustard (it’s better when you use your own homemade mustard), oil, onions, vinegar, chili peppers and other spices. Try this easy recipe here, then grill it or cook it in a stovetop skillet.
Of course, summertime grilling doesn’t have to be all about meat. Dry-roasted corn is one of the best party snacks you can make, and it’s as easy as stripping the fine hairs from between the corn and the husk and placing the ears directly on the grill. Watch it carefully for flame-ups, and then consume as a healthy snack or as an ingredient in a fabulous corn dish like this one.
For an impromptu cookout, my favorite way to add flavor and pizzazz to regular veggies (like asparagus and portabella mushrooms) is to just add a little salad dressing, preferably a homemade vinaigrette. I also like to experiment with the variety of sauces and savory jams that I always seem to have in my refrigerator, and add them to plain ol’ chicken breast.
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