Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Disappointing Meal

June 1, 2014

Sweet and Tangy Barbecued Chicken
Steamed White Corn
Fresh Fruit Salad
Newcastle Brown Ale/Vella Chardonnay

Sweet and Tangy Barbecued Chicken from Cook's Illustrated

Sometimes meals don't meet my expectations. This is often not the fault of the menu or the recipe or even my cooking skills, but rather of my expectations. You can get your hopes up for a particular meal based on the menu or recipe or recommendation or seeing it on TV and then not be satisfied with the result, no matter how good the meal is. I don't think that's the case for this meal. I was expecting chicken with a nice tangy and sweet sauce. However, the first thing we noticed biting into the chicken was that the sauce was spicy hot ... not real hot or unpleasantly hot, but enough to distract from the sweet and spicy. The second thing we noticed was that the chicken was too salty for our tastes. It wasn't all bad, though, not a total disaster, the chicken was tender and juicy and the skin had rendered nicely. We probably won't use this recipe again.

The recipe for "Sweet and Tangy Barbecued Chicken" came from the July 2013 issue of Cook's Illustrated.  It sounded good and looked delicious on the America's Test Kitchen (ATK) TV show. (As I was working on this post, ATK posted a link to the TV show on Facebook.) I bought a whole chicken plus two additonal legs at Whole Foods. Sunday morning I mixed up the dry rub, which included a fair amount of salt, coated the chicken, and put it into the refrigerator for about 7 hours. The chicken cooked on the gas grill over direct heat long enough to brown each side. It was then moved to the cool side of the grill which had a disposable pan of water between the burner and grates to further temper the heat. The recipe suggested it would take about an hour to finish cooking but after 90 minutes it wasn't quite up to the final temperature when my patience ran out and we ate it. The only lesson learned is that I should have made the cool side of the grill be nearer the thermometer in the lid of the grill to get a better indication of the temperature near the chicken so I could better adjust the heat.

I had cooked the corn in the microwave oven assuming the chicken would be done on time. As a result, no only was the chicken disappointing but the corn, having to sit so long after being cooked, was also less than ideal. The fruit salad was good as we are starting to enjoy the local summer fruits. It consisted of of Granny Smith apple, pineapple, orange, fresh local peach and plum, and banana.

Thank you to those who commented on my previous post. I have replied to everyone's comments and enjoyed the dialog. Keep the comments coming!

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