My last post gave away my secret for really crispy chicken and today to celebrate National BBQ Week ( it’s longer than a week but who cares when its sunny and you have an excuse BBQ every day ) the recipe I am sharing is for one of my personal favourites Jack Daniel’s and Black Treacle Rib Glaze.
A lot of my barbecue sauces simply use cups ( the American staple ) as most are American influenced or originally from American friends, it is just so convenient and easy. If you wish to change to metric or imperial, American cups are best converted to 240 millilitres, 16 tablespoons or 8 ½ imperial fluid ounces.
Combine the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and mix well. Over a medium heat simmer for twenty minutes then allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you make it a few days in advance the flavours will have more time to blend together. Remove the bay leaf, orange peel, and spices before use.
Allergens in this recipe depend on your choice of BBQ sauce and may include;
I posted an Instagram picture recently of a weekend tea-time meal I made with the help of my eldest daughter, she really is a far better baker than me, you should try her cookies but that’s another post. We had dough balls ( they are both big fans of Pizza Express – good job I used to be a Pizza trainer and learnt how to make them properly ), a big salad for Mummy, and Daddy’s Not-so-Secret Crispy Chicken Wings*. If you want a recipe for a chicken wing with a little more bite try my recipe for the Best Oven Baked Buffalo Wings Ever.
Now if I have a weakness for ‘junk food’ it is Southern Fried Chicken, I don’t have a pressure fryer like a certain well know high street chain, which is one of the secrets to producing a piece of crisp coated moist chicken but after a fair few attempts I do have an excellent recipe for well-seasoned coating and tender chicken. While Daddy’s Not-so-Secret Crispy Chicken Wings recipe doesn’t have anywhere near the 10 -12 herbs and spices in the famous secret Kentucky recipe** it has gone down great guns in lots of pubs, bars, and restaurants. I’m not worried you can share the recipe to and try your own variations.
*You can substitute thighs, drumsticks and chicken breasts.
Proper Southern Fried Chicken calls for Buttermilk but it is still quite difficult to get hold off and relatively expensive. The slight acidity that helps to tenderise the chicken is easily replaced with a few tablespoons of natural yogurt.
For the Marinade
1 small Chicken cut into pieces 18 Chicken Wings, tips removed
Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C / Gas Mark 5. Prepare a large non-stick baking tray by wiping with a little vegetable oil. In a large non-reactive glass or plastic bowl, mix the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic salt and Cayenne pepper together. Add the chicken and stir to coat completely, cover with cling film and leave in a refrigerator for at least two hours. Thoroughly mix the coating ingredients and when the chicken is ready, cover each chicken piece liberally in the spiced polenta.
Arrange the coated chicken on the prepared baking tray and drizzle with more vegetable oil. Bake on the lowest shelf in your oven for thirty minutes until the chicken is golden brown. Using tongs, carefully turn each piece of chicken and bake for five minutes longer for wings ( ten to fifteen minutes for drumsticks, large breast pieces, and chicken thighs ), or until the undersides are golden. Place the chicken pieces on kitchen paper to drain off excess fat then transfer to plates and serve.
The chicken can be baked ahead, chilled and served cold for picnics and buffets.
What to Drink? These Chicken wings are best paired German-style Riesling wines or hoppy Continental-style Pilsner lagers and IPA beers.
Well by nineteen sixty-three Lyndon B. Johnson had risen above the hurly-burly politics of his native Texas to become vice president of the United States in the administration of the meteoric John F Kennedy. In a government of outstanding personalities including the president’s charismatic brother the attorney general, secretary of defense Robert McNamara and secretary of state Dean Rusk, many saw Johnson’s role as mere window dressing. Yet this homely former school teacher established himself with quiet determination and pioneered what became known as barbecue diplomacy. As people relaxed due to the informal atmosphere of a barbecue around a pit or grill it was often easier for LBJ to talk business than in the rigid formal settings of a state banquette.
At his home on the banks of the Perdernale river, LBJ hosted an array of important barbecues for VIP dignitaries and most of these were catered for by Walter Jettson. He ran a local, well for Texas, catering company in Fort Worth and prepared the food at the LBJ ranch. On November 23, 1963, the staff of the ranch and Jettson were preparing for the biggest event of their lives the president was to visit and eat smoked ribs and brisket. As we all know he was never to make it. LBJ was sworn in as the thirty-sixth president of the United States on board airforce one carrying the body of President Kennedy back to Washington. Jettson was to become the President’s Pitmaster * and LBJ even flew him around the country to cater at political rallies. On the back of his celebrity, Jetton published a barbecue cookbook, which is unfortunately out of print but available on Amazon and other retailers.
Jetton catered for the first barbecue at the White House and continued to do so during LBJ’s term in office. When he decided not to stand for re-election LBJ hosted one last farewell barbecue on the White House lawns for over two hundred friends and supporters. The Texas-style ribs must have been quite special as the Swiss-born, formally trained, White House head chef Henry Haller, wrote in his The White House Family Cookbook, ” He did a terrific job and I was most impressed with the results. His barbecue sauce avoided all of the common flaws (oversweetening, overcooking, excessive thinning) and by serving the sauce separately, he also avoided drying out the meat. ”
*Pit Master : An experienced barbecue cook, a skilled craftsman, who watches over the pit and can tell by sight, sound, smell, and touch, if it is running too hot or too cold, when it needs fuel, when to add wood, when to add sauce, and when the meat is ready.
Here is my only slightly amended version of Walter Jetton’s recipe as always as the full recipe is of authentic American origin it is measured in cups. A cup is between 200 and 250ml, providing one standard cup is used the proportions will work.
It looks like we are going to get some sunny spells over the Bank holiday weekend and let’s face it if it rains who hasn’t grilled under an umbrella before. Now if you are tired of same old, same old burgers and sausages burnt to a crisp today’s post are not one but a host of recipes. In a restaurant one of your goals is consistency, you want a dish your customers can enjoy again and again and recommend to all their friends. This is one of the reasons we follow recipes. As someone interested in food, and you are reading this article, you will probably look at a recipe then like me tweak a little ingredient here, adjust an amount there. I am going to make a wish and hope you change the following recipe(s) for Shish Kebabs totally, utterly and completely. Just think of them as the loosest of culinary guidelines. There is an almost infinite opportunity to mix and match textures and flavours and experiment to your heart’s content.
Shish kebab is an English version of the Turkish words for sword and roasted meat. A Shish Kebab is a grilled skewer of marinated meat, normally lamb but chicken, beef, veal, and even swordfish can be substituted. In Turkish cooking, the vegetables are normally cooked separately.
There are a couple of rules for Shish Kebabs, first please if you are using wooden skewers soak them in water overnight as they have a tendency to burn, especially over a barbecue or char-grill. The second is not so easy and requires a little experience. Cut up your ingredients so they will cook at the same time. What do I mean by this? A large wedge of onion will not cook as quick as a king prawn so separate out the layers. Courgettes, mushrooms and bell pepper all add colour and flavour but need to be quite large pieces if mixed with small pieces of chicken or steak as the denser texture of the meat takes longer to cook. If you want to make a seafood Shish Kebab try wrapping scallops in bacon to protect them from the searing heat of the grill and add more flavour. Finally, not a rule but a top tip, a good marinade will add a ton of flavour but be careful, sugary marinades can burn and are better brushed on the food in the latter stages of cooking.
Chicken and Vegetable ( Shish ) Kebabs makes 8 kebabs
2 large Chicken Breasts cut in two-centimetre chunks
1 large Courgette, washed and cut into slices
1 large Red Bell pepper, cut in chunks
1 large Red Onion, peeled, quartered, and parted in layers
16 large Button Mushrooms, wiped
Quality Olive Oil
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Thread the meat and vegetables on the skewers. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and season generously. Cook on barbecue or under a medium to high grill turning regularly for around ten minutes until cooked. There that is it the easiest recipe I will probably ever post.
Now let your taste buds run wild, here are a few suggestions;
King Prawn and Rump Steak ( Surf’n’turf )
Monkfish, Prawns, and Scallops wrapped in Bacon
Lamb with Garlic and Thyme
Sweet and Sour Pork with Bell Pepper and Pineapple
Marinating your meat and fish for a couple of hours will add multiple layers of flavour and you can brush the Shish Kebabs with the marinade during cooking. Remember that if you use a sweetened marinade to lift the kebabs a little higher on the barbecue or turn the grill down a fraction as they will easily burn over a high heat.