It's been busy around our apartment the last three or four weeks. We're not used to so much commotion. Nearly every weekend has been filled with friends visiting, celebrating something, mostly eating.
We had a little cook out for Independence Day and I thought I'd share the "recipe" for the grilled chicken we shared. It was truly the best grilled chicken I have had, and was really simple to prepare. Well, I guess I have to say prepare because thats about all I did. I am feeling myself more drawn to cooking outside over open flame though, perhaps because I just finished reading the first section of Michael Pollan's new book "Cooked" in which he highlights "Bbq" and points out that for some reason women leave grilling or "Bbq" to men. The tiny feminist in me started shouting "I can grill too. Im going to grill this chicken!" but then I handed the marinated chicken strait to Xavier, happy to have one less thing to worry about getting on the picnic table. So, this isn't really a recipe because its just a few things tossed together willy nilly and then thrown over an open flame, and there are countless versions of it available online anywhere else.
Buttermilk Grilled Chicken
3 lbs various bone in, skin on, free range chicken parts,
-or- one whole cut up chicken*
2 - 3 c buttermilk
A huge bundle of thyme
A large smattering of smoked spanish paprika
-rinse off the chicken in cold water, set aside.
-prepare marinade by throwing everything else in a huge bowl and stirring a few times. just throw all the thyme in there, don't even worry about picking off all the tiny little leaves, just toss it it.
-put the chicken in the bowl, smush it around a few times to get the marinade into all the little crevices and ensure that each piece gets coated
-cover and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours while you do something
more involved, like make buttermilk ice cream with the rest of the buttermilk in the carton.
-remove the chicken form the marinade, pat dry and transfer to whom ever will be grilling.
-have a beer and wait for your chicken.
We served it with some cilantro & lime corn, grilled asparagus with toasted almonds & crème fraîche (my new favorite ingredient to secretly eat out of the container at night) dressing, cornbread with chili butter and a fingerling potato salad. Xavier also, for some reason unknown to me, put a couple of my homemade meatballs (the ones that make my son so terrifyingly strong) in some sauce and on to a sheet of foil and put it on the grill. I guess he wanted some meat balls with his grilled chicken, husbands are weird.
How was your long weekend? Id love to hear.
Thanks for reading!
*I have a love hate relationship with chicken. Not the animal itself, but the whole industrial farming (specially poultry) industry. It might sound ridiculous, but I refuse to buy only specific parts of the chicken. It's too expensive, wasteful and honestly a little creepy to me. I don't care if that makes me seem like a overly zealous, elitist, foodie, hipster, (which I have been called before) I vote for a better environment and for animal welfare with my money, even if I don't have a ton of it hah! I probably wouldn't eat meat if I wasn't married to someone who enjoys it so much, but life is about compromise! (As in if you want me to make you a meal based on animal protein you damn well better expect it was happy animal and were eating lentils for the rest of the week!) It's not a new concept, but I do really love the movement I'm referring to here. I look for packages of whole cut up chickens, or buy the whole chicken in tact and ask the butcher to cut it up for me for free. The price per pound is incredibly reasonable for "happy chickens", a.k.a free range, preferably locally raised chickens who ate bugs and grass and are not covered in feces. Not only can you get a better price for the bone in, skin on chicken, you can also save the bones, cartilage and skin (if you don't get it all crispy and devour it like my husband does) and make a serious stock, which you can then use to make soups or sauces (or in the lentils hah). That makes me feel a little better about eating the chicken in the first place, that every single part is used and nothing is left for waste.