Happy Hump Day! It’s the week no one can ever believe is upon us, myself included, despite the fact that it happens to us every year: the week before Labor Day!! Aaaahhhh!!!
So this week I’m making the push to get the last bit of summery recipes blogged for you. Also since Labor Day is right around the corner, I’m sharing a delicious grilled recipe, along with a recipe round-up of ideas for your weekend, since most of us red-blooded Americans turn into grilling machines on summery three-day weekends.
This is my blueberry contribution to the blogosphere for this 2014 summer season, and it’s a dang good one. This barbecue sauce is complex, fruity and sweet, yet also a touch spicy and decidedly savory. It pairs perfectly with chicken, which is what I was craving for it, but it would be lovely with turkey or pork too, I think.
Enjoy it with sweet, seasonal blueberries for a few days longer!
And now for a GRILLING RECIPE ROUND-UP: (in alphabetical order)
Classic Barbecue Chicken
Cumin-Cilantro Chicken Sliders
Grilled Cherry Tomato, Garlic and Goat Cheese Toasts
Grilled Romaine Hearts with Bacon Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Grilled Salmon with Strawberry Salsa
Grilled Salmon with Tamarind-Peach Barbecue Sauce
Grilled Shrimp with Tarragon-Tabasco Butter
Italian Dressing Grilled Shrimp
Italian Sausage Hoagies with Caprese Relish
Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Ginger Barbecue Sauce
Jamaican Jerk Snapper
Kansas City Barbecued Spare Ribs
Maple Glazed Baby Back Ribs
Margarita Glazed Baby Back Ribs
Mexico City Street Corn
Molasses Mustard Pork Chops
Pimento Cheese and Bacon Burgers
Rosemary Skewered Chipotle Shrimp
Skirt Steak with Green and Red Chimichurris
Summer Corn and Roasted Pepper Pie
Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks
Source: barbecue sauce lightly adapted from Sauces, Rubs and Marinades by Steven Raichlen
1 quart fresh blueberries
1 large celery rib, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 tbs molasses
1 tbs ketchup
1/2 tbs sweet paprika
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp celery seed
1/8 tsp cayenne, or more to taste
Pinch of ground cloves
1 whole chicken, cut up into 8 parts
Preheat an outdoor grill to very high heat. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature.
Make the barbecue sauce: puree the blueberries in your blender.
In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberry puree, celery, onion, bell pepper, carrot and garlic. Gently simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are soft and the sauce is thick, 15-20 minutes.
Wipe or rinse out your blender to get some of the blueberry skins out, but no need to really wash it. Pour the contents of the saucepan into the blender and puree until smooth. The sauce should be thick but pourable; add water if too thick.
Taste and correct for seasoning, if necessary. Pour it back into the saucepan and keep warm over low heat. When ready to use it on the chicken, pour about 40-50% of the sauce into a small bowl or cup.
Trim the chicken, then season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Place it on the grill skin side up. Cover the grill and let it cook about 10-12 minutes. Flip the chicken, then baste the cooked side liberally with the barbecue sauce. Let the skin get really crispy, then with about 5 minutes to go (or when the internal thermometer reads about 150-155), flip the chicken again and liberally baste the skin side. Cover and let it finish cooking through. Rotate the pieces as needed if your grill has a hot spot. The whole thing will take between 20 and 30 minutes total, but please use a meat thermometer as it is the only way to be sure. You want to remove the chicken when internal temperature reads 165 F.
Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve with the extra reserved barbecue sauce.