Only I could so quickly screw up something on a first attempt. The attempt? Barbecuing. Finally we bought a bbq this past weekend and I was so excited about trying it out. J had already made burgers and steaks and so it was my turn. I decided to make barbecued chicken from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa. I carefully prepared the sauce the night before and marinated the chicken. The next day we decided that the chicken would make a good late lunch. so I pre-heated the barbecue, wiped the grill down with oil to avoid sticking, put the chicken on the grill skin side down, closed the lid and turned down the temperature. I checked on the chicken 4 minutes later and it was burned to a crisp. The skin had turned into a black papery cover similar to the outside of a marshmallow after it has been deliberately lit on fire. Very discouraged I moved the chicken up to the top rack, removed the skin, re-basted and continued.
I really should’ve taken a picture of it then, because this is proof that cooking disasters can be overcome. The chicken actually turned out really good, super juicy and tasty – it would’ve been perfect with a crispy skin but at least I have a challenge for next time. So what did I learn? Well, I learned that I should make sure the temperature is actually low before closing the lid. I also learned that maybe I shouldn’t start out with the skin side down – and if I do I should give it a quick sear and then move it up top. Plus the lid doesn’t have to be closed at all. I also learned that I like BBQ sauce – I figured if anyone could help me appreciate the flavour Ina could. I find most prepared sauces to be far too sweet. I have had amazing bbq once, outside of Seattle in a little dive operated by a couple from Lousiana where the bbq was so spicy you hurt for days. Ina’s isn’t that but it is very tasty and you can easily adjust the spice level since you make it yourself. I made a half recipe and froze half – you really don’t need that much. Plus we tried it on steak last night and it also stood up to the challenge well.
(You can find the recipe here on the Food Network’s website.)