Monday, July 4, 2011

Some Damn Good Chicken


I apologize for the directness of this title's post, but that's all I could think of when I tasted this chicken!  There's something about grilled BBQ chicken that just screams summer and deliciousness (is that a real word?!).  It also makes me think of the 4th of July, which makes this posting quite appropriate!

This was my first attempt at grilling a whole, butterflied chicken and I will definitely be grilling chicken using this method more often.  It's fairly simple to butterfly a chicken (see video) and even easier if your butcher will do it for you!
I urge you to try this method - I am positive you'll love it and want to grill chicken this way all the time.

2 1/2 - 3 pound whole chicken, butterflied
Salt and pepper
BBQ sauce - I used my top secret Maker's Mark recipe!

Preheat grill to about 500℉.  While grill is heating, salt and pepper the chicken on both sides.  Once the grill is heated, place the chicken skin side down, close the lid and cook until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Turn the heat down on the grill to around 400℉.  Turn the chicken over and cook for about 20 minutes with the lid closed.  Baste the chicken with BBQ sauce and turn over to baste the other side.  Cook for another 10 - 15 minutes and flip one last time.  Baste the chicken with some more sauce and cook for another 5 minutes.*  Remove the chicken from the grill and loosely cover with foil for about 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute.

*Cooking times may vary.  The times listed are based on the temperature of my grill and the size of the chicken.  Chicken should be cooked to about 160 - 165℉.  Remove chicken from the grill when your thermometer reads 150 - 155℉ as the chicken will continue to cook as it sits.  If you don't have a thermometer, slice a thigh and breast.  If the juices run clear, the chicken is done.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Pumpkin Oat Pancakes

I think I mentioned the last time I posted a pancake recipe that I really, really love pancakes.  I also really, really love pumpkin.  This morning I decided to make pumpkin oat pancakes as I have a four mile training run ahead of me and I wanted something that would stay with me during the entire run.
A lot of people think to use pumpkin only in the fall, but pumpkin is a great low fat, low calorie food and it adds a great flavor to pancakes.  Canned pumpkin is a staple in my pantry and I use it year round.  I love using it since it adds no fat and I can feel better about inhaling a stack of pancakes!  :)
I noted that this recipe serves five to seven.  Since oat and wheat flours are used, the pancakes are a bit heavier and more hearty than say, buttermilk pancakes.  The recipe makes 15 pancakes and I figured two pancakes would make a good serving since they are on the heavier side.  However, this morning I had three since I am using my training run as an excuse to eat more!  :)
One great thing about these pancakes is they freeze well so you can make a batch over the weekend and warm them up during the week to have a quick, healthy meal on the go.

Pumpkin Oat Pancakes
Serves: 5-7

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour*
1 cup canned pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) 
2 egg whites
1 3/4 - 2 cups of nonfat milk
1 T molasses
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice

Preheat a griddle or skillet and spray with nonstick spray.  To tell when the griddle is ready for use, I use a tip my mom taught me when growing up - Splash the griddle with a bit of water.  If the water sizzles, dances and evaporates, the griddle is ready. If not, it still needs to be warmed.
Add the dry ingredients to a bowl.  Add in the pumpkin, molasses and egg whites.  Start by adding 1 3/4 cups of the milk.  Whisk together and add more milk as needed.  You want the batter to be thin enough to easily pour onto the griddle, but not so thin that they'll run all over the griddle.  I used almost two cups of milk to get to the right consistency.
Once it's heated, pour the batter onto the griddle.  I find it easiest to use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop. It makes more evenly shaped pancakes and it's just less messy than using a ladle.  A 1/3 cup measure also does the trick.  Since these pancakes are a bit heavier than others, you can't use the bubble test to know when to flip them (top of pancake is covered in small bubbles).  I find they take about two minutes and then they're ready to flip.  You can lift one up and check for doneness.  If they're a golden brown, they're ready to flip.  If not, give them another 30 seconds or so and they should be ready.  Cook for another two minutes until done.  A good way to check if they're done is by lightly pressing on the center of a pancake.  If it springs back, it's done.
I served my pancakes with fresh blueberries and a bit of maple-agave syrup.  During the week, these would be great smeared with almond butter - Sort of a pumpkin-almond butter sandwich.  I would even serve these with some pumpkin butter, but I am definitely a sucker for 100% maple syrup!


*I made my oat flour by placing steel cut oats in a food processor and pulsing until the oats were finely ground.  You can also buy oat flour but I figured since I already have oats in the pantry, it would save me money by just making my own.

Nutrition info (based on three pancakes):

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 199 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
Trans Fat 
Total Carbohydrates 
Dietary Fiber 
Vitamin A 156%Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 24%Iron 18%
Nutrition Grade A
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet