Tag Archives: Chicken

Holy Barbecue Chicken, Batman!!

I had chicken thighs.  I had BBQ sauce.  Lots of BBQ sauce.  And I have a Weber kettle.  Let’s cook some chicken!!

Bok bok bok!

Bok bok bok!

As you can see above, I took a value pack of chicken thighs and trimmed them up just a little bit.  I then seasoned the thighs both under the skin and on the skin with Draper’s BBQ A.P. Rub.

Seasoned Thighs

Seasoned Thighs

On to the grill they go!!  They were cooked skin-side down for about 5-10 minutes, then they were flipped and sauced.  Because this was a test cook for me, I ended up using several sauces.

Sam Dog Yellow Dog & Johnny Harris Carolina Style

Sam Dog Yellow Dog & Johnny Harris Carolina Style

Texas Tamale Co. Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce and Famous Dave's Devil's Spit

Texas Tamale Co. Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce and Famous Dave's Devil's Spit

Instead of my normal breakdown of individual sauces, I decided to do a foursome for this week in one post.  I’ll keep it short and simple for summarizing each sauce.

Johnny Harris Carolina Style Bar-B-Cue Sauce

Johnny Harris Carolina Style Bar-B-Cue Sauce

First up is Johnny Harris Carolina Style Bar-B-Cue Sauce from Savannah, GA.  As you can see from the picture above, the sauce has a yellowish gold color to it. A naked taste reminded me of a pale spicy mustard.  It didn’t really wow me.  It did just okay on chicken.  Again, nothing overly amazing.  But if you like a safe mustard based sauce, you may like this.

Texas Tamale Co. Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Texas Tamale Co. Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Next up is Texas Tamale Company Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce.  This sauce had a nice dark red color.  The flavors in the sauce emphasize savory more than sweet.  This could be a very versatile sauce, and I could really see this as an ingredient in someone’s prize-winning chili recipe!  Works great as a condiment too.

Famous Dave's Devil's Spit BBQ Sauce

Famous Dave's Devil's Spit BBQ Sauce

The next sauce is Famous Dave’s Devil’s Spit BBQ Sauce.  Just by looking at the label, you can venture a guess that this sauce has some heat to it.  And it certainly does not disappoint!  The sauce has flavors of molasses and pepper on the front end, and the heat comes up on the back end.  It’s potent, so if you’re averse to sauces with heat, you’ll want to avoid this one.  And when it’s cooked, the heat is even sneakier.

Sam Dog Yellow Dog BBQ Sauce

Sam Dog Yellow Dog BBQ Sauce

The final sauce is one that I have previously reviewed but decided to have again.  This sauce is Sam Dog Yellow Dog Barbecue Sauce.  This sauce won 1st place at the 2011 National Barbecue Association Awards of Excellence, and it’s very obvious why!  This sauce is a perfect blend of sweet, mustard, buttery, and rich flavors.  You would almost never guess that this was a mustard-based sauce.

Since this is my first time reviewing sauces using this format, I’d love to hear your feedback.  Do you like this style?  Or do you like seeing your sauces reviewed one at a time?  Let me know!

Review: Country Chef Honey Grilling Sauce

I’m a firm believer in Mike Espey’s line of Country Chef Grilling Sauces.  They stand out from other sauces because they really emphasize freshness in their flavor profiles.  I’ve done a couple of reviews on this line of sauces which you can view here and here.  Today let’s check out the Country Chef Honey Grilling Sauce.

NAKED OBSERVATIONS

The sauce pours out very thick, and you immediately notice the different spices and ingredients.  This holds true to how Mike constructs his sauces, emphasizing the freshness of the ingredients.  The color is consistent with a homemade tomato sauce, which works in the context that he is presenting the sauce.

I took a taste, and this sauce holds true with the other sauces in this line that I’ve tried so far.  This is a very non-traditional sauce in terms of consistency and taste, but it is very pleasant.  Again, it tastes very FRESH!  I could taste a very faint touch of honey, but it does not overpower everything else going on in the sauce.

TO THE MEAT OF THE MATTER

Yep… it’s that blasted chicken again.  This is the third and final sauce I used in the big test cook I performed over the weekend.  I trimmed up six chicken thighs and seasoned them with chicken rub from Bandiola Spice Co.  After grilling the thighs for 10 minutes skin-side down, I flipped them and sauced them.  The thighs using the Country Chef Honey Grilling Sauce are the two to the left of the mustard.

After about 20 additional minutes on the grill, I pulled them off the Weber kettle and plated.  While they were resting, I decided to grab a quick picture.

When I took a bite of the chicken, my taste buds started dancing in my mouth and jumping for joy.  The sauce really enhanced the flavors that were already present in the chicken.  The honey was more prevalent after cooking on the chicken than when tasting alone.  All in all, an excellent sauce!

You can find Country Chef Grilling sauce on Facebook.  I’m not sure if there is a website yet for this line of sauce, but you can connect with Mike on the Facebook page.  As far as I can tell, you can purchase six jars of sauce for $35.94 shipped to anywhere in the US.  This comes out to be $3.50 per jar plus shipping, which is a great deal!

Review: Doomer’s Hot & Spicy “Q” Sauce

Not too long ago, I did a review on Doomer’s Original “Q” Sauce.  When Todd sent me this sauce to review, he also sent his other two sauces — Dark and Hot & Spicy.  Today you’ll see what I think about his Hot & Spicy Sauce.

Naked Observations

Like the original Q sauce, Doomer’s Hot & Spicy “Q” sauce pours out not quite as thick as a typical Kansas City style sauce.  However, it’s a bit thicker than a pure vinegar-based sauce.  It has a nice dark red color.  You can also see specks of pepper and other spices in the sauce.

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Swatch

When I tasted the sauce, I again got the contrasting flavors of sweet and tangy working together.  The black pepper was definitely present and on the forefront.  However, unlike the original sauce, there was some noticeable back heat.  It was not terribly overpowering, but I definitely knew it was there.

To the Meat of the Matter

I actually tried this sauce in a couple of different manners.  The first was about a week or so ago.  I picked up a BBQ pork sandwich and some mac & cheese from Rock Store BBQ and brought it home.  I used Doomer’s Hot & Spicy Q Sauce on there.  In this picture, you get a better feel of the consistency and thickness of the sauce.

The sauce worked nicely on the sandwich.  It blended down into the meat, thus allowing some of the flavor to be distributed more.  The heat was noticeable but not overly prevalent.  Again, I definitely tasted pepper.

The second time to use this sauce was on some chicken thighs as part of a cook to try out multiple sauces.  I took some chicken thighs, trimmed them up some, and seasoned them with chicken rub from Bandiola Spice Co.

The thighs are then put on the Weber kettle grill skin-side down for 10 minutes (using Kingsford charcoal and wine-infused oak from Greenleaf BBQ).  Afterwards, I flipped the thighs and sauced them.  The thighs sauced with Doomer’s Hot & Spicy Q sauce are the two that are to the left of the ones sauced with the mustard-based sauce.

After about 20 more minutes on the grill, I pull them off the grill and plate them.  And I have to admit… I really, REALLY liked the look of the thighs with the Doomer’s Hot & Spicy Q Sauce.

I was very pleased with how these thighs turned out.  They had a great color.  The meat was very moist and tasty.  There was a little bit of heat, but nothing overly overpowering.  All in all, a nice flavor.

If you are interested in finding out more about Doomer’s Hot & Spicy “Q” Sauce or about any of the other sauces, you can go to http://www.doomersonline.com.  You can also find Doomer’s on Facebook and Twitter.

KLB’s “That’s Good Mustard” BBQ Sauce

A couple of months ago I won a bottle of KLB’s “That’s Good Mustard” BBQ Sauce in a Twitter giveaway.  I finally had the chance to do a big product test cook this past weekend, so let’s take a look at this mustard sauce from South Carolina!

KLB's "That's Good Mustard" BBQ Sauce

KLB's "That's Good Mustard" BBQ Sauce

The BBQ sauce is the creation of Kevin Bobo.  As a lot of you may know, a good portion of South Carolina is known for their mustard-based BBQ sauce, and Kevin’s creation embodies that style.  The sauce claims to work on virtually any meat — chicken, pork, beef, venison, even mahi mahi!

Naked Observations

The sauce comes in a 17 oz. bottle, so you definitely get your money’s worth from the bottle.  It is a golden color, leaning more towards yellow that some other mustard-based BBQ sauces I have used.  It pours out nice and thick, and you can easily see the various herbs and spices that are used throughout the sauce.

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Swatch

When I took a taste of the sauce, there was no doubt whatsoever that this was a mustard-based sauce.  This sauce is really bold by itself.  The mustard is predominant, but it isn’t completely mustard.  The other spices help mellow out the sauce and take a little bit of the “zip” out of the sauce.

To the Meat of the Matter

Chicken.  Lots of chicken.  With my wife being out of town for the evening, I decided to do a product review test cook.  Overall, I ended up using 6 chicken thighs and used 3 different sauces on the meat.  The thighs were trimmed and seasoned with chicken seasoning from Bandiola Spice Co.

Chicken Thighs seasoned with Bandiola Spice Chicken Rub

Chicken Thighs seasoned with Bandiola Spice Chicken Rub

The thighs went on the 18 1/2″ Weber kettle grill where I grilled them for 10 minutes skin-side down.  Then I turned them and applied the sauce.  As you can see in the picture below, I reviewed three different sauces.  You can probably guess which ones had the mustard-based sauce.

Thighs on the grill

Thighs on the grill

Twenty minutes later, I pulled the thighs off of the grill and let them sit for between 5 and 10 minutes.  You can see below how the color of the sauce darkened some, and it looked quite nice on the meat.

Yummy thighs

Yummy thighs

I took a bite, and it was simply amazing!  The mustard flavor blended perfectly into the chicken.  No one particular spice overpowered another, and everything worked in perfect harmony.  This sauce is the real deal!

The “That’s Good Mustard” BBQ Sauce can be ordered for $4.99 plus shipping from the company’s website (KLBFoods) at http://www.klbinc.ws/KLBs_BBQ_Sauce.  If you are in the Charleston area, you can find this sauce at a few local retailers.

Why worry when you have Chicken Insurance??

Chicken Insurance.  The name certainly catches my attention!  Anytime you see a product that uses Insurance as part of its name (which now I think about it… I think this may be the first for me), it had sure better be good.  Does Chicken Insurance marinade from Easy Peasy Foods live up to the challenge?  Read on…

Chicken Insurance

Chicken Insurance

The man behind Chicken Insurance is the founder of Easy Peasy Foods, David Moncur.  Moncur got tired of using the same old Italian dressing to marinade chicken, so he made his own.  Both the Chicken Insurance marinade and Barbecue Insurance BBQ sauce both make the claim of 100% natural ingredients.  Now on to see if the Chicken Insurance can back its claim or if it’s just a “junk policy”…

Naked Observations

The marinade is an oil-based marinade with a dark color.  When pouring it out, you can see visible bits and pieces of (what I presume to be) garlic distributed throughout the marinade.  So make sure to give the bottle a good shake before each use!

The marinade

The marinade

I took a small taste (yes… I went there) and found that it had a definite Asian influence in the use of soy sauce. There were also other flavors in the marinade (such as garlic and sugar) to balance out the flavor profile of the marinade so that it’s not just “soy sauce”.  All in all, I was very pleased with the marinade’s taste and looked forward to using it.

To the Meat of the Matter

I have to confess to something here — I am totally stupid when it comes to cooking bone-in chicken breasts on the grill.  Boneless skinless chicken breasts are what I’m used to cooking.  Having said that, I decided to use the marinade on a bone-in chicken breast.  So in goes the marinade and chicken into a Ziploc bag and straight into the refrigerator.  Note: the label on the bottle says that one bottle is good for 2 1/2 lbs of chicken.  I used a little over half of the bottle for the marinade.

Applying the Chicken Insurance to the Chicken

Applying the Chicken Insurance to the Chicken

After about an hour later (after my wife and I returned from going on a walk), I pre-heated the trusty gas grill into two different heat zones — high heat and low heat.  I followed the method outlined for cooking split chicken breasts on GrillingCompanion.com.

Cookin' that chicken!

Cookin' that chicken!

After grilling the breast skin-side down for 4-5 minutes, I go to flip the chicken when I suddenly have a revelation: that was an oil-based marinade I just used.  Oops.  Luckily for me, the skin was not too burned.  Actually turned out quite tasty!

Other side

Other side

It ended up taking about 40-45 minutes to complete the cooking process, mainly because I kept the meat off of the high heat zone for the majority of the time.  While waiting for the chicken to finish cooking, I decide to use the leftover marinade as a sort of “mopping sauce” for the chicken to keep it moist.  Turned out to be a good move.

The finished chicken

The finished chicken

Same chicken, different angle

Same chicken, different angle

And the verdict: that was some really moist chicken!!  The marinade gave it a beautiful color.  The soy sauce flavor was present, but only as a background participant.  This marinade really did give the chicken an excellent flavor!  And it also functions quite nicely as a mop sauce for chicken if you decide to forego a BBQ sauce.

You can find Easy Peasy Foods online at http://www.easypeasyfoods.com where you can buy both their Chicken Insurance marinade and Barbecue Insurance BBQ Sauce online.  Easy Peasy Foods can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Review: Country Chef Grilling Sauces

I have tried many sauces that, when I taste them, unequivocally fall within a specific genre of sauce (and often do a great job of it too).  Then there are those sauces that defy being labeled as a certain type.  Today I present to you 2 of the Country Chef Grilling Sauces.

Country Chef Grilling Sauces (Original on left, Chipotle on right)

Country Chef Grilling Sauces (Original on left, Chipotle on right)

Mike Espey, the brains behind the Country Chef Grilling Sauces, touts the way that his sauces go beyond the traditional BBQ sauce. His sauces can be used as a traditional BBQ sauce, as a grilling sauce, as a dipping sauce, and even as a marinade.

He has six different sauces available, but today’s review focuses on two of those sauces — original and chipotle.  Now… on to the sauces!

Naked Observations

The first thing I noticed about these sauces is they come in a canning style jar instead of the traditional sauce bottle.  This lends credence to the feel of a home-style sauce.  I opened each of the sauces to take a sniff, and both of the sauces smelled absolutely fresh, as if the ingredients in the sauce literally came out of my garden just moments ago!

The sauces

The sauces (original on left, chipotle on right)

Both of the sauces are similar in color.  They both have an irregular texture that is indicative of fresh ingredients.  A taste of each of the sauces confirms that freshness and homemade taste.  The chipotle sauce has a touch of smoky flavor from the chipotle peppers used as well as some back heat in the sauce.

To the Meat of the Matter

As I see this as an non-traditional sauce, I decided to use it in a little different manner.  Normally I would use a sauce in the last minutes of grilling a meat.  However, I decided to take one of Mike’s recommendations and use the sauces as dipping sauces.  I had some leftover rotisserie chicken that I re-heated and wrapped in a spinach wrap.

Chicken wrap and the sauces (original on left, chipotle on right)

Chicken wrap and the sauces (original on left, chipotle on right)

When used as a dipping sauce, the flavors of the meat really sparkled and stood out!  The flavors were absolutely fresh and did not weigh down the food at all.  The chipotle sauce added an extra smoky and heat element to the chicken wrap.

I highly recommend these two sauces for use as a dipping sauce.  They would also work great on chicken and pork as well.

Best Of: June 19-26

With the weekend coming to a close, here are a few must-read items from this past week as it pertains to the world of BBQ and grilling…

  • Check out this guest post for Huck’s Hut written by Doug Francis of Hogs Gone Wild BBQ on how to conquer that bane of every BBQ competition team’s existance: chicken.
  • Jamaican Me Pineapple Burgers, you say?  YA MON!  BarBQBoozers shows you how!
  • Kevin Sandridge of The BBQ Smoker Site is running a series on 4th of July BBQ Recipes written by guest bloggers.  Of particular interest is this recipe for cherry smoked Atlantic salmon written by Shane Draper of Draper’s BBQ.
  • And finally, this one time, at bacon camp
Also, don’t forget about all the contests and giveaways galore that are running right now!  A list can be found here.  If I missed a giveaway, please let me know.

Review: Uncle Kenny’s Mustard BBQ Sauce

Today’s review is the final in a series of reviews of sauces from Uncle Kenny’s BBQ.  I have been very pleased with his spicy BBQ sauce and his original BBQ sauce.  Rounding out the trio is his mustard-based BBQ sauce.

Mustard-based BBQ Sauce from Uncle Kenny's BBQ

Mustard-based BBQ Sauce from Uncle Kenny's BBQ

I won’t waste a lot of space introducing the man behind Uncle Kenny’s BBQ, Kenny Nadeau.  He has a very good write-up on how he got his start in BBQ.  With the products he has put out thus far, I’m very thankful he did!

Naked Observations

The first thing I notice before even opening the bottle is the color of the sauce.  The color of the sauce does not contain as much yellow as many mustard-based sauces may contain.  I look at the ingredient list and see that brown sugar is listed as the second ingredient (behind mustard, naturally), so that explains the coloring of the sauce.

The sauce

The sauce

There doesn’t appear to be any specks of pepper present in the sauce.  A closer examination of the sauce disproves that, however.  I was expecting a tangy taste, but instead got a nice blend of mustard, brown sugar, and tomato flavors.  No one flavor profile was overpowering, and the ingredients worked very nicely together!

To the Meat of the Matter

Traditionally, whenever I try out a mustard-based sauce (such as Sam Dog Yellow Dog BBQ Sauce), I like to use chicken as the test meat.  So I went and purchased some boneless, skinless chicken breasts to cook on the grill.  I cooked three chicken breasts — two of them had Draper’s BBQ sauce while the last one used the mustard-based BBQ sauce.  The chicken breasts were similar in coloring when finished.

Grilled Chicken Breasts -- bookend pieces have BBQ sauce from Draper's BBQ, middle piece uses mustard based sauce from Uncle Kenny's BBQ

Grilled Chicken Breasts -- bookend pieces have BBQ sauce from Draper's BBQ, middle piece uses mustard based sauce from Uncle Kenny's BBQ

The sauce worked very well with the chicken.  It did not overpower the meat but rather blended in nicely.  I let my wife sample a piece of the chicken using the sauce from Uncle Kenny’s BBQ.  She was not a fan of the sauce, but that does not surprise me since she does not like mustard-based sauces in general.

I must say that you cannot go wrong with this sauce.  While it may not be as rich and bold as the Sam Dog Yellow Dog BBQ sauce, it is a well-balanced sauce that should appeal to most tastes.

Confessions of a First-Time KCBS Judge

As a lot of you probably already know, I like barbecue a little bit.  If you didn’t know that… well now you know.  In October of last year, I finally broke down and joined the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS).  Soon after joining, I learn that there would be a judging class in November of that same year not too far from where I live.  I took the class and joined that elite society known as KCBS judges.

With my newly anointed judgedom, I set off in search of competitions to which I could apply to be a judge.  One of the first competitions I was accepted to judge for was the Firehouse BBQ Cookoff in Kings Mountain, NC.  For those who are interested in the results, you can find them here.  As the day grew closer, I started to get a little more nervous.  Even though the judging class was very thorough in covering what to expect for judging a competition, I was still not sure what to expect.

For those of you who do not know, KCBS-sanctioned competitions have four main meat categories: chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket.  These categories are judged according to set criteria.  Each individual contest may have additional ancillary categories, but they each have the four meats.

Once I walked in and was given my assigned table, it was like an episode of Cheers — where everyone knows your name.  The others at the same table as me were all very friendly and pleasant to talk to and made this newcomer feel welcome!  Once again, my perception of BBQ people being absolutely genuine held true!

Now to my opinions on the food… it was all excellent!  Each piece of chicken, rib, serving of pork, and brisket was all very tasty.  Obviously some were more tasty than others.  The one thing I did notice — especially with ribs and chicken — is that an overly sweet sauce was used as a glaze on the meat.  Now I don’t mind sauce on chicken or ribs… but the sauces seem to take away from the meat rather than enhance it.  The sauces seem to be just sweet and didn’t really have any depth to them.  I’m not sure if this is a trend in competitions nowadays.  Maybe one of the competitors can give me some insight into it.

All in all, the money and time invested in becoming a judge was absolutely worth it!  The Firehouse BBQ Cookoff was well organized and fun to judge.  I’m looking forward to future competitions and hopefully applying to judge the Firehouse BBQ Cookoff again!

Review: Sam Dog BBQ Yellow Dog Sauce

Yesterday, one of my co-workers needed my advice on BBQ places for lunch.  She told me that one of our clients would be buying lunch for the office today, and that lunch would be BBQ.  Immediately my mind starts thinking “Hey… this will be a perfect opportunity to try out some of my stash!”  After much thought, I picked the bottle of Yellow Dog Sauce made by Sam Dog BBQ.

Sam Dog BBQ Yellow Dog Sauce

Sam Dog BBQ Yellow Dog Sauce

Sam Dog BBQ is a small family-owned BBQ sauce and rub business based out of Alabama.  The Yellow Dog sauce is a mustard-based sauce influenced by BBQ flavors from the Carolinas, Kentucky, and Alabama.  It has a nice golden color that portrays its mustard roots.  As I do with all sauces, I took a naked taste.  Sure enough, I definitely taste the mustard base in the sauce.  However, the tangy flavor of the mustard is not overpowering at all and really adds a nice flavor to the sauce.

My next step?  Slather it on some pulled pork for lunch!

My lunch today

My lunch today, courtesy of Mac's Speed Shop

In one word: yum!  When applied to the pulled pork, the sauce added tremendous flavor.  The mustard flavors complemented the meat very well, and it was just overall tasty!  It was a consensus among co-workers that this was indeed good stuff.

While basking in the afterglow experienced after eating a hell of a lot of food, I had a brilliant idea: try the Yellow Dog on some chicken!  Eureka!  So after work tonight, I grilled some boneless skinless chicken breasts seasoned with Plowboys Bovine Bold.  In the last 10 minutes of grilling, on goes the Yellow Dog.

Grilled Chicken after the Yellow Dog touch

Grilled Chicken after the Yellow Dog touch

The sauce gave the chicken breasts a nice dark golden color, and the taste provided was fabulous!

Tonight's Dinner

Tonight's Dinner -- Grilled Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, and Stuffed Mushrooms

I normally do not use a lot of mustard-based sauces in my cooking, but this one was well worth it!  It lives up to its billing as excellent to use as a glaze or dipping sauce.  Do I recommend this sauce?  Absolutely!

The website for Sam Dog BBQ can be found at http://www.samdogbbq.com.  You can also find Sam Dog BBQ on Twitter.