HONEY BBQ CHICKEN

This week I made just chicken legs which are wonderful for leftovers, lunches etc… Just a hint of sweet from the sugar rub and then a bit of a bite from the cayenne pepper also in the rub and with the jalapeno ketchup influence in the sauce.  I served it with homemade chili and it was a HUGE hubby hit.

I love this recipe for a several reasons. 

  • 1) It is extremely flavorful
  • 2) It produces tender, juicy and flavorful chicken
  • 3) It is extremely easy!

HONEY BBQ CHICKEN
12 pieces of chicken (I like leg quarters or just plain leg and thigh pieces)
RUB
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon FRESH ground Sea Salt (I use Himalayan pink)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Pat chicken dry.
  • Combine rub ingredients until well blended.
  • Rub over chicken pieces and refrigerate in a shallow dish for 2 hours prior to cooking.

SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup Jalapeno ketchup
1/2 cup QUALITY honey
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Heinz mustard
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

 

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Grease grill rack.
  • Place chicken pieces on rack in baking dish.
  • Roast 25 minutes or until 165°.
  • Brush with sauce and turn. Brush again. Return to oven for another 5 minutes or until 170°.
  • Serve with remaining sauce.

HONEY RANCH BBQ PORK CHOPS

HONEY RANCH BBQ PORK CHOPS
PORK CHOPS
4 THICK bone-in pork chops
1 ounce Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning (I buy it by the bottle, but you can use the dip/salad dressing package)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 batch BBQ sauce (recipe below)

  • Coat pork chops with ranch seasoning.
  • Add pork chops to a large ziplock bag.
  • Add sauce to the chops and coat well.
  • Seal bag and marinade at least an hour, but preferably over night, turning occasionally.
  • Drain marinade from pork chops.
  • Prepare grill.
  • Sear chops on hot grill, turning once.
  • Brush with reserved marinade, grilling 5-7 minutes until cooked through.

BBQ SAUCE
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons PACKED brown sugar
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Mesquite liquid smoke
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste

  • Whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, honey, liquid smoke, paprika, garlic powder and pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup.

GREEK GAZPACHO PASTA SALAD

Gazpacho is Spanish in tradition, but with the addition of the Feta cheese I feel like it is more of a Greek and Spanish fusion. Hubby loves the Mediterranean flavors while I pass on it every time, but it’s a GREAT recipe for a BBQ or picnic.

GREEK GAZPACHO PASTA SALAD
1 pound rotini, prepared al dente and rinsed in cold water and drained

SAUCE
14 1/2 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup FRESH basil leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup avocado oil (or olive if you prefer)

  • Process tomatoes, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar with a pinch of salt until smooth.
  • Drizzle with avocado oil and gently fold in.

VEGGIES
1 cucumber, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 red pepper, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 yellow pepper, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 small red onion, small diced
3/4 pound grape tomatoes, halved

ASSEMBLY

  • In a large mixing bowl gently toss veggies together.
  • Drizzle with sauce mixture and fold again.
  • Cover and let marinade for 15-30 minutes.

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup (or more) pitted black olives, sliced
3 green onions sliced thin
FRESH minced parsley for garnish

  • JUST before serving fold in olives, cheese and green onions.
  • Season to taste.
  • Garnish with parsley.

TROPICAL BBQ MEATBALLS

Seems like lately I have needed to make a bunch of appetizers for one event after another. Meatballs are one of my favorite dishes to make and can be prepared bite size AND in large batches without sauce and frozen for the future.

TROPICAL BBQ MEATBALLS makes 3 dozen 1 inch meatballs

1 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup finely minced Vidalia onion
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons half and half
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3/4 pound lean ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease a wire rack and set inside a jelly roll pan.
  • Combine the oats, half the onion, half and half, garlic, egg, salt, pepper, chili powder and paprika in a large bowl.
  • Crumble the beef over the oats mixture and using your hands, mix well, but with minimal mixing.
  • Roll into 1 inch balls and place on wire rack.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
  • Remove rack from pan.
  • Wipe pan dry of any grease.
  • Add meatballs back to pan.

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apricot pineapple preserves
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons honey

  • Combine the ketchup, preserves, brown sugar, liquid smoke and remaining onion in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat, add honey and simmer 10-15 minutes until thickened.

 

  • Drizzle sauce over meatballs and turn to coat.
  • Return pan to oven and bake another 15 minutes.
  • Arrange on a platter and serve.

HAWAIIAN HASSELBACK CHICKEN

I’m working on a Italian Pizza, Buffalo Chicken and Mexican Taco version too!
HAWAIIAN HASSELBACK CHICKEN adapted from The Painted Apron
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs**
3-4 ounces thinly sliced tavern ham from the deli
1 LARGE can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved **
1-2 cups King’s Hawaiian ORIGINAL BBQ sauce

  • PREHEAT oven to 375°.
  • Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Slice thighs grid like, cutting about 2/3 way down DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY
  • Tuck a piece of tavern ham in between cut areas.
  • Arrange chicken pieces close together, but not cramped together.
  • In a small bowl fold together the BBQ sauce and pineapple pieces.
  • Spoon pineapple mixture over chicken. Use additional BBQ sauce as necessary to make sure chicken is completely coated.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes until cooked through, basting with pan juices 1/2 way through baking time.

NOTES:**

  • Breasts work too, but require less cooking time. DO NOT OVERCOOK or they will be dry!
  • I also  throw in a small can of drained pineapple chunks just because hubby likes them and it adds a bit of texture to the dish.
  • You can prep this dish in the morning to cook when you get home from work. It refrigerates well to be baked later.

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CONEY ISLAND TATERS

I’ve been making a recipe similar to this for years, but recently found a name for them on a package of ground beef from my grocer. It’s a cute name and really fits the recipe – it’s so country fair or carnival like! If you have left over Sloppy Joes they substitute well for the ground meat mixture also to make a quick weeknight meal.

CONEY ISLAND TATERS
1 pound ground beef (I use ground chuck)
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped small
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
2 large Russet potatoes (BAKED)
FRESH ground salt and pepper
1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (to taste)
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup bacon pieces
1/2 cup sour cream

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Use non-stick if you have it, but if using cast iron oil it slightly before adding ground meat.
  • When pan is hot add ground beef and onion, sauteing 8-10 minutes all the while breaking meat into small crumble sized pieces.
  • Pour off excess grease. I actually pour it into a stainless steel colander over a paper towel lined paper plate so it can drain REALLY well. I can also use the spatula to break the meat apart even more into that small crumble.
  • Add BBQ sauce, mix well, cover and simmer on ow 10 minutes.
  • Starting lengthwise slice potatoes into quarters and theft each quarter ion half.
  • Arrange 4 pieces of potato on each plate.
  • Generously salt and pepper potatoes.
  • Top with a spoonful of beef mixture.
  • Top beef with shredded cheese, bacon pieces, green onions and sour cream to taste.

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ALOHA BBQ PORK RIBS – revisited

I wrote this back in 2015 and it is still our FAVORITE recipe for ribs. I made them again recently and wanted to update that I used orange marmalade instead of the apricot pineapple jam and hubby thinks they are even better.

“We had the most amazing dinner tonight if I do say so myself.  I was missing a few ingredients for my normal BBQ sauce so made a few substitutions and we have a new “NORMAL” in this family. I added fresh pineapple slices topped with some of the BBQ sauce during the last 30 minutes of bake time and they were so juicy, tender and flavorful. We added a fresh steamed artichoke and there were NO leftovers!  I will use the rest of the sauce on chicken later in the week.”

ALOHA BBQ PORK RIBS
2-4 pounds baby back pork ribs
Fresh ground salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Bring ribs to room temperature.
  • Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.
  • Generously sprinkle with salt and paper.
  • Line a large cookie sheet with heavy duty foil.
  • Bake for 2 hours undisturbed.
  • Uncover, add pineapple slices and top with sauce and bake another 30 or minutes until the meat pulls away from the bone easily.

SAUCE
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup Smucker’s apricot pineapple jam (orange marmalade works well too)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3/4 cup Tabasco Jalapeno ketchup
Fresh ground salt and black pepper

  •  In a large sauce pan whisk together all the ingredients and bring to a SLOW boil, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat to as low as possible and simmer while the ribs bake. Sauce will thicken during this simmering so stir frequently.

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PINEAPPLE PEANUT BUTTER RIBS

Hubby is loving the new style of cooking. I’m trying to make recipes that leave plenty of easy to eat for lunch items also. These slow cooker recipes are perfect for while I’m “LEARNING” to eat again. These allow me to cook a few times a week with plenty of C.O.R.N. (Clean Out Refrigerator Night) in between.

PINEAPPLE PEANUT BUTTER RIBS
3 1/2 pounds baby back ribs, cut in half
11.5 ounce frozen juice concentrate (orange pineapple) thawed
6 ounces pineapple juice
1/2 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup fresh minced cilantro
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • Whisk together the juice concentrate, liquid aminos, peanut butter, cilantro, ginger, garlic and sugar. Reserve 3/4 cup for dipping sauce later.
  • Place ribs in a large ziplock bag or marinated.
  • Pour marinade over top and turn ribs to coat, cover and seal.
  • Marinade for 8 hours or overnight, turning ribs periodically.
  • Remove ribs from marinade.
  • Stand ribs around the slow cooker if deep enough. If not, loosely layer ribs in the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour.
  • Reduce heat to LOW and cook 5 more hours.
  • Heat reserved sauce and served with ribs for dipping.

NOTE: Standing the ribs will bring them into contact with the best heat source for crispy brown edges like they had been smoked for hours.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

STRAWBERRY BAKED BEANS

I KNOW THIS SOUNDS WEIRD.  I flipped passed this recipe more than once before I decided to try it.  Boy, am I glad I flipped back.  These are AMAZING! I made a few modifications from the original recipe to accommodate allergies, likes and dislikes.

STRAWBERRY BAKED BEANS
1 pound strawberries, cleaned, hulled and halved
3 slices thick bacon
2 + 2 teaspoons avocado oil
1/2 cup jalapeno ketchup
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1/4 cup QUALITY champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
3 cans Great Northern or Navy beans, drained well

  • Coat strawberries with 2 teaspoons avocado oil. Roast on cookie sheet at 400° for 15 minutes or under broiler to char.  Original recipe called for skewering strawberries and grill them, but roasting them work just as well without all the hassle.
  • In a large sauce pan whisk together the ketchup, jam, balsamic vinegar, molasses, soy sauce, and strawberries.  Cook over medium high heat until strawberries break down, about 15 minutes.
  • Brown bacon until crisp. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and continue cooking until reduced by one third, about 15 minutes more.
  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Heat reserved bacon grease in large oven proof skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion, garlic and bell pepper, sauteing until soft.
  • Fold in the beans and sauce to the onion pepper mix.
  • Cook 25 minutes or until sauce thickens.

Deano Jalapeno Burger – Fire Day Friday

Don’t you just love those Durkee Fried Onions?  Yeah, those ones that you put on top of green bean casserole.  Yes, the ones you guiltily snack on when you think no one is looking.  
Imagine the same thing but instead of onions, imagine it made out of thin sliced jalapenos.  I received a fiery care package from my friends at Hot Sauce Daily (a blog about all things hot and spicy) and one of the items was a mysterious gold foil package of Deano’s Jalapenos brand Jalapeno Chips.  
One taste and Alexis said they were like super spicy fried onions.  I loved them too and immediately knew I had to use them as a burger topping.  To offset the heat, I made a ranch dressing with cilantro and avocado spread to help cool it off.  
Deano Jalapeno Burger
source:  NibbleMeThis
Ranch dressing adapted from Barefeet In The Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 4 teaspoons burger seasoning*
  • 6 buns
  • 6 oz monterey jack cheese, thin sliced
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup fried jalapeno slices*

For the cilantro and avocado ranch spread

  •  3.5 oz heavy cream
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 ea Haas avocado, diced

Instructions

  1. Mix the cream and lemon juice together and rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix together the sour cream, mayo, garlic, cilantro, dill, salt and pepper.  Stir in the cream mixture.
  3. Place the diced avocado and half of the dressing mixture in a blender or food processor and blend until the avocado is broken down, about 30 seconds.  Fold this batch back into the rest of the dressing.
  4. Mix together the beef and burger seasoning.  Divide into 6 third pound portions and form into 5″ patties.  
  5. Preheat a charcoal grill to 450f.  
  6. Grill the burgers for 4 minutes.  Flip and grill another 4 minutes.  Top with the cheese slices in the last minute.  Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Top bun bottoms with shredded lettuce, a cheese burger, a handful of jalapeno chips and slather the but top with a healthy bit of the ranch dip. 

Notes

  • I used a commercial burger seasoning tonight but you can make a simple one of 2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp onion powder.
  • I used Deano Jalapenos’ Jalapeno Cheddar chips.  I have made my own before by doing a standard flour, eggwash on slice jalapenos and deep frying them in 350f oil.  It was a lot easier using theirs.   
  • The recipe makes about twice the amount of ranch dip that you will need, but you will be glad.  Use the rest for a great dip for chips or thin it with some milk to make a great ranch dressing.
The thick creamy avocado dip helps cool the heat of the jalapeno chips.

Grilled burgers, a sign that summer is coming soon!

The ranch makes a great dip for spicy fries too.

FTC Disclaimer:  I have no affiliation with Deano Jalapenos and didn’t receive any compensation for this post.  I did get the sample for free but it was a care package from some friends of ours. 

Fire Roasted Chicken Wings – Fire Day Friday

The NFL playoffs are firing up and so are grills at game day parties everywhere.   There will be “chicken wings” on menus but these are a little different.  Instead of the traditional hot wing pieces of “drumettes” and “wingettes”, these use whole chicken wings.
It’s cold and possibly snowy wherever you are and you probably don’t want to drag your grill out.  Good news, you don’t have to.  You can do this one in your oven, if you have to.  But they are even better roasted on your grill.
Fire Roasted Chicken Wings
Adapted from Adam Perry Lang’s BBQ25
Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 24 chicken wings (whole wings, not wing parts)

For the marinade

  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce

For the BBQ glaze

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (use your favorite)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients and marinate the wings for 1-3 hours. 
  2. Preheat your grill to 300f for indirect heat* (or your oven). 
  3. Drain the wings and pat them dry.  Take the wing tip and tuck it behind the other end of the wing (the “drumette”.
  4. Place the wings on your grill (or in your oven) for 1 hour.
  5. Remove the wings and toss a large bowl with the BBQ glaze ingredients.
  6. Raise the grill (or oven…you really aren’t using your oven are you? ha ha) temp to 400f.  
  7. Cook the wings for another 30 minutes.
  8. Eat and enjoy!

Notes

  • Indirect heat is where you put the hot coals on one side of the grill and cook your food on the other side while the grill lid is closed so the meat “fire roasts” instead of grilling. 

Fire Roasted Screwdriver Chicken – Fire Day Friday

I have your curiosity, right?

But not screwdriver as in Craftsman.  I’m talking about the screwdriver cocktail. 

I used the classic cocktail as a base for a “mop” for chicken roasted on the grill.  A “mop” is kind of like a BBQ sauce but it is thinner and you baste it on several times during the cook instead of just the last few minutes.  It builds on layers of flavor with each baste. 
Fire Roasted Screwdriver Chicken
serves 4
Ingredients
  • 4 bone in, skin on chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

For the Screwdriver mop

  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flake
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your grill to 325f  (medium) for an indirect heat cook.  That means you push your hot coals to one side of the grill and you’ll cook over the empty space.   I added a 4″ chunk of cherry wood for a little smoke flavor.
  2. Season the chicken breasts heavily but evenly on both sides.  Place chicken skin side up on the grill over the void (not the coals), close the lid and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile whisk the mop ingredients together.  After the first 30 minutes, “mop” the sauce onto the chicken.  Old time pitmasters would use an actual small mop tool to do this.  You can replicate that by dabbing the sauce onto the chicken with a basting brush.  Dabbing instead of brushing gets more of the solid herbs and spices onto the chicken.  Repeat every 15 minutes.
  4. Cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour (total cook time 1 hr 15 min to 1 hr 30 min), until the breasts have an internal temperature of 160f.
  5. Remove from grill, allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Slice the rib bones from the meat and then slice into medallions for serving.

Notes
Sure, you could do this in your oven at the same temp but you won’t get the smoky flavor and don’t blame me if you get the sugary mop sauce on the bottom of your oven and it burns 🙂 

Optional:  Brine the chicken for 4 hours.  It’s worth the time!

Waiting to mop until after 30 minutes lets a crispy skin start to form first.

The layers of mopping build texture and flavor.

Slice the bones off lengthwise first, then slice into medallions like this.

Giveaway
I’m hosting a giveaway of this cool tailgating package over at NibbleMeThis.   Please enter and then don’t forget to post your favorite tailgating recipes on Tailgate Time.