And Now the 12th Day of Christmas

Twelve Drummers Drumming. “Come they told me Pa-rum pum pum pum. Our newborn King to see, pa-rum pum pum pum.” Originally titled “Carol of the Drum”, this popular Christmas song was written in 1941 by American composer Katherine Kennicott Davis. It would not be recorded for another 10 years.

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Barbecue Chicken with Golden Eagle Sauce

Hubby’s family came up with Golden Eagle Sauce. It’s been a family recipe for decades. If you want to learn the whole story of Joe and Nelda Goodwin and the Golden Eagle Tavern, be sure to check out my recipe for Country Ribs.

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Good Ol’ Texas Barbecue Chicken

One of the things I truly love about summertime is all that awesome family cooking. I love the weekends with my guys. Hubby is the true Grill Master of our backyard domain. I am a master as sauces and sides. Together we make a great cooking team.

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Barbecue Chicken and Vegetable Foil Packs Be it Summer or Winter

The beauty of these moist barbecued Chicken Breasts (besides cooking up with the veggies) is that you can grill or bake your little packages of flavorful delights. The prep work is minimal, a little chopping, slapping on the sauce and folding the foil packets. Then it’s just a matter of cooking indoors or out.

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Sweet Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken

The weather is still beautiful. Perfect for some late season barbecuing on the old trusty grill. Let’s face it, nothing beats meats cooked over an open fire. It has got to be one of our favorite methods of cooking. I especially like grilled foods because Hubby gets involved. I just adore it when we cook together. It is one of the most romantic, intimate things a couple can do together.

I came across the original recipe for Carolina Style Barbecue while strolling through Mary Yonkin’s blog – Barefeet in the Kitchen. I just love the name she’s given to her blog – it sounds so down to earth and inviting, don’t you think?

Anyway, we gave her recipe a try about a year ago, and have made it several times since – with a few alterations along the way. You know me, I can’t resist tinkering with recipes. Mary’s original recipe called for 6 pieces of chicken – 3 legs and 3 thighs. I’ve doubled that, and in so doing doubled the marinade as well. Her recipe uses a lot more Dijon Mustard (1/3 cup in a single batch of marinade), while I’ve cut that way back. If you are a fan of Dijon, go for it. Hubby thought the Dijon was a bit too strong the first time around, so I’ve played with the amount to find a happy medium before coming up with the current version of the recipe. Mary has you soak the chicken in half the marinade, reserving the other half for basting while cooking. I pour it all on and skip the basting. The other difference is that I let the chicken sit on the counter for about an hour before grilling over a nice bed of coals.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to letting food sit on the counter to “warm” before grilling – one says it makes no difference, and that letting food come to “room temperature” isn’t safe. The other swears that allowing the food to warm allows for a more even cooking, and that letting the food sit out isn’t all that risky. Personally, we have found that taking the chill off the meat does make for easier grilling. I wouldn’t do this with ground meats or sea food – but it’s fine for large cuts of meat such as tri-tip or bone-in meats – be it steak, chicken or even pork. If you aren’t comfortable letting the meat rest on the counter before grilling, skip that part. Whatever works best for you, your grill and cooking style is fine.

This recipe renders a chicken that isn’t too sweet or spicy (despite the use of brown sugar and Sriracha). The Dijon mustard isn’t overwhelming – giving a little kick to the flavors. The chicken is moist and oh so delicious. My guys rave about how great it tastes – and that’s always a good thing.

Sweet Carolina Style Barbecue Chicken
6 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided (3 tablespoons per batch)
9 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided (4 1/2 tablespoons per batch)
2/3 cup brown sugar, divided (1/3 cup per batch)
2 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (1 tablespoon per batch)
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (3/4 teaspoon per batch)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
6 chicken legs
6 chicken bone-in thighs

Season all the chicken well with salt and pepper. Place legs in a gallon size Ziploc bag, thighs in another. Spread chicken out so that the bag lays flat and the chicken is in a single layer.

In a small bowl, whisk together half of remaining ingredients for the marinade. Pour the marinade into one of the bags, turn to coat evenly. Repeat with the remaining marinade ingredients. Pour into second bag. Let chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours. DO NOT marinade overnight, as the vinegar will react with the chicken if left too long and “burn” the meat.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and place bags flat on the counter for an hour before grilling. While the chicken rest on the counter, build a nice fire in the grill for direct cooking. Make sure the grate is clean and freshly oiled to prevent chicken from sticking.

Once the coals are ready and the chicken has warmed on the counter, place chicken directly over the fire. Raise the grate or lower the coals, however your barbecue is build, so that the chicken isn’t so close to the coals that it burns. Grill 15-20 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces.



To view Mary’s original recipe; follow this link:

September’s Summer and Backyard Barbecues

It’s mid-September and summer is lingering just a bit longer. It’s always nice to get a few extra days, or even a few extra weeks of grilling season. Those beautiful days of Indian Summer are special and deserving of more than just barbecued hamburgers and potato salads.

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Del Diavolo Pollo Alla Griglia – The Devil’s Grilled Chicken

Hi everyone. I wanted to take a moment to share a wonderful grilled chicken dish. This chicken can be cooked on the grill (best) or on rainy days, it can be broiled in the oven.

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Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with a Smokey Orange Sauce 

Now that the summer sizzle has arrived in full-force, we’ll be cooking outdoors whenever possible – even if that means a lot of burgers and dogs for quick, after work suppers.  And let’s not forget the awesome Street Fair Sausage – one of the biggest reasons we go to all these little fairs in the first place. Street Fair Sausage is a post and a story for another day. Whenever possible, we will be doing our weekend cooking outdoors as well. I’m looking forward to some childhood treasures such as my Dad’s awesome Kabobs or Mom’s Filipino Barbecue, but then those too a subject for another day. Right now I want to chat up a “new” family favorite . . .

Today it’s all about grilled chicken and smokey goodness. This Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with a Smokey Orange Sauce was first published in Taste of Home back in 1993. It is an award-winning recipe. While I did not mess with the ingredients; I have modified the rubbing instructions to take full advantage of the flavors, giving the meat a more thorough saturation.

When it came time to grill the chicken, Hubby tossed the instructions right out the window. The instructions said to grill the chicken uncovered for 20 minutes, turn, baste and grill 30 minutes longer. He shook his head and I could tell his gut told him differently. I’ve always been a firm believer in following your instincts. So I let Hubby do his thing. His technique rendered a piece of chicken that was moist and rosy with deep smokey goodness right down to the bone.

Overall the spice rub did not make the chicken spicy as in “hot” – it’s spicy as in a lot of flavorful. Some of the best chicken I’ve ever tasted. Just be sure to have plenty of big napkins – it’s messy. Good and messy – just the way barbecue should be!

Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with a Smokey Orange Sauce 
Ingredients – Chicken
1 Package Chicken Legs (6 Legs)
1 Package Chicken Thighs (6 Thighs)

Rinse chicken well and pat dry. Set chicken aside on a wire rack to “air dry” while the rub is made.

Rub the chicken with the rub both under and over the skin. Allow the rub to really flavor the meat of the chicken.

Gently pull skin back on legs and work rub directly onto meat. Pull skin back over legs, rub skin.

Turn thighs skin-side-down. Work rub directly onto meat. Lift skin, continue to work rub onto meat, then rub into skin.

Ingredients – The Rub
2 tablespoons onion powder
4 teaspoons salt or salt substitute
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Pinch cayenne pepper

In a small bowl, mix spice rub ingredients; reserve 1 tablespoon spice rub for sauce.

Place the rubbed chicken back onto the rack and let rest, soaking in the rub. While the chicken is resting, prep the grill.

Once the coals are heating in the chimney, make the Smokey Orange Sauce. (Recipe follows).

Ingredients – The Smokey Orange Sauce
2 cups ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 tablespoons thawed orange juice concentrate
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce. Stir in the reserved spice rub; taste and adjust as needed.

Set sauce aside until ready to baste.

To Grill the Chicken: Grill chicken skin-side-down both covered and uncovered over medium heat in intervals of 5 minutes for a combined cooking time of about 20 minutes. This allows smoke to build up in the grill while keeping fire flare-ups under control. After chicken has been grilling about 20 minutes, turn chicken; baste with sauce. Continue to grill chicken both covered and uncovered for about 30 minutes longer, basting frequently with the sauce. Grill chicken until the juices run clear when pierced.

Turn chicken, baste underside grill for about 10 minutes more. Remove chicken from grill. Transfer chicken to serving platter, tent and let rest about 5 minutes for juices to settle.

Serve and enjoy. This dish goes well with corn on the cob and wedged potatoes.

Note from Hubby: Grill times may vary depending upon grill temperature. Keep an eye on the chicken and adjust accordingly. 


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