When the weather gets warm, I head outside to cook. Grilling season is here! Recently I’d eaten an entire meal of grilled food in Spain. And Memorial Day is a good time to pull off the cover and blow the dust away. The grill is your new best friend.
Grilling meat may seem daunting if you’ve never done it, so rest assured you can use a grill almost the same as you would an oven. Many recipes have directions for both an oven and a grill, and you can also use rubs, sauces and marinades to season any type of meat: beef, poultry, pork, lamb and more. All it takes is a little research and recipe hunting.
I started my summer grilling by using this Coffee-Spiced Rub recipe, which is perfect on ribs as shown in the recipe. But I wanted to grill a whole chicken using this rub, so I modified the cooking time since chicken has a lot less fat than ribs.
(covers 4 pounds meat, shown on ribs at top)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons NESCAFÉ TASTER’S CHOICE House Blend 100% Pure Instant Coffee Granules or NESCAFÉ CLÁSICO Pure Instant Coffee Granules
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
COMBINE sugar, coffee granules, salt, garlic powder, coriander, pepper and cocoa in coffee or spice grinder; cover. Process until smooth. Lightly rub meat with oil. Sprinkle with rub mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere to the meat.
To learn how to grill a whole chicken, I turned to YouTube; it looked so easy! I had a whole chicken and some beef brisket as well, and I still wanted to use this recipe’s method of first slow cooking the meat over beer or wine, then grilling it to perfection at the end. Plus, I was dying to use a handcrafted pecan beer I got at the local beer festival – in the South – to perform this duty.
Since I was cooking chicken and brisket, the meat only needed about an hour in the oven at 250 (it made the house smell so good!) then I put it on the grill to finish the cooking and crisp up the outside. The leftover beer plus drippings in the bottom of the oven pan smelled so good, I used it to make a sauce.
For the sauce:
Pour the liquid from the pan under the meat through a sieve into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and add a bit of butter. Cook until it reduces by about half and serve alongside the meat.
For my next backyard dinner, I decided to marinate and grill a whole chicken. The marinade in this Chardonnay Marinated Chicken recipe captured my heart and I set to work. I doubled the amount of chardonnay to almost cover the chicken, and created a custom herb mix made from every herb growing in the garden around my house, including rosemary, thyme, parsley, lavender and mint. I also used good, local olive oil and large sea salt. Turning the chicken in the marinade a few times during the evening made me lick my fingers! I couldn’t wait to eat it.
To grill, I followed my handy YouTube instructions, and it turned out perfectly cooked. 15 minutes before the chicken was done, I added zucchini, asparagus and broccolini to the grill. This went great with warm spicy-vinegar potato salad, grilled veggies and salad to fill every last bit of space in my guests’ tummies.
My grill is now the most popular kid in town.