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4th of July BBQ

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I need some recommendations on what and how to cook for the 4th of July BBQ.

 

I learned the hard way that too much is just what it is.  Had too many varieties of food last time and ended up running myself to the ground. If you can't tell, I am not a professional in any sense of that word :)

 

This year I am thinking of just having few appetizer dishes that I can preferably prepare the day before, one fish dish and two variations of the same grilled chicken thighs (one spicy one is not) .

I am still debating on what marinade I want to use for the chicken. I tried the yogurt marinated (bought vanilla flavored yogurt by mistake) and the "crew" did not like it. Pineapple marinade always worked for me, but in both cases I just feel that chicken is lacking flavor no matter how much I infuse the marinade with garlic and spices. Just thought, maybe I could grill my chicken the day before as well and then make some kind of a sauce and put it all together in the pot to simmer and serve hot right out of the pot? This way the sauce should carry the flavor with the chicken i guess.

BTW, I personally love the Korean food and would love to make something that resembles it, just not the sweet meat.

Thank you in advance.

post #2 of 27

Marinades don't really penetrate that far, especially if it's skin on.  So it's best with thin cuts, small chunks and such. Brining chicken is what many will recommend to pump the flavor of the chicken. It works, but it sort of changes the chicken as well and not everyone is a fan.

 

Further breast is very lean and bland. The thighs have more fat and are worked more which helps develop flavor. Stay away from sugar,fruit, and tomato in the marinade. Those ingredients burn easily on the grill. They're better as a final finshing glaze.  

 

If you want to stick with marinaded chicken, go for skewers of chicken imho. 

 

Rubs of course work well for grilling. Coupled with a brine and a brush of sauce just before completion, you'd have people raving about your grilled chicken. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 27

I would go with a good rub and grill over indirect heat.

post #4 of 27

I used this recipe recently for a dinner party, turned out well. I used bone in, skin on chicken breasts, served slices of it on a grilled mango and orange puree. Chicken and citrus is always a good combination.

 

http://flavorsofbrazil.blogspot.com/2012/06/recipe-grilled-chicken-with-lime.html

 

As for Korean, do some web searching for bul dak or Korean Fire Chicken for some marinade and sauce ideas.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfat View Post
 

I used this recipe recently for a dinner party, turned out well. I used bone in, skin on chicken breasts, served slices of it on a grilled mango and orange puree. Chicken and citrus is always a good combination.

 

http://flavorsofbrazil.blogspot.com/2012/06/recipe-grilled-chicken-with-lime.html

 

As for Korean, do some web searching for bul dak or Korean Fire Chicken for some marinade and sauce ideas.

 

mjb.


Now that sounds wonderful!

How do you grill mangoes and at what stage of ripeness?

Thanks,

post #6 of 27

I used jusr barely ripe ones, not too soft.  Cut off a slab from each side and just laid the sides and the center with the pit over the coals, no seasoning. When they got a bit charred cleaned off as much of the softened flesh as I could, put them in a container and hit them with my stick blender. Added the juice of 1 lime and enough orange juice to get the right consistency and a sprinkle of cayenne powder.

 

mjb.

 

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #7 of 27

Personally I would not marinate chickens if you can't dry the skin sufficiently.  They just will not get crisp.  A dry rub is the way to go and I usually baste the bone side in order to keep the skin crisp.  I don't care how crisp it is once liquid hits it's all over.

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfat View Post
 

I used jusr barely ripe ones, not too soft.  Cut off a slab from each side and just laid the sides and the center with the pit over the coals, no seasoning. When they got a bit charred cleaned off as much of the softened flesh as I could, put them in a container and hit them with my stick blender. Added the juice of 1 lime and enough orange juice to get the right consistency and a sprinkle of cayenne powder.

 

mjb.

 


Thanks for the reply and the nice picture Teamfat!

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike9 View Post
 

Personally I would not marinate chickens if you can't dry the skin sufficiently.  They just will not get crisp.  A dry rub is the way to go and I usually baste the bone side in order to keep the skin crisp.  I don't care how crisp it is once liquid hits it's all over.


Thank you Mike9 and everyone else helping.

I am really not that advanced to clearly understand what you all are saying, sorry... :blush:

a. what does it mean "you can't dry the skin sufficiently"?  I was actually not planing on using the skin-on/or off chicken breast, just the skinless boneless chicken thighs.  I don't think I ever was successful at grilling the breasts ever, always came out too dry imo, with or without the skin. I've had the chicken kabobs at the Mediterranean restaurants few times, they were much better compare to the ones I ever made, but still on the dryer side. So, when i grill the thighs, do I still have to dry them? Dry them with what? - paper towels?

b. since i am not using the breasts, can/should I still marinade the thighs? If not, what rub would you recommend?

 

Thanks again,

post #10 of 27

@nmikmik I'm curious, what kind/depth of cooking experience do you have?

I myself have always been happy with just marinading my boneless-skinless chicken thighs in the bottled stuff and calling it dinner...  Mr. Yoshida's is very nice, not to sweet, nice asian note to a BBQ, IMHO...

post #11 of 27
I have to take a moment to laugh at the vanilla yogurt marinade. Sorry but that must have been and right to bite into lol. It's ok, we've all been there more or less haha.

Ok step away from then skinless boneless chicken. Put it down and walk away. Ok? Your guests will thank you for it. You don't like skin? Fine, take it off before you eat it. But do not even think to put a skinless piece of chicken on a grill the rubbery texture of the chicken is unforgivable and you may lose friends over it.

If you want a spicy and no spicy version choose 2 different pieces of chicken. I'd make spicy drumsticks and no spicy thighs. Easier to differentiate and more interesting as well. Make the drumsticks spicy. Choose a spicy Korean rub (I'm sorry but if you want it to be Korean you'll have to include the sweetness as well).

For the thighs just salt and pepper. I like to make a marinade with roasted garlic purée, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs. I slather on the marinade in the last 5 min of cooking and it's easy and done, marinade can be easily made the day before.

Make a potato salad, a couple of apps and you're set.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post
 

@nmikmik I'm curious, what kind/depth of cooking experience do you have?

I myself have always been happy with just marinading my boneless-skinless chicken thighs in the bottled stuff and calling it dinner...  Mr. Yoshida's is very nice, not to sweet, nice asian note to a BBQ, IMHO...


haha,  This is from my original post 

"If you can't tell, I am not a professional in any sense of that word :) "  ok, let me say it outright - I can't cook!  :)  but I am trying  :)

 

Koukouvagia "For the thighs just salt and pepper. I like to make a marinade with roasted garlic purée, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs. I slather on the marinade in the last 5 min of cooking and it's easy and done, marinade can be easily made the day before."

So are you marinading your chicken overnight at all or just using it as a basting 5 minutes before the chicken is done grilling?

Thanks!

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmikmik View Post


haha,  This is from my original post 
"If you can't tell, I am not a professional in any sense of that word smile.gif "  ok, let me say it outright - I can't cook!  smile.gif  but I am trying  smile.gif

Koukouvagia "For the thighs just salt and pepper. I like to make a marinade with roasted garlic purée, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs. I slather on the marinade in the last 5 min of cooking and it's easy and done, marinade can be easily made the day before."
So are you marinading your chicken overnight at all or just using it as a basting 5 minutes before the chicken is done grilling?
Thanks!
No no marinade, chicken really doesn't not need it. The thigh is very flavorful tender and juicy meat. I only slather it on in the last 5 minutes of cooking. It adds incredible pop of fresh flavor.

Cut a few heads of garlic in half and lightly season the exposed side with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap each in a bit of foil and throw then in a 350 oven for 45-60min. Take then out and allow to cool completely. Squeeze out all the roasted garlic and mush it up on a bowl. Add the juice of as many lemons as there are heads of garlic. Add lots of thyme and parsley, chopped. Salt pepper and drizzle in olive oil.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #14 of 27

Rather than a marinade, here's another way to go, using an injector or brush under the skin, rubbing with oil, & sprinkling with a rub etc.  A pic is worth a thousand words (as the saying goes).  You could grill some corn and watermelon, as well. Or, a grilled peach or watermelon & feta salad.  Whatever you like.

 

http://bbqpitboys.com/recipes/grilled-chicken-thighs

post #15 of 27

Just a thought if you still want to achieve something that is really flavorful but not a marinade. It's done all the time for low and slow cooking but it works on the grill too, that is a spray bottle used to "baste" the chicken as you're grilling it. I typically use a liquid that is equal parts lemon juice, worcestershire, and vinegar. You can add honey as well depending on what you're going for. It gives the skin nice coloring and a bright tangy flavor. Here's some leg quarters I grilled using the spray bottle (image quality is pretty bad but you get the idea)

 

post #16 of 27

@nmikmik I think of a BBQ as an event that has to be exiting and to be remembered. One of my last BBQ experiments was a big success. I called it a "tapa" BBQ where I served different elements all in one time, Spanish tapa style. Never would have thought that a BBQ with a theme would turn out so well. Most of it can be prepared the day before. I marinated everything cut in the right chunks but without the skewers. Putting everything on skewers is quite a bit of work but can be done last minute with the help of a few people.

 

I consider oil to be the best "transmitter" of smell and flavor, so that's a basic ingredient in all my separate marinades for the chicken, veal, shrimp and salmon. I never use other liquid in my marinades and certainly never salt which extracts moist. All elements are put in plastic bags with a specific marinade. Leave them in your fridge overnight, put on skewers the next morning.

- The "chicken bag" are chunks of chicken breast, sunflower oil, tandoori masala (spice mix), fresh garlic slices and fresh tarragon. Look further for the pine-apple addition.

- The "salmon bag" has salmon cut in bars, sunflower oil, lemon verbena, lemon zest, black pepper and a tiny pinch of Madras curry.

- The "veal bag" has veal, sunflower oil, garlic slices, fresh parsley and fresh thyme.

- The shrimp bag has shrimps, sunflower oil, lemon zest, Sichuan pepper, black pepper and a tiny pinch of cayenne.

 

I put a large chunk of fresh pine apple on the chicken skewers; cut a pine apple in large chunks (remove the core). Make a sugar syrup by boiling 2 parts water, 1,5-2 parts sugar and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Boil the pine apple chunks for a minute, remove from the heat and let the pine-apple cool in the syrup and now add a few branches of fresh mint too. Delicious grilled on that skewer, everyone loved that chicken/pine-apple combo!

 

Make a tabouleh, or couscous salad the day before. Measure the couscous volume. Start by boiling the same volume of water with a bit of salt. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the couscous in. Do not stir!! Cover tightly and let set at least 20-30 minutes. Make a micro brunoise of different colors bell peppers (peel them first!!), shallot, garlic. Use fresh herbs from your garden like parsley, tarragon, lovage, mint etc. Avoid cilantro, too many people don't like it. Put the couscous in a large oven tray, loosen all the grains by rubbing gently in your hands. Add herbs and brunoise, plenty olive oil and mix, using your hands. Taste, add s&p to taste and most importantly, lemon juice of vinegar or sumac (sumac will color the couscous, I don't use it). Wrap the entire tray tightly in cling film and put in a cool place until you need to serve the next day. Sprinkle with pomegranate kernels just before serving. If you like the tabouleh warm, put the whole tray unwrapped(!) in your oven at 40°C/85°F for half an hour or so.

 

Make a sauce and serve separately so everyone can take what they want. I made a "vinaigrette salée" with couple of tbsp of mayo, a good extra dash of vinegar, 2 tbsp. of cold water, s&p and whisk until it all comes together. Add some ultra finely chopped or crushed garlic.

You can make a thousand variations on this theme. BTW, soak the bamboo skewers in cold water overnight or they will catch fire on the BBQ!!

Careful how long you grill everything! And do not forget to add salt this time!!

 

BBQ 1

 

BBQ 2

post #17 of 27

If you debone smoked chicken save the bones! They make an awesome smoked chicken stock.

post #18 of 27

A fish dish and a chicken dish..... hmmm.... There is nothing wrong with a marinade, Personally chicken is a very blah meat.. when it lacks flavor its almost kind of disgusting.. Rubs are awesome except when you eat the top part and the rest just tastes like ... blah.  Marinade is the way to go, don't listen to people knocking marinades, all this penetration BS is just part of the new wave of people talking and has only been referred to since this new wave of marinading in vacuum packers has come around I feel like everyone everywhere is acting like good old fashioned throw it in a marinade is no longer good enough... Even though it has worked for probably over a millennium. 

post #19 of 27

One of my favorite grilled meals in recent history was a nice big ribeye, seasoned simply with salt and pepper.

I cut a peach in half, put it on the grill cut side down until it started to get a bit of char.

 

*

 

The peach halves were plated with crumbled blue cheese on the charred side, then drizzled with a bit of balsamic. I found it a very nice combination.  And the steak was tasty, too!

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenranger View Post

A fish dish and a chicken dish..... hmmm.... There is nothing wrong with a marinade, Personally chicken is a very blah meat.. when it lacks flavor its almost kind of disgusting.. Rubs are awesome except when you eat the top part and the rest just tastes like ... blah.  Marinade is the way to go, don't listen to people knocking marinades, all this penetration BS is just part of the new wave of people talking and has only been referred to since this new wave of marinading in vacuum packers has come around I feel like everyone everywhere is acting like good old fashioned throw it in a marinade is no longer good enough... Even though it has worked for probably over a millennium. 

Who was knocking marinade? Nobody. But if you get a good chicken from a trustworthy purveyor then then flavor will be there. You know what chicken needs a marinade? A boneless skinless breast from one of the big name poultry giants. There is nothing wrong with marinades other than they're really unecessary.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenranger View Post

 Marinade is the way to go, don't listen to people knocking marinades, all this penetration BS is just part of the new wave of people talking and has only been referred to since this new wave of marinading in vacuum packers has come around I feel like everyone everywhere is acting like good old fashioned throw it in a marinade is no longer good enough... Even though it has worked for probably over a millennium. 

 

What do you think of Harold McGee's book, On Food and Cooking? 

 

Quote:
 

Marinades and Rubs

In the case of large solid chunks of meat or fish, it’s easy to get herb and spice flavors onto the food surface, but not so easy to get them inside. Water-and oil-based marinades coat the meat with flavorful liquid, while pastes and dry rubs put the solid aromatics in more direct contact with the meat surface. Because flavors are mainly fat-soluble molecules, and meat is 75% water, flavor molecules can’t move very far inside. A distinctly salty marinade or rub can help somewhat by disrupting the meat tissue (p. 155) and making it easier for some slightly water-soluble aromas to penetrate it. A more efficient method is to use a cooking syringe, and inject small portions of the flavorful liquid into many different parts of the meat interior.

 

The science is there to show marinades aren't particularly effective in the times most of us marinade for, nor do they effectively tenderize.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/03/03/dining/as-america-s-meat-changes-so-must-the-cook-today-s-marinades-just-for-flavor.html

 

Quote:
 

''Basically, marinating has little or no effect on tenderness,'' said Jack Bishop, a senior writer for Cook's Illustrated, who has experimented with marination techniques. ''Everybody just assumes marination is going to tenderize meat, so they leave it in the refrigerator for three days. It really just breaks down and becomes soft and mushy. Tenderizing comes from the way you cook it.''

The science seems clear. ''Acid does break down protein, but after it breaks it down, it causes it to coagulate,'' said Shirley O. Corriher, whose book, ''Cookwise'' (William Morrow & Company, 1997), explores the reasons some recipes work and others do not. ''If you leave it too long, it toughens or turns to mush.''

In a sense, bathing meat in acid begins the cooking process. Just as ceviche is made by steeping raw seafood in lime juice until the flesh is ''cooked'' by the citric acid, so are meat, poultry and fish altered by an acidic marinade. By the time the acid penetrates a piece of meat an inch or more thick to get to the tough center, it will have had far too much time to work on the surface, rendering it ''unpleasantly strange,'' said Edward Behr, who writes The Art of Eating, a quarterly newsletter.

So, if marinades tend to hurt meats rather than help them, what's the point? Flavor. ''The purpose of marination is to add a layer of flavor, and it's literally just the external layer,'' said Harvey Steiman, who writes about cooking for Wine Spectator magazine. While some may be tempted to poke holes in the meat to extend the flavoring beyond the surface, that technique has more drawbacks than benefits. It may improve the distribution of flavor, but more fluid will be lost during cooking, resulting in drier meat, said Harold McGee, who tested the technique in his book ''On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen'' (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1984).

That whole article is pretty interesting. 

 

It's not that a flavored exterior is a bad thing either. I do marinate still, but usually thin strips or chunks. 

 

There is science to support high salt marinades, essentially brines.  http://eater.com/archives/2013/12/10/jack-bishop-and-dan-souza-of-cooks-illustrated-at-harvard-the-accidental-chemist.php

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #22 of 27

Phatch I do think that a lot of people use wet marinades for the exact reason you mentioned, it provides a flavorful "sauce" for the outside. I think the argument for a dry rub is really no different than a wet marinade, they are both providing general seasoning and that's pretty much all they are doing. I think someone mentioned injecting but in my experience that usually results in little pockets of flavor. As far as brines, most store bought poultry has already been brined to some degree (you'll see it mention the percentage of salt and water) and I've heard of people having bad experiences with brining store bought poultry (too salty). I guess if you could get a really nice chicken, that is freshly slaughtered, and then brine it with aromatics, you'd probably get the best possible result.

post #23 of 27
Phatch I agree that marinades affect the texture of the meat. And they affect the sear as well. I'm not against it though for specific purposes like making souvlaki or a good tandoori. But large pieces of meat like a chicken or a pork butt? What's the point?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #24 of 27

.............


Edited by Cerise - 7/1/14 at 11:03am
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
 

 

What do you think of Harold McGee's book, On Food and Cooking? 

 

 

I think I understand the science behind cooking just fine I spent $70k going to culinary school..  But your not going to convince me that a proper marinade will not add overwhelming flavor, regardless of penetration & tenderization properties. I didn't need to read a book to find out that marinades won't tenderize a piece of tough meat.. Nor did I need a book to know they don't penetrate.. All I had to do was eat a tough steak that was still raw in the middle after sitting in one over night,  Didn't need Harold McGee to figure that out for me..  Do you think Escoffier read alot of books on the science of cooking..... LOL PLEASE!   

 

Can a sauce do the same thing?..... No.  

 

I wonder if you understand the idea behind a marinade, its all about the acidity.. which comes in handy when preparing a ceviche dish, not to often will you see a cold sauce cook a shrimp from raw in front of your eyes. Would I ever use a marinade as a sauce... sure it could happen.. people eat Italian dressing don't they which has all the same properties. Can I explain why I like my proteins denatured a bit before I cook them on a grill?  Nope.  But I do know they are delicious and when a marinade is on point it can leave people reminiscing for years, "Do you remember those kabobs you made on the fourth of july a few years ago? Man those were so awesome."

 

If you wanna continue on being ignorant about the fact that acid cooks food and marinades have earned their place in everyone's backyard BBQ be my guest.. but that is probably why I'm a pro and your just some guy who likes food.  Keep reading books, and I will keep cooking. 

post #26 of 27

Wow.. Greenranger.. you're a bit out of line with that attitude. If you hang around here long enough, you'll learn Phatch is definitely not "just some guy who likes food" .. I'm not either ;) (I like photography and crazy ass experiments with food too) Our discussions should be in good fun and they generally help everyone to learn a thing or two from each other.


Edited by eastshores - 7/1/14 at 10:20am
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenranger View Post
 

  Do you think Escoffier read alot of books on the science of cooking.

I would imagine that Escoffier was open minded to learning from other people.

 

We can learn from other people by listening, watching, and reading.

 

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”  attributed to William Paley

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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