I remember marching with the high school band on Memorial Day. It was always hot, the parade route had way more hills than I remembered, and at the end we were shrouded in smoke from the chicken BBQ the town put on as part of the weekend’s celebration. Use the following recipes to make a BBQ your family remembers:
Beer Can Chicken
1 (4-pound) whole chicken
2 TB EVOO
2 TB salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 TB commercial dry spice rub or this recipe from allrecipes.com: dry spice rub
1 tall can beer (or drink 2/3 of the beer and add fill to halfway mark with red wine)*
Prepare the chicken: Discard neck and giblets. Rinse chicken inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. Rub chicken lightly with oil then rub inside and out with salt, pepper and dry rub. Set aside.
Open beer can and drink half or adjust as indicated in ingredients. Place beer can on a solid surface. Set the chicken firmly onto the can so that it can balance on the 2 legs, with the can as a third “leg.” Place in the center of your grill. Cook over medium-high, indirect heat (i.e. no coals or burners directly under the bird), with the grill cover on, for approximately 1 1/4 hours. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees F in the breast area and 180 degrees F in the thigh, or until the thigh juice runs clear. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serves 4 or more depending on size of chicken.
*The type of beer doesn’t really matter since it probably won’t impact the flavor of the chicken. But if you are mixing with red wine, make certain to use one that you enjoy. A heavily flavored sweet red may overwhelm the chicken.
While you’re waiting for the chicken to cook, enjoy this great dip with pita chips, celery, and tortilla chips.
Reduced Fat Spinach Artichoke Dip (Make ahead)
- 1 10 oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1 12 oz jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup whipped reduced fat cream cheese
- 3/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
- 1 cup grated Cheddar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Heat oven to 375° F.
Drain spinach and remove excess moisture by pressing between paper towels. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except salt and pepper and mix well. Add pepper and salt to taste. Transfer mixture to a small oven-safe baking dish. Bake until lightly golden and heated through (20 minutes). Serve warm with the chips or veggies.
And at the end of a great BBQ everyone wants a special dessert! These are adult-only ice pops!
Mojito-Watermelon Ice Pops (Make these the day before!)
You will need popsicle molds or small paper cups
5 oz simple syrup
4 oz water
2 1/4 oz light rum
2 oz lime juice
3 TB packed mint leaves
1/4 oz Rose’s Lime Cordial
1/4 tsp xantham gum (can be purchased at this link online or in your local grocery health food section)
10 oz watermelon juice
2 oz light agave nectar
1 1/2 oz Absolut Citron Vodka
2 oz lime juice
1/4 oz Rose’s Lime cordial
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp xantham gum
In a blender, puree all of the mojito ingredients except the xanthan gum on high speed until smooth and bright green (30 seconds). Pour into a bowl. Slowly sprinkle xanthan gum into mix while quickly whisking, until slightly thickened and foamy. Let rest for 15 minutes, then skim any foam. Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mojito layer into eight 3-ounce popsicle molds or paper cups. Freeze until almost firm, 1 hour. Poke a popsicle stick into the center of each.
In another bowl, combine all of the watermelon ingredients except the xanthan gum. Slowly sprinkle the xanthan gum into mix while quickly whisking, until slightly thickened. Let rest, then skim. Carefully add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the watermelon layer to the mojito layer in the molds. Freeze until almost firm, 1 hour. Pour the remaining mojito mixture on top and freeze until almost firm, 1 hour. Top with the remaining watermelon layer and freeze until firm, 2 hours. This is obviously a full day project but is well worth the effort! When you’re ready to enjoy, Unmold and serve. If you have difficulty unmolding, run cold water briefly on the outside of the molds. Be careful not to melt your creations!
Other Recipes by Madeline Anderson-Balmer
Great Recipes for Juicing with Ginger
Easy Buttermilk Blueberry Scones