Sunday, September 1, 2013

Get Your Grill On!

Getting ready for Labor Day?
For sure, we celebrate Labor Day by going to our city's parade.  Love the high schools' marching bands!  We also stoke up the grill!!!  Here's a couple of hi-lights on our Labor Day menu.

The first thing we will be cooking is actually called beer butt chicken, but I call it beer can chicken...much more polite sounding.  So you need one of these contraptions and can get one at the home improvement stores in the grilling section.
Beer Can Chicken Grilling Rack

You will need a whole chicken, a can of beer and your chicken rub.  After rinsing off a whole chicken and discarding the chicken parts on the inside, you are ready to go.  Place the beer can in the center compartment of the beer can chicken grilling rack.  Wow!  That was a mouthful.  Next, push the chicken down onto the beer can.  Yes, it is like the chicken is squatting.  The image cracks me up every time. :)  It's like I am a first grader...well, good to be one at heart.  Now it is time to massage your spice rub all over the chicken.  To make the rub,  I just mix together some crazy salt, Cajun seasoning and pepper.  Get ready to rub it all over that chicken.  Outside and inside...ALL OVER.  Up in the neck cavity, stuff a peeled onion.  This helps to keep the heat on the inside of the chicken too.  He's ready!
Place the whole unit on a med. high grill, off to the side so that the chicken has indirect heat.  Here's how it should look.  Pretty funny, right?

Beer Can Chicken (Before)
 Grill for about an hour and a half.  The beer actually helps the chicken cook from the inside!  How cool is that?  Let it rest on your counter for 10 minutes before you start removing the meat.  The meat will literally fall off the bone when it is done.  It will be so flavorful! The beer can will have done it's job!  Delish!  Could I have just rivaled the best BBQ joint in town?  Probably not, but I can pretend!!!  This is the final product after grilling.

Beer Can Chicken (After)
Look at this bad boy!  Flavorful, grilled goodness.  He's done and it looks like he's going walk off the grill.  Notice his one leg and his wings?  Looks like he is in a walking position.  I know, it still cracks me up!

Anyway, I will also be serving a loaded potato salad.  It's loaded, so it's gooood!

Loaded Potato Salad
What's not to like with this potato salad?  Not much!  Here's what you do.  Place 3 lbs red potatoes in a pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil and boil just until fork tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain and cool.
Slice the potatoes into wedges and add 1 pkg of bacon bits and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  Toss gently.
In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup mayo, 1 cup reduced fat sour cream (I am trying to be healthy), 1/2 cup of buttermilk, 1/4 cup chopped chives, salt and pepper to taste.  Once mixed, toss this mixture with the potato mixture.  Cover and refrigerate until your chicken is done.  Basically you are dumping and mixing.  Easy!

For dessert...Chocolate Covered Cream Puffs and Fruit Kabobs
Chocolate Covered Cream Puffs and Fruit Kabobs

A yummy, sweet way to finish off the meal.  Blueberries, strawberries, marshmallows and chocolate covered cream puffs all skewered to make a fun and delicious way to end your Labor Day meal.  Were you aware that these chocolate covered cream puffs even existed?  Man, I have been missing out!  This will be a perfect ending to our Labor Day celebration.  Light and cool.

So here is a sneak peek at what I will be serving on Labor Day without too much labor involved.  I know...what about a vegetable with the meal?  Or a fruit?  Whatever I can find at the farmer's market will accompany the meal and help me celebrate the end of summer.

Hope you have take time to celebrate the little things that make life sweet!


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