Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Chili Cook Off at Khyber

January 29, 2011

I am divulging my secret before the cook off at the Khyber! Typically it is a bad idea to share secret recipes before a contest but since chili takes hours to cook so that the spices properly blend, I figured this would not really reveal anything to any potential competitors. Not that I would honestly expect competitors to review my blog in order to outdo me. Not that I expect to win the cook off either! That’s part of the fun.

I am not a fan of chili. I see it as a pile of meat in a tomato sauce with a bunch of spices. In researching recipes I confirmed my opinion. The challenge for me was to see if I could turn out a decent version of a standard dish that people would enjoy, rather than my usual experiments. The result? I relied on a standard recipe and did not stray too far from the normal path. More than anything, it felt like cheating, but how many unique variations of a classic can you really create? And aren’t they classics because people like them the way they are?


recipe inspired by Cooks Illustrated January/February 2011

  • 3-5 lb chicken
  • ½ c apple cider
  • ½ t tabasco sauce
  • 6 oz Kenzinger beer
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 dried chipotle peppers
  • 3 dried ancho peppers
  • 2 dried arbol peppers
  • ½ c dried kidney beans
  • ¼ c dried black beans
  • ¼ c dried chick peas
  • 1½ T corn meal
  • 1 t cocoa powder
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • ½ c chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 7 oz diced tomato (canned)
  1. Place the beans in a pot with at least twice the amount of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, cover the pot, remove from heat, and let sit for 2 hours.
  3. Rinse and dry the chicken.
  4. Place 3 chipotle peppers and two cloves of garlic in the cavity of the chicken.
  5. Tie the chicken up and roast at 450F for 15 minutes.
  6. Drop the oven temperature to 350F and continue to roast for 30 minutes.
  7. Combine the apple cider and tabasco sauce and baste the chicken.
  8. Continue to baste the chicken every 15 minutes until it is done (185F in the thigh).
  9. Remove the chicken from the pan and place the pan over a burner until the liquid starts to boil.
  10. Add about 6oz Kenzinger beer to the pan to deglaze.
  11. Strain the liquid and set aside.
  12. Carve the chicken and cut into 1&#quot; strips.
  13. Seed the ancho and arbol peppers.
  14. Chop the ancho pepper into 1" pieces and toast until fragrant.
  15. Combine the ancho peppers, arbol peppers, corn meal, cocoa powder, oregano in a food processor until well ground.
  16. Add 2 T chicken stock to the food processor to make a paste.
  17. Dice the onion and jalapeno and sautée until soft.
  18. Mince 2 garlic cloves and sautée with the onions.
  19. Combine the chili paste, onion mixture, tomatoes, stock, beans, beer and cider liquid, and chicken pieces, in a large pot or dutch oven. Bring to a boil then simmer 1½-2 hours.
  20. The chili is ready at this point but tastes even better if let to sit for a few hours or a day.

Barbecue Chicken

August 8, 2009

Classic, standard, and delicious. I think this is this fastest I have ever grilled anything. Middle of the week, I needed a fast meal, was uninspired, and low on groceries. I did what I could with the ingredients and time I had. What happened? Success! Delicious, satisfying success.

Barbecue chicken legs.

Barbecue chicken legs.

Barbecue Chicken

created on-the-fly by Sarah Johnson

chicken quarter legs
Williams-Sonoma spice rub *(see “Variations” below)
vegetable oil

BBQ Sauce
1 T canola oil
1/4 onion
1 garlic clove
1 t fennel seeds
1 T chili powder
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup sriracha chili sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup worcestshire sauce
2 T brandy
1/4 cup brown sugar

    BBQ Sauce

  1. Finely chop the onion and garlic and sautee in the oil.
  2. Add the spices and cook for about a minute.
  3. Add the liquids and brown sugar and simmer until thick and flavors have blended, about 15 minutes.
  4. Chicken

  5. Rub the spices on the chicken underneath the skin.
  6. Brush the grill with oil and grill the chicken indirectly, turning and basting with BBQ sauce every 10 minutes for about 40 minutes.

Variations and Credits
I used two recipes as inspiration for this barbecue sauce: Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Grilling cookbook basic sauce list and Patio Daddy-O’s Whiskey Barbecue Sauce. I would recommend using whiskey, but brandy was all I had on hand. The sauce has a lot of sweetness with a delayed spicy sting which can be adjusted by the amount of chili sauce.

*The spice rub was one that I purchased at William’s Sonoma which they no longer carry. However, I just guessed on the proportion of the ingredients listed on the box which are listed below in the order they appeared on the box. These can be adjusted to suit your spicy tolerance.


  • salt
  • garlic
  • worcestershire sauce
  • white pepper
  • paprika
  • onion
  • mustard
  • beet
  • dry tabasco flavor
  • cayenne
  • thyme

I also think I will add some orange zest next time. Perhaps a little lime juice too?

Grilled Chicken for Starters

May 16, 2009

I agonized for weeks about how to begin this blog. How should I organize it, what will my template be, who am I talking to… Then I had to make some chicken for dinner and was completely uninspired. I browsed through a cookbook or two and found my inspiration, not only for the meal but for this blog too. When the chicken was done it smelled so wonderful that I wished I could share smells over the Internet.  Instead, I decided to share this impromptu recipe as the initial post of The Messy Apron. Quick, simple, delicious. Enjoy!

Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken

2  boneless chicken breast pieces (one whole breast or two cutlets)
1/2 c  olive oil
1/2 c  white wine
2 cloves of garlic
2 T  tarragon
1 T  parsley
1/2 T basil

*all herbs are dried

Special Equipment
grill (or oven at 400F)

Slice chicken into strips to put on skewers. Peel the garlic cloves and squash them, do not chop them. Combine chicken and all other ingredients. Let sit in bowl for at least one hour. Grill until done, about 20 minutes.

I added mushrooms to marinate with the chicken and on the skewers. I would have added red onions if I had them. Nearly any vegetables would be good in this recipe. So would fresh herbs, but I’m not planting my herb garden for another two days!