Ripped Angry Chicken BBQ

Well, I am back.  I took some weeks off due to my wedding to the Viking Princess, and we had her twins over the summer, plus enjoyed a wonderful week and a half in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  A couple of weeks of catching up on work, and now I am back with this blog, and hope this reboot will carry through for the foreseeable future.  So, on to business.

I’m going to slowly get back into this with a recipe I enjoyed creating in the week after my marriage. We had a lot of chicken breasts that we intended for the wedding recepton, but as the night went, it came to light that we had way too much left over.  I had about two dozen chicken breasts to deal with, so I had to come up with something, as freezer space was very limited, and we needed to coo the chicken or lose it to spoiling.  This is a two part recipe.  The first part can be a meal on it’s own, but moving on to the second stage is well worth it.

Ripped Angry Chicken BBQ

So the first stage is basically a simple grilling.
Each boneless and skinless breast was dry rubbed with a mix of spices.  You can use what you can find in your area, but here are the ones I used…

Spice Supreme Brand Barbecue Spice
Herbamare Herb and Sea Salt
Mrs Dash Salt Free Chicken Grilling Blend

Each of these spices is decent for the task, but I like to blend all of these together, and lightly dust over the chicken breasts.  Don’t worry, these won’t overwhelm or drown out the chicken taste, as long as you moderate your dusting.  After dusting I massage the spice blend into the chicken breast, working the spices into each nook and cranny.  It’s messy, so clean up afterwards or wear some rubber gloves.

Let the breasts sit in the fridge overnight to let the spices work into the chicken more.  If you want to have this quicker, then let them sit for at least 2 hours.

Fire up your grill, and do your normal heat up and scraping of the grill surface.  Set to a low-medium heat, and set your chicken breasts on a covered grill.  If you wish, you can add a tinderbox of wet wood chips to add some smoke to the flavor.  If you move on to the second stage, I would wait until that portion to use your wood chips.  I found that the low-medium heat setting with 12 chicken breasts took about 35-40 minutes to get the surface well grilled and the internal temperature of at the minimum of 165 degrees(F).  At this point, take the chicken off the grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes, then serve up with the side of your choice.  I like corn on the cob.

So if you want to get to the really good stuff, let’s move on to stage two.

Needed:

12-24 Cooked Chicken Breasts(skinless and boneless) from stage one.
2-3 Aluminum roasting pans
Herbamare Herb Sea Salt
Mrs. Dash Salt-Free Chicken Grilling Spice
Spice Supreme brand Barbecue Spice
One to Two Bottles of Redd’s Apple Ale(or more if you wish to drink some as you grill)
Apple Wood Chips-Soaked for a minimum of one hour.
Barbecue Sauce-Any preference you like will be good.  For this recipe I used was Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce(40 ounce bottle)

Please allow a good amount of time for prep.  The best thing to do is to soak your wood chips in a pan of water in the early part of the day.  You need at least an hour, but the longer, the better.  Once the water looks like ice tea, the chips are good to go.  You place these in a tinderbox to be heated on the grill with your chicken.  If you don’t have a tinderbox, never to fear.  You can use a small aluminum pan, or even a make one from aluminum foil.  You set the tinderbox before firing up the grill.

Here is the time consuming part…take your cooked chicken breasts from stage one, and start pulling and shredding the meat into an aluminum roasting pan.  When you have the bottom covered, sprinkle on generous, but even, portions of your spices.  Shred another layer, and add more spices.  Keep that routine up until the chicken fills the pan to just below the top.  I had 24 breasts, so I filled two pans.  Pour in a bottle of Redd’s Apple Ale(per pan) and stir the shredded meat to get all the spices to blend well.  Place the pans on a preheated grill set at a low-medium heat(with the apple wood chip tinderbox already in place).  Close the lid and let it all cook.  I like to check and stir every ten minutes 30-40 minutes.  The Apple Ale adds a great flavor, and keeps the chicken moist.  As the wood chips dry out, they will start to char and change from a smoky steam to actual  burning smoke.  I love to do this to get that smoke into the meat.  After 30-40 minutes, I take out the pans and add 20 ounces of the barbecue sauce per pan of pulled chicken, and stir that in well.  Set the grill to Medium Heat, and place the pan(s) back onto the grill for 10 minutes.  Stir after that ten minutes, then raise to a high heat, and close the top of the grill.  At this point, the wood chips will be smoking and burning well.  The high heat will caramelize the sauce.  I let this go for an additional ten minutes at the high heat setting.  Turn off the grill and cover the pans with foil, and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

The spices, sauce, and smoke will be well absorbed into the pulled chicken, and will still give you the taste of chicken underneath.  Serve on hamburger buns or kaiser rolls.  Good sides include corn on the cob, and baked beans.  The pans will serve for storage if you don’t eat all the chicken in one setting.

So that is my recipe for the week.  To come in the following weeks, I am going to work on improving my spice blend, and I plan to create my own type of sauces for different items to grill.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with any store bought sauce, but I am trying to develop my own recipe that will be tweaked over time until I have it where I want it.

Product review:
Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce

I happened on this sauce, as it was brought in by the Viking Princess in her food shopping for our wedding reception.  To be honest, I would never have thought of getting this sauce, but I am very pleased that my bride made the purchase.  It is a simple and basic sauce for BBQ.  It has a good tangy and sweet element that really works well for a large group of people.  It has the power to please, and is nice on the taste buds.  It doesn’t have a harse or over spicy bite.  I tend to like things on the spicier side, but I had no complaint about this sauce.  I highly recommend it for any getting started on grilling, or as a good base for more advanced recipes.  It works well by itself, or as the addition to a dry rub blend.

If you try any of my recipes, please give me some feedback.  You can share, but please give credit where credit is due.  I plan to write a book using many of the recipes I have shared, and will add others that may or may not make this blog.

TO close, I ask that you all honor our troops who are forward deployed by wearing red on Fridays.  Until they all come home. Check out http://redshirtfridays.org

Thanks for checking back with me.  I’ll be posting more now that the wedding and honeymoon have finished.

Something’s Fishy! Thank Goodness!

Well, I’m back!  My apologies for not posting during the past couple of weeks.  We had a birth in the family, and wedding preps for the Viking Princess and I have gone into full gear.  With that aside, let’s get right to it.

In this entry, I will share a recipe for a Great Lakes grilled Walleye dinner I made just this evening.  I will also give the first of my product reviews.

Let’s start with the product review.  Whenever I go to a hardware store for whatever, I always take a peek in the grill accessory area.  In this case, I went to my local Great Lakes Ace Hardware.  I grabbed a couple of extra grill tops to use on my fire pit, and then something caught my eye, so I had to get it to try out.  What I got was a plastic burger press to make stuffed burgers.  Stuffed burgers seem to be the craze these days, and this product seemed affordable enough to grab.

Yesterday, I tried it out.  I got 4 pounds of 80/20 ground beef, and went to work.  First lesson learned, the ground beef sticks to the plastic.  That makes it difficult to get the final product out of the press.  I solved that with a light spritz of cooking spray.  With that issue solved, the meat slid out of the form.  A little trial and error on the first two burgers allowed me to get the right amount of ground beef per stuffed burger.  Let’s be honest, who’s going to actually weigh each portion of beef to put into the press?  I don’t have the time for that!  As a final tally, I filled the press 2/3s of the way with ground beef, and pressed the indentation form into it to create the stuffing pocket.  I made two types of stuffing, bacon and cheddar cheese, and salsa with Mexican four cheese blend.  I used precooked bacon, and it worked out great.  Make sure to drain the salsa, so there isn’t a lot of excess juice.  After stuffing the burgers, I topped the form with about a quarter pound of ground beef and finished the pressing process, which is supposed to seal the burger.  “Sealing” is a loose term.  It did okay, but the seal wasn’t perfect.  I ended up making six stuffed burgers, and that process took nearly an hour.  The final result was a filling monster sized stuffed burger.

Unfortunately, the bottom line is this…save your money.  You don’t need a burger press.  It doesn’t work without extra tips, not in the instructions, and it is very time consuming.  Just make two quarter pound patties, and use the bottom of a measuring cup (1 cup size) to make the stuffing pocket.  Press the two halves and seal, then grill them up.  You will save a ton of time doing it by hand.

 

And now for my “Where’s Walleye?” recipe (based on a meal for two):

  • Two Wild caught Walleye filets
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • Garlic Butter, 1 stick (Regular Butter and Garlic powder can be used)
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Herbamare Sea Salt/herb blend

Take a sheet of foil and place a filet, skin side down, on it.  Sprinkle a bit of lemon pepper over the filet.  Repeat for a second filet.  Cut two slices from the lemon, lime, and orange, and place one of each over top of the filet.  With the remainder of the citrus, squeeze just a bit of juice over the filet.  (Save the fruit!).  Cut the garlic butter into small pats, and place into the gaps to cover the rest of the filet. Cover the filet with another sheet of foil and seal all the edges.  I make three small folds for a good seal. Put those into the fridge long enough to prep your side dish.

For the side dish, I took asparagus spears and placed them on a sheet of foil, sprinkled some seasoning and a light spritzing of olive oil, then covered and sealed that as well.

Preheat your grill at a medium-high heat, and place your walleye filet pouches on the grill.  Let it grill for 18-20 minutes.  You will hear the sizzle, and the well-sealed pouches will inflate as they finish.  At about the ten minute mark, place the side dish pouch on a burner set at low heat.  When the walleye filets are done, the side will be done as well.

Plate the filets and sides.  Keep the fruit slices on for presentation, or just take them off.  Sprinkle the  Sea Salt/Herb blend on your walleye and enjoy!

Remember those fruit pieces you saved?  You DID save them, right?  I took mine, and put them in a 2 quart pitcher of water, and stirred some sugar in.  Let it chill in the fridge for a citrus-ade.  Add some rum of you want the drink to have a kick.

I made the Viking Princess so happy, she is currently making banana bread for dessert!

Until next time, safe grilling!  I’ll be grilling for Father’s Day, and maybe a few times until then.

A little of everything on the Grill

401Hello, and welcome, once again, to my blog.  I want to start by apologizing for the late entry.  It’s been a busy weekend.  The Viking Princess and I are preparing for a wedding, and we are in the final stages of a kitchen renovation (that will come up on a future blog).
This past week, I’ve grilled a few items that turned out quite well.  The menu items were Salmon, Chicken Breasts, Ribeye Steaks, Turkey Burgers, and Ocean Perch.  I grill-roasted some vegetable sides in foil packets, as well.
Everything was done on our gas grill. I prefer charcoal and wood, but the propane is quicker for my needs.  The Viking Princess and I are soon to acquire a smoker, and I am converting a firepit to have dual tasking with that of a charcoal/wood grill.  This will allow me to expand my menu, and get the wood smoke rings I want in pork products.
The first item from this week was a grilled wild caught Salmon done on a soaked cedar plank.  Cedar planks are great for salmon and other seafoods.  The plank allows for the infusion of smoke into your salmon.  The planks are cut to size to fit a good sized filet.  You want to soak your planks for at least an hour.  Better if longer.  I like to get up in the morning, and place my plank in a water filled cooler in the morning.  Place a rock or other weight to keep the plank submerged.
I seasoned my Salmon filet with a simple lemon pepper lightly dusted onto the fish.  Place the Salmon, skin side down, on the plank.  I then spread a Thai Sweet Red Chili sauce, being very generous, all over the filet. (*A lesson I learned is that the cooking time does not allow the sauce to caramelize as I would want.  To help with that, mix a little corn starch to thicken the sauce, and then heat it to bubbling prior to spreading it on your filet.)  With the grill preheated to a medium/high setting, place the plank of Salmon directly between two burner rows.  Heat closed for 18-22 minutes.  Check often and add more glaze, if desired.  Grill Roasted Broccoli or Asparagus makes for a great side.  The smoky taste from the plank, with the spicy sweet flavor of the Thai sauce had my Viking Princess smiling through her whole meal.
433 Next up was Soy Sauce/Brown Sugar marinade boneless chicken breasts.  Andrea mixed the marinade, and almost every drop soaked into the flesh.  This is fairly simple.  You want to grill these breasts over a medium/high heat for 15-20 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F. Yes, that means you BETTER have a meat thermometer.  Never, ever cut into your item.  You will risk losing all the juices, and you end up with a tough piece of leather that sort of tastes like chicken.  When taking a temperature, place what you are grilling on a plate away from the heat of the grill.  Put the probe into the thick portion, and wait until the temperture reading levels out.
When your chicken is done, remove from the heat, and let it “rest” for about 5-10 minutes before serving.  A roasted Squash/Zuccini side dish is excellent with this meal.
Saturday was a double bill.  It was my fiance’s daughter’s birthday, so I decided to grill some ribeyes, with sides of roasted broccoli, and sweet corn on the cob.  To save time, I boiled the corn cobs, but I will blog a much better way to prepare corn soon.
When grilling more than one ribeye (or any cut of meat), you want to get all the cuts roughly the same size and thickness.  That way, you will save yourself the headache of keeping track of which one is which.  When it comes to grilling a steak, I have one simple rule.  Never season it with sauce or marinade it.  It is meat, and it has a distinct flavor.  That is my own opinion though, and you can do what you want.  At most I with lightly sprinkle a little salt, and pepper on it to help draw out the flavor.  In this instance, I went away from my rule, as the birthday girl, and the Viking Princess, requested to have theirs with soy sauce.  I covered those steaks in soy sauce and let the sauce boil as the steak grilled.  To start, place your steaks on high heat for 2 minutes per side, under a closed lid, to sear the outer flesh.  Move the steaks to a medium/high side of the grill and grill to an internal temperature of 135-145 for Medium Rare, and 145-160 for Medium.  Medium Well, and Well Done will toughen the meat, and you start to get a charred flavor.  We all have our preferences though. Let your steaks “rest” for about five minutes before serving.
The roasted broccoli side was simple.  Place the broccoli pieces in a pouch made of foil.  Olive Oil or Pats of thinly cut garlic herb butter is placed over the top, and then sprinkle a sea salt/herb mix over top of that.  I use a brand called Herbamare (future blog, and plug to come). Close the pouch and put over a low/medium heat while your steak is grilling.  It will be done at about the same time as your steak.
The second part of the double bill was to do something with some extra ground turkey.  You see, we have a pet Hedgehog, and as a once in a while treat, brown a little ground turkey, cool, then treat your little carnivore.  I had enough ground turkey left to make three burger patties.  I decided to make stuffed burgers.  I split my patties, and made depressions in each half.  In the pockets, I sprinkled turmeric, a light dust of salt and pepper, and filled the gap with shredded sharp cheddar cheese.  Close the halves back together and pinch the halves together.  Throw on the grill for about five minutes per side, and enjoy!  The Hedgehog got a treat that he ate only 25% of, but we got a good and gooey little snack for the evening movie. I call it a win-win!
I will save the ocean perch for the next blog, tentatively to come on Wednesday.
It is my hope that this blog will evolve and grow as I get used to doing it.  I asked the Viking Princess to add a Recipe Page for me to have recipes to follow beyond the descriptions in these blog posts, so once that is set up, I will do my best to have easy to follow directions for any item you wish to try.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening, and don’t fret over Monday coming.  At least we can all start the week off with coffee?  Yes? Right?  Okay, yeah, it IS a Monday, after all.

Welcome Aboard!

mikeandreaGreetings, and welcome to my blog.  For those who do not know me, my name is Mike Rezabek.  I am a Land Surveyor, living in Taylor, Michigan, just outside of Detroit. I am also a Veteran of the United States Navy, and proud of it! I am engaged to be married to a beautiful woman, named Andrea, that you will see me refer to as my “Viking Princess”. Among the things I love to do, barbequing on a grill is what this Old Salt lives for.

This blog is primarily for the experiences, trials, successes, and failures of backyard grilling. At times, I will post blogs about home improvement, landscaping, and gardening, because those are things I enjoy as well. Over the years, I have absorbed skills and knowledge about these things. Part enjoyment, and part that I don’t want to pay someone else to do what I can do for myself! And neither should you. It is my intention to share my hints and tips as I do them for myself.

On the BBQ front, I will experiment with different meats and flavors. Recipes formulate as I try and perfect different techniques. So far, my Viking Princess, Andrea, has lived through my meals. I have to give her credit, she IS brave!

A little about the name of this site. I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not a BBQ Pit Master. I have no professional culinary training. I have just learned from many people I have met over the years, mixed with my own Mad Scientist experiences. “Veteran BBQ” is simply this: I am a Navy Veteran who loves to BBQ. I am a patriot, and the well being of all Veterans is on my mind very often.

Those who were in the Navy, and served aboard ships, can relate to a love of BBQ. At times, when we could, we sailors would have what is called a “Steel Beach Picnic”. Spending days and weeks underway at sea can be tough on morale, and to improve that, ships’ Captains would allow for time to relax and burn off our energy by holding a picnic on the weather decks. Grills would fire up, and the crew would enjoy some home-style cooking, play basketball or volleyball, sit in the sun, Listen or play music, or just kick back with a good book for the good part of a day. Nothing felt like home, while deployed at sea, quite like the smell of burgers and hot dogs being grilled. Smiles and laughter were never hard to find among sailors who were stuffing their faces, while forgetting for the time that they were thousands of miles away from home, serving their Country.

So, as you follow my blog, you may get an additional story from my Navy days that tie to the topic at hand. Call it a bonus, or even a curse. 😉

I welcome comments, but please be respectful to me and my readers, and be aware that kids have access. Constructive criticisms are never ignored, as we all can learn lessons from one another. And please, if you are going to comment, I ask that all solicitations and advertisements be cleared through me or Andrea. Anything like that will be removed, and the person(s) given a one time reminder and warning.

So let’s have a lot of fun. Again, Welcome Aboard, and hold tight onto something bolted down, because we are going Full Speed Ahead!