Time for another summertime quick & easy BBQ recipe!
Last week I asked the kids for their fav Daddy BBQ meals. Kimmy was easy! Her fav has always been thighs and drumsticks with Mommy’s mac salad! I remember Kimmy standing on a milk case helping me turn the chicken when she was four or five.
So when she recently returned from two months in Ecuador, we asked what she wanted for her first home cooked meals. Number 1 was Monday Nite Pasta, her Mom’s homemade lasagna with spinach & cottage cheese. Lorie will share this heart healthy recipe when we are closer to cooler weather!
Second was Daddy’s BBQ Chicken, Kimmy Style, with Mommy’s mac salad.
Okay, let’s get grilling!
- 1 package chicken thighs.
- 1 package chicken drumsticks.
- Lorie’s Smart Balance Macaroni Salad.
- Kimmy’s Cabbage Salad.
- Sliced Seedless Watermelon
Preparing the chicken;
- I prefer using fresh chicken legs and thighs or frozen bags of legs and thighs from Sam’s or your butcher. Wash and rinse thoroughly. I par boil bone in chicken to ensure it is cooked properly to 165 internal degrees. It also ensures tender and moist chicken when you remove from the grill. I started adding ingredients such as, vinegar and garlic to my par boil years ago. It adds an amazing zing and taste to your finished Chicken BBQ.
- 1 Large Pot of Cold Water.
- 1 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar.
- ¼ Cup of Smart Balance Oil.
- 1 TBLS of Pepper
- 2 TBLS of Granulated Garlic.
- DO NOT ADD SALT*!
Bring water to boil, add chicken and cover. Boil for 20 minutes.
To keep a cooler kitchen in the summer, I prepare outside as much as possible, I boil the chicken, eggs, and pasta on my outdoor Camp Chef Cook Stove.
Anytime Lorie upgrades pots and pans I get the hand me downs for outdoor cooking. I boil outside in our original pasta pots from Sam’s that Lorie purchased in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the late 80’s.
Prepare Lorie’s Homemade BBQ Sauce;
- Tomato Sauce – 1, 29oz. can
- Tomato Paste – 1, 6oz. can
- Sea Salt
- Yellow Mustard
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Brown Sugar
- Brewed Coffee
- All seasonings are to taste. We like a very sweet/sour sauce, so the balance of vinegar, brown sugar, mustard and molasses is very important and can take a while to perfect.
- A good, “cheater,” or just for a bit of a kick, is salsa. We use medium or hot.
- For a real bite, add chipotle seasoning, chili powder or Cajun spice.
Mix all ingredients and simmer in saucepan for 20 minutes. I prefer to separate into two containers, one for basting and one for serving.
Tips & Tricks; Please DO NOT reuse any sauce you have basted raw meat or chicken with. Once you are done grilling any leftover sauce must be thrown away.
Preheat the Grill;
Another advantage of using a par boil on this recipe is you will not need a super-hot grill to cook the chicken to 165 degrees. I preheat my grill to medium high only. Also, keep a clean fresh water spray bottle by your grill; be careful with flare ups, usually this means your grill is too hot.
- Place the chicken on the grill.
- Sear 5 minutes each side.
- Baste and grill another 5 minutes each side.
- Reduce heat to medium.
- Baste and grill 5 minutes each side.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Baste and grill 5 minutes each side.
- Move Chicken off the heated section of your grill.
- Turn off all burners except one and allow the chicken to Rest for 5 minutes.
Remove and place on Serving Platter.
Another Summer Classic is Macaroni Salad; always best when prepared fresh! We use all fresh veggies from the market.
Okay, let’s get started; I prefer to boil 1 dozen eggs and boil the pasta in advance and place in the fridge to ensure it is nice and cold! I place the eggs in a medium saucepan and COLD water, set heat on high and set the timer for 18 minutes. When the timer goes off I remove from the heat and rinse in cold water. I add a cup of ice to the eggs and crack immediately.
Tips & Tricks; to shell the eggs use this old trick; crack the egg once on each end against the sink, then using your thumb, gently peel away the shell in one piece. Rinse in cold water and place in bowl. Also, fresh eggs are harder to peel. Use your oldest eggs when making salads and baking.
I boil the eggs and pasta outside on my Camp Chef Camp stove, during warmer months to keep the kitchen cooler. Boiling the pasta is very important, Lorie always says; cook between al Dante and mushy. Overcooked and you have a junk salad, undercooked and the sauce will get absorbed into the pasta. I use an over-sized pot and add a little Smart Balance oil and a dash of Morton Lite salt. Stir occasionally, do not over stir and break your pasta into pieces. When done, pour into colander and quickly rinse to cool down. Place eggs and pasta in a metal bowl in the fridge when finished.
Tips & Tricks: Metal absorbs the cold faster and will cool the pasta and eggs more quickly than plastic or Pyrex.
- Fill big pot with cold water.
- Add 2 tbls Smart Balance Oil.
- Add 1 tbls of Morten Lite Salt.
- Bring to boil and add pasta.
- Boil until done, then rinse in cold water.
- Place uncovered in fridge to cool.
- Chop 1 whole onion (we use red or white).
- Chop and dice 4 stalks of Celery.
The Sauce; (All amounts are approximate and to taste.)
- 1 Cup of Smart Balance “New” Omega Light Mayonnaise Dressing. (Non-Hydrogenated)
- ¼ Cup of Bread & Butter Pickles
- 4 TBLS of Bread & Butter Pickle Juice (or substitute apple cider vinegar)
- 2 TBLS of Ketchup.
- ¼ Cup of 1% Milk or Fat Free Half and Half.
- ½ TBLS of Sugar.
- 3 TBLS of French’s Yellow Mustard.
- Add Paprika & Ground Black Pepper.
We now use New Smart Balance Light Mayo; we were very impressed with the consistency and taste of this product.
The sauce is mayonnaise based but the, “secret,” is in the amount of yellow mustard you use. We like a lot! If you use vinegar increase the amount of sugar.
In a mixing bowl; add ketchup and mustard, whisk together, add milk or half and half to desired consistency. Half and half will make a much creamier sauce. Pour over the pasta and the eggs. Garnish with egg slices, a little black pepper and paprika.
Tips & Tricks from Lorie: Use this same recipe for potato salad. Also, add tuna fish and green peas and serve as a main dish. Serve large slices of Beefsteak tomatoes with low fat cottage cheese on the side and add a slice of watermelon and you have another summer meal!
Now your Summer Mac salad is complete, put a plate on top of the bowl and place in the fridge to keep cool.
Kimmy’s Summer Cold Cabbage Salad;
- 1 head red cabbage chopped.
- 2 large carrots chopped.
- 3 beets chopped.
- 1 sweet apple chopped.
- 2 avocados diced.
- 1 tbls diced fresh ginger
Emeril Lagasse Honey Mustard Dressing;
- 2 tablespoons honey.
- 2 tablespoons Fat Free Dijon mustard.*
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar.
- ½ cup Smart Balance Oil.*
- 1/4 teaspoon Morten Lite salt.*
- Freshly ground black pepper.
*As I usually do with Emeril recipes, I have changed the ingredients to be more heart healthy. You really cannot be heart healthy with any Dijon Honey mustard recipe however; this will knock the calorie count down to around 30 for 2 tbls.
In a large salad bowl, toss together the ingredients.
To make the dressing, in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the honey, mustard and vinegar. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, and whisk until all the oil is added and the mixture is emulsified. Add the salt and whisk together. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Toss the salad with the dressing, to taste, adding about 1 tablespoon at a time. Sprinkle with pepper, and serve immediately.
We have been very lucky in Arizona this summer with great tasting watermelon from California and our local growers.
Easy as pie, two ways to serve!
- Use an ice cream scooper and make watermelon balls and place in serving bowl.
- Cut thick watermelon wedges and place on a big platter.
Always a crowd pleaser young and old alike!
That’s it; you have just prepared a great BBQ Chicken dinner for the entire family!
Keep Grilling America!