Today was a bitter sweet day. Not only were we celebrating Father's Day a week early, but we wanted to end things with a bang for Shawn who will be in Paris for the next 3 months on a work related project (not a bad gig!).
Is there a better way to show love then with good, home cooked food?
After a few weeks of menu planning with 'les filles', we all decided that a light summery menu would be best. The menu included a variety of salads, a delicious caponata, a vibrant green guacamole, and these guys:
I wish the photo came out better but the smoke from the hickory chips prevented a clear, crisp picture. Yes, I said hickory chips...the smell was incredible. It was so good that we can't wait to experiment with other meats and different smoking chips -- mesquite anyone??
The chicken was brined for 2 hours in a solution of cold water and salt. This helps the chicken stay moist and juicy, so much so that this is even my trick for a plump turkey. After the brining was done, we filled cans with a good beer and a few spices (you can always make it easier on yourself and buy beer cans but we are not the beer drinking type so we didn't want to invest in a 12 pack). The chicken skin was rubbed with olive oil, salt, and thyme. Once ready to be cooked, they were thrust onto the cans and placed onto the grill.
We cooked these 2 chickens with indirect heat (1 burner off - where the chicken goes, and the other side on low) for 2 hours. The hickory foil pack was placed at the beginning of the grilling process (directly on the stones, beneath the grates) but taken off a half hour later. I would highly recommend using wood chips as it adds a smokey flavour that no amount of grilling can reproduce.
At the end of the 2 hours, the chicken was perfectly done and incredibly juicy. I can guarantee you that this will be better than any rotisserie chicken you purchase -- and way more fun.
My thoughtful mother-in-law also offered to bring a few chicken breasts to grill, knowing that we are a food-loving family. The breasts were marinated overnight in liberal amounts of onion powder, garlic powder, Montreal chicken seasoning, Greek seasonings, and a small dash of olive oil. Adding very little olive oil allows the marinade to become a paste - almost like a breading on the chicken. I'm not sure what is in Montreal chicken seasoning (I've only used the famous steak seasoning) but I'm going to seek it out as it added an interesting flavour.
The results sure are tasty.