Do you remember the last time you’ve grilled chicken breasts? No? Oh don’t get worried, your memory is just fine! You are in a good company – many people simply avoid grilling chicken breasts. Why? Well, for one simple reason – it often comes out dry as a desert!
In a whole chicken the breast is the leanest part, very low fat, and when grilling it dries almost instantly. So, since shortening cooking time isn’t an option here (unlike beef, chicken must always be “well done” – that’s a food safety matter), another obvious idea is to “push” extra liquids into the meat. Yes, you may use an injector, and by all means, if you’re in a hurry, do use it, indeed! However, there is a much simpler and basic way – brining!
Grilling or smoking for me is by far the most preferred way to cook fish. There’s something utterly primal in the combination of fish and fire, since, mind you, this is just the way our great great ancestors used to cook it, right after pulling the fish out of the waters… The sea was the taste, the smoke was the spice and the fire was the soul.
Salmon is one of the most noble creatures of the sea and it deserves the noble and most traditional treatment – open fire!
So, the chicken breasts… One of the cheapest cuts you can get, and one might think, quite simple to cook. But here’s the catch – this cut is one of the leanest ones as well, so, to keep it succulent and tender, you will find all kinds of marinating, brining and wrapping techniques suggested in the recipes. No, I am not saying these methods won’t work… On a contrary, they will, and you’ll most probably love the results, but… what if I told you there’s a way to grill an ultimately juicy and tender chicken breast completely fuss-free and ridiculously simple? Do I have your attention now? Good! Let’s go!
During the past few years I’ve been experimenting with different kinds of smoking and grilling – I was using mangal (a mediterranean version of the charcoal grill), grill, gas grill, water smoker, brazilian style parija… One thing I didn’t get into was the cold smoking. But now, when I did – wow, I love that! So today I will be showing my new UFO Cold Smoke generator and making a homemade cold smoked salmon and cold smoked cheese.
This chapter of the theory basics is dedicated to the condiments which, when used right, can make the difference between a good meal to a great one. Salsas, chutneys, pickles – all this can add that extra layer of flavour that will bring your food to the next level, literally.
Last time I spoke about marinades, glazes and bastes, liquids which help you get your BBQ-ed food ready for serving. Today I want to talk about how to make your dishes served with style and charm, and for that we use flavoured oils and BBQ sauces.
This is a first chapter in the series of BBQ basics posts, and today I am going to talk about rubs. These are mixes of dry or wet spices you can use for either curing the food before grilling, or seasoning it right before or at the time of grilling it. For me these are the very basics of grilled or smoked food!
I decided to open the English version of my blog with this post for a reason. Like in every other field, also in the kitchen you cannot control what you cannot measure. And measurements, when coming to cooking, come in numbers. How many times you tried to plan a BBQ party, or just any meal having lots of people invited, and found yourself the next morning having your fridge stuffed up to its ears with leftovers? Speaking about myself, been there countless number of times. So, after one of those occasions, I made myself to open a spreadsheet and worked out a way to plan a meal for any amount of people, making sure there will be no leftovers. Well, almost, cause, you know… one thing you cannot control and that is how hungry your guests are 🙂