Our area has experienced a tremendous amount of humidity and thunderstorms this summer and this past week offered little relief. I’ve been trying to fire up my grill for the past several days, but due to the weather I had to keep postponing. Yesterday evening, as I finally set up my grill, I could hear thunder not far off in the distance. The wind picked up, the sky darkened, but I was determined to cook outdoors anyway. I decided to take my chances, continued setting my stump chunks afire, and hoped that the coals would be hot enough before any likely rain set in. Luckily I only felt a stray drop or two and the breeze was actually a pleasant relief from the heat. With suds in hand I sat out on my deck, watched the sky rapidly churn from blue to ominous gray then back to blue again, and breathed in the electrified, charred corn scented air. The free show Mother Nature provided before dinner was a relaxing bonus to an evening spent joyously manning my grill and dinner turned out rather delicious.
Grilled Smoked Paprika Chicken
4 to 6 bone-in, skin-on good quality Chicken Thighs, or cut of choice
3 tbsp Smoked Paprika, or to taste
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1 to 1 1/2 tsp Peanut oil, or oil of choice
Note – chicken thighs are a fairly tender and flavorful cut of meat without any additional prep. However, if you love brining as much as I do here’s the brine recipe I use. To one cup boiling water add equal parts sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved and turn off heat. Add any additional flavorings as desired such as liquid smoke, citrus, peppercorns, dried chilies, and herbs. Allow brine to cool completely, pour over chicken, and add additional water as needed until chicken is fully submerged. Brine at least two hours up to overnight.
Prepare a charcoal grill. Toss chicken until well coated in the oil, Smoked Paprika, salt and pepper. Set aside. Once the coals are white hot, sear the chicken skin side down on the hottest section of the grill about 5 minutes or so. Remove chicken, flip skin side up, and continue grilling on the coolest section of the grill 30 to 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees. Serve immediately with your favorite sides.
Balsamic Fig Zucchini
1 large Zucchini, cut in half then each half sliced lengthwise
1 tsp EVOO
1 tsp Balsamic Fig Vinegar
Salt and Black pepper to taste
In a shallow casserole dish, whisk the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper until well combined. Place the zucchini skin side up into the oil/vinegar mixture. Allow zucchini to marinate at least 30 minutes. On a hot charcoal grill, sear the zucchini skin side up until the zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes moving the zucchini as necessary to avoid burning. Serve immediately.
4 to 6 locally grown, non-gmo Corn cobs
The night before you intend to grill place the cobs in a food grade bucket or stock pot and completely submerge the corn in water. Allow the corn to soak at least 24 hours. Once a charcoal grill is hot, char the corn 30 to 45 minutes moving occasionally to avoid burning. Carefully remove the corn from the husks, remove corn silk, and discard the husks and silk. Serve immediately as is or with butter, salt, pepper, and/or seasonings of choice. We like to sprinkle on a bit of Tony Chachere’s Bold Creole seasoning.