Here are several blog posts I did back in May from my 'Perfect BBQ Grilled Chicken Chronicles'. It's an affordable idea for a party or get-together. Grill up the chicken in advance, use my aluminum foil technique outlined below, then unwrap and reheat during the party. This eliminates you spending an hour babysitting all that chicken while everyone else is enjoying themselves.
The Ezekiel Diet Blog
May 8, 2014
really love perfect BBQ chicken that tastes like it just came off the
grill at the exact right time for moist, tender, fall off the bone meat
even in the depths of the thicker breast piece.
You could say
I'm an expert in who does it right, and who gets it wrong. Most BBQ
chicken places like Sonny's or Rib Country (chains in the Southeast)
consistently get it wrong. They grill the chicken and then let it sit
around and dry out, maybe for days. And, the all-you-can-eat specials of
BBQ chicken, is normally just a ploy to get rid of old, dried out,
nasty two day old chicken. Place more than one reorder, and they're
delivering charcoal brickets that used to be BBQ chicken to your table. I
got to where the only time I ever went to a Sonny's BBQ for chicken was
on their all you can eat specials on a Saturday or Sunday, where they
were forced to turn enough chicken that it all came out fresher, but
There's only been one BBQ place I've ever done
business with that consistently produced that perfect moist, tender,
fall of the bone tasty delicious BBQ chicken every time I've ordered,
regardless of the time of day, busy, slow, didn't matter. And that's
Shane's Rib Shack. http://www.shanesribshack.com/
normally drive right past Rib Country and a Sonny's BBQ or two, for up
to an hour each way, to buy a half BBQ chicken meal, with sweet potato
fries (no salt), and fried okra (no salt), at a Shane's Rib Shack.
was so impressed by how they could possible do this consistently every
time I finally went to the back and just asked the question....."Excuse
me, but I have a question, what are you guys doing different with BBQ
chicken that allows you to put out perfectly moist, right off the grill
delicious product every time? I've never seen anyone who could do this
consistently like you can. What's the secret?" And they told me.
go through the normal brine solution soaking like we've discussed here
on this blog, then they grill the chicken until almost done, probably 40
to 50 minutes. Pull it off the grill, let it cool, and here's the
secret.........they wrap the half chicken as tight as possible in
aluminum foil making sure to eliminate all the air around the bird.
Then, when someone orders a half chicken BBQ meal, they unwrap it, throw
it back on the grill for 10 to 15 minutes, slather it in BBQ sauce, and
serve it hot like it had just been grilled for an hour, and pulled at
the exact right moment for absolute BBQ heaven perfection.
to smile, this just proves what I've always said...."the difference in
success and failure is almost always very subtle." Imagine that, a
simple step, wrapping the chicken tightly to eliminate air that dries
With that said, I've been thinking about doing the
same thing at home. When I grill a couple chickens, lets make some
leftovers, and use this aluminum foil technique to keep it perfect when
Stay tuned, same station, anytime, I'll let you know how that works out.
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The Ezekiel Diet Files
May 10, 2014
A couple days ago I blogged about Shane's Rib Shack, the only BBQ place that could consistently serve absolutely perfect BBQ chicken every time,
regardless of time of day, busy, slow, didn't matter. Their chicken was
served perfect like it had been on the grill for an hour and was pulled
at the exact right time for perfectly moist, mouth watering BBQ chicken
heaven. Their secret was wrapping almost cooked chicken tightly in aluminum foil
to protect the bird from air. I considered this would also work at home, so I'm conducting a test.
the 2 day old grilled chicken (picture above) I wrapped very tight to
eliminate all the air for this experiment back on the 8th. My first
observation is it looks remarkably good for a 2 day old chuck of
chicken. It has a slight layer of chicken fat gel evenly covering the
I lit the grill and heated the chicken for about 10
minutes. And YES! Unequivocally, this is the secret to perfect leftover
chicken. This is perfect chicken. The trick is to keep pre-grilled
chicken free from air by wrapping it as tightly as possible in aluminum
two of my new sauces, Vidalia Onion Finishing Sauce on the chicken (18
calories 80mg sodium tbsp), and Honey Dijon Marinade on the grilled
sweet potato (10 calories 100 mg sodium tbsp). That's Bolthouse Honey
Mustard on the Tomatoes.
This is a great trick for a BBQ, party,
or other get together where you don't want to spend an hour tending a
hot grill when everyone else is relaxing. Pre-grill the chicken almost
done, wrap it tight and just heat it back to perfection 15 minutes
before needed. Woo hoo!
Tin Foil Conspiracy Chicken is Better Chicken.....
Grilled Half Chicken on the Ezekiel Diet
recently bought a 4.94 pound Harvest Farm's All Natural whole chicken
(cleaner brand) on sale from $1.88 a pound to $1.29 a pound. Total $6.33
for the whole chicken. I've never grilled a half chicken so I had to
look for directions online. This one listed below looks good and clean,
from Tammy's Recipes site http://www.tammysrecipes.com/grilled_half_chicken
chicken pictured below is soaking in a brine solution of filtered
water, Himalayan sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder for 2 to 6 hours in
the fridge. The broth colored brine solution is from the sea salt,
pepper, and garlic powder thoroughly mixed prior to adding the chicken
halves. The chicken was thoroughly washed before adding to the brine
Since this has to grill for 50 minutes on a low/medium
heat I'll also try grilling some 1/2 inch thick slices of sweet potato
to make a steak fry similar grilled sweet potato pucks. Maybe on the
upper rake away from the intense heat.
Mon, 2011-07-18 06:25 by Tammy
A whole chicken, cut in half and grilled for a tender, moist, rotisserie-like chicken!
6 servings (varies depending on size of chicken)
1 whole chicken (4-6 pounds), cut in half
4 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
1. Brine chicken by placing the chicken, water, salt, garlic, and pepper in a non-metal bowl in the fridge for 2-6 hours.
2. Drain chicken and rinse under cold water. Let stand for 30 minutes
at room temperature. Preheat gas grill on high (or prepare charcoal
3. Liberally coat chicken halves with oil. Lightly season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and paprika.
4. Place chicken skin-side-up on pre-heated grill grate and close the
grill lid. Reduce grill temperature between low and medium-low. Grill
for 50-70 minutes or until internal temperature at the densest point is
Optional: Grill chicken skin-side-down for the last 5 minutes for lovely grill marks on the outside!
The grilling time will vary depending on the size of your chicken,
how cold the chicken was, how hot your grill gets, how many times you
open the lid, etc. so it is very important that you measure the internal
temperature of your chicken.
The Ezekiel Diet Files
May 17, 2014
From The Food Lab: How to Grill a Whole Chicken
[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]
- Perfect grilled chicken should have crisp, crackly, blistered
skin all over its entire surface with no soft spots, no pockets of
blubbery rubbery fat.
- Perfect grilled chicken should have breast meat that is moist and
tender with none of the chalkiness or stringiness overcooked chicken can
- Perfect grilled chicken should also have leg meat that is cooked all the way through but not tough.
- Perfect grilled chicken should be presented as cooked—no cheating by
cutting the chicken into parts. We're here as much for the great
presentation as for the awesome flavor.
- Summer is a time for spontaneity, so perfect grilled chicken on a
hot summer evening should not take all night to prepare. No overnight
brining, drying, salting, or any tricks like that.
The problems with grilling whole chickens are similar to the problems
with roasting whole chickens. Firstly, getting the entire oddly-shaped
beast to cook evenly is a chore, particularly because breast meat
shouldn't be cooked past 145 to 150°F if you want any moisture left in
it, while leg meat needs to be cooked to 165°F or beyond (that is, if
you don't like eating pink chicken). Secondly, getting fatty chicken
skin to render both its fat and moisture so that it can crisp up
properly—and more importantly stay crisp—requires a bit of acrobatics.
I've always been a chicken-griller (it's my mom's most requested
meal), but the past couple weeks have been a little insane. In an effort
to pinpoint exactly what factors make a difference, I've grilled a dozen Cornish hens, ten fryers, and six roasters,
using methods ranging from a whole bird cooked over an indirect fire,
to vertical grilling (beer can chicken-style), to make-shift
rotisseries. Low heat, high heat, and everything in between. Here's what
Best Prep Method: Butterflied
I've extolled the virtues of butterflied chicken
in the past for oven-cooking applications, and I'm happy to report that
it is just as successful for cooking chicken on the grill. How does it
work its magic?
The most important thing that butterflying does is that it exposes
the legs and thighs. With a whole chicken, the thigh joints are
underneath the chicken's back, insulated by plenty of fat and bone. They
take a long time to cook. By the time they reach the requisite 165 to 170°F, the breasts of the chicken are well beyond overcooked.
By butterflying the bird and pressing it out flat, the legs and
thighs become the most exposed part of the chicken. They pretty much
automatically cook faster than the breast meat, meaning that you can get
both breast and leg meat that's finished cooking—and therefore at its
juiciest—at the exact same time.
After cutting out the backbone and flattening the bird, I find that
running a metal or wooden skewer through its thighs and breast will keep
it level and make it easier to maneuver on the grill.
Best Fire To Use: Two Level
There are two end-goals when cooking chicken on the grill. The meat
needs to cook through to the center, and the skin needs to be well
rendered and crisped. The order in which these two goals are best
achieved is up for debate, and something I'll address in the next
For now, we can agree that the goals are not necessarily in harmony with each other.
See, for the moistest, juiciest meat, slow, gently cooking is ideal.
The hotter a chicken cooks at, the bigger the temperature differential
between the very center and the exterior. At very high temperatures, the
outer layers of a delicate chicken breast will overcook, turning dry
and stringy before the inner layers even have the chill taken off of
On the other hand, crisp skin requires some degree of high heat. The
process of skin crisping involves first removing moisture and rendering
excess fat, followed by setting and browning of proteins. This last
phase requires relatively high temperatures to achieve.
What this means is that in order to get both end results, you need the adaptability of a two-zone indirect fire.
That is, a fire with all the coals piled up on one side. This gives you
a cooler side to cook gently on, and a hotter side for crisping.
Hot Then Cool, Or Vice Versa?
Conventional cooking wisdom tells us that we should start our meats
over high heat, browning the exterior and building up a crust before
finishing it off gently to cook through. This approach is based largely
on the outdated notion that "searing locks in juices," an idea that is
so patently false that you should immediately question the value of any
friend who tries to foist the idea on you.
I cooked two chickens on the exact same grill side by side. One I
started over the hotter side of the grill, cooked it until crisp, then
transferred it over to the cooler side to finish cooking. The other I
did the opposite: cool side until it was within a few degrees of its
final temperature, followed by a brief crisping session directly over
Pockets of un-rendered fat between legs and breasts
Even before tasting or weighing the cooked chickens, I noticed that
the bird that I started over the hot coals took significantly longer to
crisp than the bird I started over the cooler side. This extended time
over the hot coals is bound to lead to more unevenly cooked, dryer meat
in the end (weighing the birds for moisture loss confirmed this—the
hot-then-cool bird lost about 3% more moisture than the cool-then-hot
This is because when you place a cool bird over hot coals, it can't
actually start crisping up until much of the moisture and fat are
rendered out of the skin. With the chicken started on the cooler side of
the grill, this rendering occurs as the chicken is slowly cooking, so
that by the time it hits the hot side of the grill, there is very little
moisture and fat left in the skin, allowing it to crisp extremely
Uneven browning and rendering in a hot-start chicken
Not only that, but the bird started over the hot side didn't crisp up
evenly. Even as the skin on the breast was threatening to burn, there
were still pockets of un-rendered fat in the leg joints.
The cool-then-hot chicken, on the other hand, browned and crisped evenly all over.
So we know that a two-level indirect fire with the chickens started over the cool side and finished on the hot is the best cooking method.
The last question I had was whether skin-down, skin-up, or a
combination of cooking methods is the best way to get the crispest skin.
After cooking through another half dozen birds, one thing became clear: If you want crisp skin, you must finish the cooking skin side down.
Once the skin is crisped, flipping the bird back over is a death
kiss;moisture and steam rising from the meat will quickly turn even the
crispest skin soggy within a matter of moments.
I found the ideal method is to cook the chicken over the cooler side
of the grill skin-side-up with the legs facing the hotter side of the
grill (to give them a little jumpstart on cooking). Once it reaches
within 15 to 35°F of its final serving temperature, you'll notice that
the skin around the breasts and legs has already dried out and tightened
up, indicating that its moisture loss and fat rendering are complete.
A quick flip to finish over the hot side of the grill is all it needs
to reach crispy perfection. By pressing down on the back of the chicken
with a stiff spatula, you can make extra-sure that all the skin gets
good contact with the hot grill. (Just make sure you keep the grill
covered—an uncovered grill has too much access to oxygen, leading to fat
drippings that can combust and leave a sooty acrid deposit over you
perfectly crisp chicken skin).
You want the summary version? Here you go:
Butterfly your chicken, season it well, start it skin-side-up on the
cooler side of a two-zone indirect fire, cook it to within 25 to 35°F of
your final serving temperature, flip it skin-side-down over the hotter
side of the grill, and cook until crisp and cooked through. Rest,
carve, and serve.
We'll be featuring a different grilled chicken recipe every day this week, starting with the simplest!
Final question: how does chicken size matter? See the next post......
See original post HERE
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--------------------------------------------------The Ezekiel Diet Files
May 17, 2014
just stumbled onto this "All Natural" cleaner chicken at a WalMart in
Georgia. This is a local brand. The birds are probably fed GMO feed so
"All Natural" just means cleaner, not clean. But at a $1.18 a pound I
did a double-take. That's about $4 to $5 for an average 3 to 4 lb whole
chicken. I estimate about 6 servings without the skin. Or a meal for a
family of four. If you're cooking for tin foil wrapped leftovers, get
that 6th serving by cutting the wing off a couple inches back into the
front of the breast.
So I flipped through the pile of chickens
looking for small birds that might grill up closer to 4 servings, and
found several. Like 2.5 lb chickens for $3. That's actually larger than a
Cornish hen, and smaller than a standard chicken. About like the middle
chicken pictured below.
I'm trying this new Butterfly cut for
grilling. These about 2.5 lb and about $3 small chickens similar to the
middle chicken pictured below.Pickin' Chickin'
Head to your average supermarket and you'll find three to four
different size classifications for chickens. they're all great for
different purposes, and choosing one depends largely on your end goals.
Fast, Easy, and Extremely Juicy: Cornish Hens
Cornish Game Hens, contrary to their labeling, are never game, and not necessarily even hens. They
are chickens under a month of age weighing under two pounds with at
least one parent being a Cornish breed. For all intents and purposes,
they're just really small chickens. They feature meat that is extremely
tender and juicy, though not particularly flavorful.
However, a grill adds plenty of flavor on its own, so the flavor
issue is not a big deal. Cornish hens have the advantage of a vastly
simplified and expedited cooking method: Because of how small and
innately juicy they are, you can cook them directly over the hot coals
from start to finish without bothering with a two-level fire at all. I
start them skin-side up, then flip them a few minutes in, letting them
completely cook through skin side down.
In under half an hour start to finish, you've got crisp, juicy,
tender chicken in convenient single-serving portions. It's my go-to
choice for an easy chicken dinner from the grill. I can fit up to six
Cornish hens on my grill at the same time.
Meaty, Good For The Whole Family: Broilers and Fryers
Broilers and Fryers are the next two sizes up and
are the most common chickens sold in the U.S. 6 to 8 weeks in age, they
have a good balance of flavor and tenderness, and are sized just right
to feed four.
I can fit a couple of fryers on my grill at the same time, making them ideal for larger dinner parties.
Best For Barbecue: Roasters
Roasters are the largest, coming in between 6 to 8
pounds. The carcasses of mature chickens (at least 3 months old), they
have a more pronounced flavor than their smaller counterparts, but are
also more difficult to cook evenly because of their large volume.
Cooking a roaster is an exercise in patience. It can take up to 45
minutes or so on the cooler side of the grill before it's ready to be
crisped up. This means that if you're the type of cat who likes to add
some wood chips to their grill for some intense barbecue flavor, this is
the chicken for you. Slow cooking gives it plenty of time to soak up
that smoky flavor.
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--------------------------------------------The Ezekiel Diet Files
May 17, 2014
WalMart $1.18 a pound. $3 to $4 a whole chicken.
are three $3 small chickens, using the new butterfly cut method for
grilling. These three chickens were soaked in a brine solution of Real
brand Sea Salt, Garlic Powder, dehydrated garlic crystals, and chicken
seasoning for 6 to 8 hours. I also dusted them in a garlic and herb
seasoning after this picture was taken.
butterfly cut method is superior because it flattens out the leg and
thigh to grill on both sides, instead of being tucked in next to the
breast where it's hard to get that thigh and drum meat to 165 degrees
without drying out the breast. Breast meat is perfect at 145 degrees.
grilled this directly over two burners on low heat for 25 minutes with
skin side up, with two burners to the right on high. Then flipped the
birds to skin side down on the hot side (two burners on high) for
another 10 minutes to get this golden brown skin color. I was also able
to get the thigh/drumstick easily up to 165 degrees.
I think I'm ready to open the Perfect BBQ Chicken joint.
are 12 leftover servings of pre-grilled chicken using the Shane's Rib
Shack perfect BBQ chicken method of wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil
to protect it from air that will dry it out. The smaller chickens
should give me servings in the 4 to 6 oz range. That's only .75 a
serving hard cost. These convenient packs can be taken to work as well,
just unwrap and heat on the same foil. You just need a $25 toaster oven
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