Posts tagged ‘BBQ’

March 12, 2012

Wing Madness!

What does March Madness mean to you? If you are me, (thanks to my dad and my tenure at an ACC school) it means all basketball all the time! It also means an opportunity to make sports food to keep all of our snacking needs in check. This is something I actually first made for the Super Bowl this year and they were a huge hit! When I was buying wings, I picked up one bag and thought maybe two was a better plan, boy was that the right choice! They were gone in a hurry and I was pretty impressed with this especially for a first try. Like anyone, I love wings, but I don’t love the fried calories that comes with them. These are lightly smoked and then grilled and have so much flavor that I guarantee you won’t miss all the extra fat. For the smoking portion, I used Jack Daniels Wood Smoking Chips. Since I was a little short on time, this was a great option because they provided layers of flavor in one shot and were super easy even on our gas grill. I only smoked them for 25 min and then threw them back over the direct heat. I may try to smoke them a little longer next time, but they were great as is. We used Frank’s Red Hot BBQ Sauce this time because we had it on hand. Though I love the regular wing sauce, I think the BBQ is a little boring, so I threw a few extras in it (think a splash of Jack Daniels to go along with the wood chips and some Tabasco.) You really can use whatever sauce you like but this ended up not too spicy but lots of flavor. Grab some wings, wood chips and your bracket and get ready for the madness!


Smokey Grilled Chicken Wings

3 Dozen Frozen Chicken Wings

1 Bag Jack Daniels Wood Smoking Chips

Aluminum Foil

Frank’s Red Hot Wing/BBQ Sauce

2 T Butter

Salt & Pepper

Wrap dry chips in foil, forming a cylinder shape leaving ends partially open. Place foil wrapped chips on heated lava rocks and turn on the burners leaving the other burners off. Allow the wood chips to heat in the closed grill until you can see smoke.

Place the frozen wings on the cool part of the grill away from the direct burners. Allow to cook for about 25 minutes and cooked through.

Prepare the sauce in a large bowl adding the butter. Remove the wings from the grill and season with salt and pepper then toss with the sauce in the bowl adjusting the amount of sauce as you like.

Turn on the rest of the burners on the grill to medium high. Place the wings back on the grill and cook for 3-5 min on each side until golden and charred.

Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery and carrot sticks. Enjoy!!

August 12, 2011

BBQ Chicken Wontons

When we were kids, my mom, Mary, always had us involved in the kitchen. I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t help my mom or my grandma cook. It is such a good way to teach kids to be independent and creative in the kitchen. Although, I have to stay I still often call my mom for help reminding me how to do things. This is one of the first things Ali and I learned to cook together. I am not exactly sure how it came about, but I mom probably looked in the fridge and thought, “We have nothing to eat except some smoked chicken…oh, and these wonton skins.” So this lovely little creation was born. It is a little tedious to assemble, but that is the fun part of doing it with kids. We always made these pretty plain as kids, but I decided to kick this up a little bit with bell peppers and jalapeños. We eat these as an entrée with some sort of salad or veggie as a side. In this case, we made jicama slaw. It would have been delicious had I not mistaken cayenne for chili powder…oops. See, I still do need my mom! These would also be great as an appetizer or tapas for a party not to mention it would be a great way to use up your extra Beer Can Chicken. Try it out and let us know what you think!!


(With lot of help from

BBQ Chicken Wontons

1 Pound Chicken, Cooked and Finely Chopped (I use smoked, but roasted, grilled, etc. will work)

½ C. BBQ Sauce

1 Package Wonton Wrappers

½ Yellow Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped

¼ C. Pickled Jalapeños, Finely Chopped

1 Beer

1 C. Water

1 Egg White

Combine the peppers and jalapeños in a bowl. Set up the BBQ sauce, veggies, chicken, wonton skins, and egg wash as an assembly line. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waked paper. Take one wonton skin add a teaspoon of BBQ sauce to the center.

Add about one teaspoon of chicken and veggies.

Brush two sides of the wonton with egg wash and fold over into a triangle, making sure to press out as much air as you can and tightly seal the edges.

Repeat until all the ingredients are gone, laying each wonton out on the baking sheet and adding a new layer of parchment between each layer of wontons so they don’t stick together. Mix water and beer in equal parts and set aside. Heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat and spray with cooking oil. Add wontons to the pan so they are not touching.

Allow to brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side.

Reduce the heat to medium low and add the beer/water mixture so it covers the bottom of the pan and cover for about 3 minutes until the wontons are steamed.

We don’t actually have a lid to fit this pan, so here is my solution:

Remove from the pan to a warm plate and cover with foil (use the parchment to separate again).

Repeat with subsequent batches of wontons wiping out the pan in between if need be. (We used extra cabbage to separate the layers here.)

Tip: if the wontons stick after steaming, add a little more liquid to loosen. Enjoy as soon as the last batch is done! Using remaining BBQ sauce mixed with some teriyaki sauce sprinkled with some chopped green onions to dip.

August 10, 2011

Beer Can Chicken

During the winter we regularly roast chicken so that we have a healthy supply of homemade chicken stock and high-quality chicken to use during the week. Not to mention, it smells so good and homey with a chicken roasting. In the summertime, we can’t even think about heating up the kitchen like that. So what to do? Beer can chicken, of course! This is something new for us, but it will definitely become part of the repertoire. We did this on our gas grill, but I am looking forward to trying it over charcoal as well. Our grill doesn’t have a working temperature gauge so we just went with high heat since we were cooking two chickens at once. Another big bonus of cooking these outside is that the mess stays (mostly) outside. That means no cleaning of the oven. There are so many things you can do with this once it is cooked. The meat came out super flavorful, tender and moist. You can really put it in almost anything: salads, quesadillas, rice, pasta… By imparting the flavor through the steam from the beer, you get a ton of moisture! Plus, you can use whatever kind of beer you like. We used something we happened to have around, but there are so many good beers that would be great. Just like cooking with wine; use something you don’t mind drinking. I highly recommend trying this super easy technique!

Beer Can Chicken

1 Good Sized Chicken (Preferably a Roaster)

1 Can of Good Beer

2 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled

2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary

3-5 Fresh Sage Leaves

1 t. Paprika

A Few Shakes of Hot Sauce

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat your grill for about 30 minutes. Remove the giblets and neck from the chicken (if necessary) and rinse inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels then rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. (We made some hot spicy olive oil that we will tell you about later!)

Pour about 1/3 of the can of beer into a glass for the chef.

Add garlic cloves, hot sauce, paprika, and herbs to the beer can (leaving the herbs sticking out of the top of the can.)

Gently place the chicken onto the can so the can is resting in the cavity and supporting the chicken.

Tuck the wings back toward the back bone so the chicken is sitting nice and pretty. Make sure to adjust the seasonings on the skin if necessary.

Place on a broiler pan then place on the grill. You can place directly on the grill, but I think the pan helped prevent flare-ups.

Close the lid and cook for 1 hour- 1 hour 30 minutes checking partway through.

The chicken is cooked when golden brown and the temperature reaches 165° in the thigh.

Turn off the grill and allow to rest. Carefully remove the chicken from the can when cool enough. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later!

Kelly & Mary

P.S. These guys produced more smoke than expected, so keep that in mind if you are planning to enjoy your outdoor space while cooking.

P.P.S. Yes, that is a garlic roaster in the background. Roasted garlic is one of the best things ever!

May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Burger Bash

Memorial Day seems to kick off the BBQ season. We grill, not so much BBQ, though I’m thinking about getting a smoker. Here in Boulder, we have a hugely athletic community and our Memorial Day tradition is the Bolder Boulder. My husband, Jack (mowing the lawn above), runs with a group of disabled athletes called Beyond Limits. We like to celebrate both the season and all the men and women who have fought for country and paid the ultimate sacrifice. We never miss the Memorial Day Concert that airs every year on PBS from the steps of the Capitol. We stumbled upon it one year in D.C. and sat through a downpour to watch John Denver perform in one of his last performances. It is one of our favorite family memories. Thank you to all of those who serve our wonderful country!

Kicking off the “summer” season can mean a lot of things in Colorado, this year we had highs in the mid-fifties and snow in the mountains, but some years are HOT. We spent the weekend BBQ hopping and shopping for new plants to add to the garden. Check out our menu below. We will have more recipes and progress on the garden coming soon! How did you spend your holiday weekend?

Mary & Kelly



Condiment Bar including Homemade BBQ Sauce

Homemade Hamburger buns

Onion Jam with Habenero

German Potato Salad

Baked Beans




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