So in this post, I decided to take on my arch nemesis, the chicken. I figured if I fail at cooking the whole bird, maybe if I only cook parts of the bird I can succeed.
Chicken and I have a torrid past. It is odd because in a lot of ways this bird is a staple of life. Chicken is on everything and served everywhere. Chicken is in salads and on pasta. The reality is, it is a versatile meat...and one which apparently everyone can cook but me. And this is where chicken and I part ways.
See, I don't have anything against chicken when it comes to eating, only cooking. Sure I think the bird has probably gotten a bit used up. I mean it would be great to go to a wedding with a real meal and not this plain old chicken breast sitting there. But whatever, I still enjoy it.
Now in kitchens and on grills across the country, every novice is serving up the bird flawlessly. I mean really, it is a chicken breast, not a brisket, right? Yet every time I have tried to make it, I fail. So I figured now I have more skill, let me do the simple and take on the plain chicken breast.
Don't think my reasoning for this cook was purely grudge based. The reality is I want to enjoy BBQ more than the weekends, while not having the time to cook. So I figured, if I could grill up a set of fantastic chicken breasts, I could be eating those all week long. Hell, I could put it on salad or pasta of my own.
So I did it, I bought a pack of chicken breasts and I was committed to making this work. Despite this being an exceedingly simple cook to most, I needed to consult the great Oracle of Mikey for guidance. His guidance was also exceedingly simple. Not that I expected it to not be, but still, there had to be some secret. If it was this simple I should be able to do it. Somewhere along my many battles with chicken I had gone done some wormhole believing that I failed because the breasts were too thick and thus impossible to cook unless I beat the shit out of them with a hammer first.
So like I said, I was still a little surprised at the simple advice. 250, rub them, cook until they get to 145, then finish on the coals. For the rub, I decided to go with Historic BBQ's Red. For smoke, I went with just a kiss of cherry. So now I had a plan.
I rubbed all the breasts with a little olive oil and then the Historic Red Rub. I fired up the kettle got her to a steady 250 and it was time for this epic battle to begin. Even though this was chicken, I tried to pretend this was just like every other cook I have done. I stayed on task and watched the temp hit 145. I finished them up on the coals and brought them inside.
I will admit I was super nervous biting into this chicken, far more nervous than anything else I cooked. It looked great, but I could not help but think that despite its looks the chicken had bested me again. To my surprise, it tasted great. It was cooked perfectly!
More than just cooking another BBQ meal, this was my first attempt at letting my weekend cook feed me throughout the week. It worked great. All week long I had a base in which I could easily throw together a great lunch. There is something very enjoyable about taking out a lunch based in great BBQ, even if it is a left over.
So while I have not conquered the chicken completely, successfully cooking chicken breasts is a huge step in the right direction. One day soon I will face off against the bird and I will be victorious!
Until next post, remember kids.....CHUNKS not chips!