Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Barbecued Chicken with a Ginger Garlic Maple Sauce & My Perfect End-of-Summer Meal

I have the perfect meal for you for this time of year. It takes advantage of the warmish weather we still have by using a barbecue. It also takes advantage of the cauliflower that is now in season.

The drizzle of maple syrup was my husband's idea, I think he's been watching too much Master Chef!

We have been eating this meal frequently, probably once a week for a few weeks, and we're not sick of it yet! This meal perfectly pairs sweet, sticky, barbecued chicken, roasted cauliflower and cumin-spiced lentils. We took this meal for a picnic a little while ago, and finished it all off with cupcakes made from my Vanilla Layer Cake recipe.  I told my friends that I was going to post these recipes as a "Perfect End-Of-Summer Meal". They didn't think it was that catchy and tried to figure out a different title that would serve this meal justice. I think the best they came up with was "Fabulous Feast with Friends". Whatever you call this meal, I hope you enjoy it as much as our friends and family do!

Perfect End-of-Summer Meal:

Barbecued Chicken with a Ginger Garlic Maple Sauce
Roasted Cauliflower
Cumin-Spiced Lentils

I have posted these as separate entries, so scroll down for the rest of the meal or click on the links above.

Barbecued Chicken with a Ginger Garlic Maple Sauce 

For the Barbecue Sauce:

Three thumbs of ginger (3-4 tbsps)
6 cloves of garlic
1 cup maple syrup
1 tsp salt or to taste

Grate or finely mince the ginger and put in a small bowl. Put the garlic through a press or finely mince and add to ginger. Add maple syrup and salt. Mix well, to ensure the salt is dissolved.

Alterations for the Sauce:

- If you are allergic to ginger or garlic simply omit them from the recipe

- If you are allergic to maple syrup you may want to use another liquid sweetener like honey (thinned out with some water) or brown rice syrup. You could also try fruit like applesauce, or blended pineapple or peaches.

For the Chicken:

One small chicken, butterflied.
Salt and pepper
Safflower oil, or high-temperature oil of your choice

Preheat barbecue to 350°F/176.6°C . If you don't have a thermometer on your barbecue, heat the barbecue on medium for about 10 minutes then turn it down to low.

You can often purchase a chicken butterflied at your grocery store or ask your butcher to do it for you. I prefer to do it myself, it's easy and less expensive. Simply place the chicken breast-side up on a plate or cutting board. Feel for the breastbone, take a pair of strong scissors or kitchen shears and cut the chicken in half, along the breastbone, going as close to the bone as you can. Rinse the chicken under cold water to remove any bone shards.

* From what I see online most people butterfly their chicken by removing the backbone and breaking or removing the breastbone. I'm not sure why this is the preferred method, I wonder if it makes the cut easier/better to cook?  We have never had any problems with the chicken after cutting beside the breastbone, and it is always tender and juicy. I think that this way is much easier.

Pat your chicken dry with some paper towel. Season well with salt and pepper and rub with oil. Oil your grill to prevent sticking. Open chicken and place the inside of the chicken down, onto the grill of the barbecue.

Cook over low flames with lid closed for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken over (inside of chicken should now be facing up) and cook for another 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the barbecue to watch for flames.

After the second flip (inside is now down) generously brush on the sauce, making sure to get lots of the ginger. Flip every 10 minutes, brushing on the sauce at each turn, including the underside.

The entire cooking time will be about 1 hour or 1 hour 10 minutes. Check with a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature reaches 180°F/82°C. Serves 4.

Alterations for Chicken:
- If you are allergic to chicken try using this as a sauce on fish or other meats like beef or pork. If you eat soy I think it would be delicious as a marinade for firm tofu.

Troubleshooting For Barbecuing: (Written by my husband, in barbecue-language)

- If you are worried about the chicken drying out, you can occasionally squirt it with lemon juice, apple-cider vinegar. If you are allergic to both, use a vinegar of your choice, a juice with some acidity, or water.

- Watch for flames, especially in the first 30 minutes and when the breast side is down. Before you start this meal, you may want to take this opportunity to do a big clean of the barbecue, scraping out the bottom and cleaning the grill of residual stuck-on food and grease that the brush doesn't always get. A clean barbecue will keep the fat from pooling which causes big flames for a prolonged period. You may also try carefully moving the chicken to a different spot on the grill so that it does not sit over the same flames for too long.

- If you do not have a barbecue thermometer, be aware the flames will cause the temperature of the barbecue to spike. When you get a lot of flames, especially when flipping the chicken, you can leave the lid open for a few minutes to bring down the temperature. After about 45 minutes, when the fat has mostly dripped out, you can turn up the burners just a little bit as the temperature may have dropped slightly.

Alterations If You Do Not Have A Barbecue:

- This sauce is delicious on oven-roasted chicken as well!


1 comment:

  1. Mmmmmm Mmmmmmmm Mmmmmm - can't wait to try this one. All ingredients on my favourites list.