Monday, June 24, 2013

Wicked Beer Brined Drumstick Solo

God I love summertime. Even though it is blazing hot here in Texas, and I just got my electric bill for the past month, and after I picked my jaw off the ground, I still love it.  There's just something about grilling that makes me feel like the world is in order. Why? I have no idea. I'm not a philosopher. I guess it's sorta like religion, you don't have to be able to fully explain it to love it and respect it. Maybe that's the same definition of being naive...anyway, back to the grill.

I bought a pack of chicken drumsticks at the HEB the other day (all natural, organic, obviously), I think there's about 12-16 drumsticks. The package barely fit in my freezer! But so, I talked with Ellen and we are cooking these tomorrow on her grill and I can't wait. I made this brine that I am super excited about and can't wait to share with yall.  Like most of the brines I like, this involves beer of your choosing. Be aware though, that different types of beers will give your marinade a different twist. Today, I chose a New Belgium beer called "Ranger." It is an India Pale Ale that I love, and thought it might be nice with chicken.  I call this brine "Morgan's Sunshine Time."

Here is the recipe for "Morgan's Sunshine Time" Marinade/Brine:

1 or 2 22oz New Belgium Ranger IPA beers (use 1 for less less beer or if you are using less meat)
1/2 cup local honey  (I used my local honey that I got from Whole Foods...it's delicious)
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon dried onion (or 1 chopped fresh onion)
4 cloves of garlic crushed and diced
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 fresh sprig of rosemary (if not fresh, use 1 tablespoon dried rosemary)
1/3 cup olive oil
water

Directions: In a large stock pot, combine all the dry ingredients and the beer and stir to blend slightly. Then add about 32 oz - 64oz of water depending on how big your stock pot is, mine is huge so I used 64 oz of water (This is equal to about 2 regular Nalgene bottles worth of water). Stir, and bring the brine to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add the second bottle of beer and stir, make sure all the honey and salt is dissolved before doing anything else. Once, you have determined that, add a bunch of ice - probably about 3-4 cups of whole cubes to the pot. Then add the chicken drumsticks and let sit for anytime between 10-24 hours. I am doing 24 hours. You can put it in the fridge.

After the 24 hours, you should take the drumsticks out and place them on a tray or dish, and let them dry. You can pat them dry with a paper towel. You should do this about an hour before you cook them.

I chose to grill these bad boys, but I think you could fry them or bake them - the skin will turn out different I reckon, but still great.

Now, let the grill get hot for about 10-15 minutes depending on what kind of grill you are using. We used a gas grill and you want it to get up to about 325-350. Some people say 400, I think chicken is better cooked low and slow. Place all the chicken on the grill cook for 30-45 minutes, flipping them every 10 minutes. The honey will create a nice crispy skin that also locks in the moisture. Welcome to flavor town, population you.
See how nice?

Also, for your daily dose of greens, grilled asparagus is a favorite. Just marinate in some olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, and garlic. Grill about 15-20 min total on high heat, flipping half way through. 

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