1 fileted/skinned chicken thigh/person....extra sharp cheddar of choice....beer (I prefer a dark beer)....thick slice of orange....thinnner slice of onions....preferably fresh Sweet Basil....fresh ground black pepper...garlic powder....dash kosher salt....[no!!! tarragon or oregano!! or pre-prepared b/que spices, etc]....tin foil boat, at least 1/3/ larger than thigh, be sure sides go up at least 1 1/2" and are crimped so boat does't leak.......so important to have real wood for fire, preferablely oak or mesquite soaked at least 48 hours prior in water....Use a grill not to large for total amount of servings that can be closed, but with controlled air flow - I use smallish Weber, perfect size por moi.
Came from own head after getting ready for oncoming guests with Tx b’bcue prep (Clean t-shirt, fresh beer).
1Build a nice hot fire, preferably with wood, no charcoal or commercially purchased briquettes. etc. After a hot bed of coals is formed and 5’ before grilling, cover the coals with dampened wood. If your coals are hot enough you should be able to completely cover them, getting a lot of smoke. Put cover on the grill with medium air flow, don’t want anything catching fire, but want to keep the smoke coming.
2Place a thigh in each boat….add the spices in layers, patting each time to adhere…cover thigh with onion slice then orange…..pour enough beer in each to come half way up the meat…..put these little puppies on the grill….at outside edge of what should be hottest part…..cover the grill completely (with dome)…..damp it down so plenty of smoke, good heat. Open a fresh beer, another t-shirt if guests are arriving.
3Don’t walk away or get distracted. If a fire flares up, open grill pour beer on the hot spot, not too much to dampen the entire fire, you want lot of heat in there to dissipate beer from the boats.
When you judge the thighs a bit over half-way cook, slather the top with xtra sharp cheddar, nice thick slices, replace the cover.
Open a fresh beer (the t-shirt you have on at this time, do not remove!, it becomes a badge,. a patch for having survived the trenches!). Never turn the thighs! You have to judge by eye, experience when they are done….don’t over do it. You should have some liquid left in the bottom of the boat – rich in chicken juice, beer and melted cheese, orange slice juice, etc. Meat should finish moist, in no way dry. Open a fresh beer. Serve yourself last. (Too verbose, I trust you all to amend with impunity)
The beauty of this colorful meatball recipe is that it can be both a bite-size party appetizer and a hearty main dish. Tex-Mex Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce take their heat from a broiled poblano pepper, and creamy Cotija makes for perfect tacos.
Summer is in full swing, which (hopefully) means trips to the park or the beach. If you’re taking a picnic along, you should know a few food safety rules so you can pack, transport, and eat your meal without the threat of food poisoning. Liz Weinandy