Red White and Blue-BQ Bash

Better than the beach or backyard, this backdoor BBQ will get you thinking twice about sitting in all that holiday traffic…

So for all those working through the weekend or simply stuck in the city for the holiday- this one’s for you:

A magical metropolitan evening courtesy of my electric grill and a whole lot of imagination.

Begin with warm nuts (easily warmed with a pinch of 5 spice blend in a foil pack on the grill) and grilled olive martinis. Then dive straight into all the comforts of a country BBQ.

Smothered with a stone fruit bbq sauce, this bbq chicken is just as it should be: sweet, smoky, and a touch spicy. Pair it will sesame cabbage slaw and a Pale Ale Potato Salad. A squeeze of lime, and an ice cold beer will help you get through the extra serving of bbq sauce you won’t be able to resist, but if you feel like this festive occasion calls for something a bit more serious, pour your guests a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir from the Willamette region.

And a patriotic party deserves and plentiful table- mix formal blue and white china with informal towel napkin and striped straws. Have fun with flag decor and flowers in red, white, and blue.

So c’mon- quit complaining already! Create your own Country-Style Cosmopolitan celebration tonight.

Red White and Blue-BQ
Serves 4

Stone Fruit BBQ Chicken
4 organic chicken breasts
salt and pepper

Stone Fruit BBQ Sauce
2 cups plum, peach, pitted cherries, chopped
3/4 cup ketchup
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 dashes Worcestershire
1 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp molasses
2-3 pinches cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lemon
cracked black pepper
sea salt
old bay seasoning

1/2 bunch fresh picked and washed tarragon leaves
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

1. In a small sauce pot, saute garlic in a scant amount of olive oil to sweat to translucent. Off heat add all remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook to soften fruit and combine flavors 10-12 minutes on medium heat.

2. Let cool slightly and divide sauce into 2/3, 1/3. Process the 2/3 portion of sauce in a food processor or blender just to puree fruit. Check seasoning and let cool. When cooled, pour over chicken breasts and let marinade covered at room temp for 30 minutes, or in the fridge for the day (6-8 hrs). Cover unprocessed sauce and reserve for serving.
3. Heat gas grill (or electric in my case) to 400 F. Brush with canola oil. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of old bay seasoning. Sear chicken on the grill, cooking about 4 minutes per side.

4. After placing the chicken on the grill on it’s first side, bring the used marinade to a boil in a sauce pot. Let simmer for a minute, and turn off heat. Use this to continuously baste both sides until the chicken cooked and glazed with grill marks.
5. When cooked, tent chicken with aluminum foil and let rest for 4-5 minutes before serving.

Pale Ale Potatoes
1 pound red potatoes (about 25)
2 tablespoons whole grain beer mustard
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup pale ale beer
1 tablespoon+1 tsp soft brown sugar
salt +pepper
canola oil

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, simmer and cooked potatoes until cooked (until a fork inserted into a potato comes out clean).

 2. Drain in a colander and slice some potatoes in half (you can leave some whole or slice all it is up to you). Pour a few drops of olive oil and ample salt and pepper over the potatoes and mix to coat.
3. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the brown sugar in the pale ale, mixing with a whisk. Add the mustards and mix to combine. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and stir to coat. Add a little additional dash of salt and pepper, and reserve covered until ready to serve.

Red Cabbage Sesame Slaw

1/2 head red cabbage
2 tablespoons grated red pepper (or a very fine julienne)
2 tablespoons grated spring onion
1/4 cup grated cucumber
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon +1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
handful dried sweetened cherries
salt and pepper

1. Place the vinegar and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to dissolve sugar. Add the sesame seeds, salt and pepper, and whisk in olive oil gradually to combine. Add cabbage, pepper, cucumber, and spring onion and mix to coat. Sprinkle in the cranberries and let sit covered in the fridge for 1 hour.

To serve:

You can serve these dishes family style or simply plate the chicken on top of a mound of the slaw, arranging the potatoes around. Drizzle with a little extra of the pale ale mustard, and finish with a sprinkling of tarragon leaves and a lime wedge.

Darcy Jones

1 Comment

  1. July 3, 2011 / 4:05 pm

    Stunning! Now if only it will stop raining in time for the 4th…

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