Monday, August 2, 2010

sunday - barbecued chicken, roasted beets with wheat berries, & sautéed beet greens

I've heard a lot about beer can chicken, but I've never attempted it or even seen it in action, so I watched this video at to make sure I was doing it correctly. Easier than I anticipated! I used a dry rub based on this recipe at, and the chicken turned out moist and flavorful due to both the steam from the beer and also from leaving the skin on while roasting. I removed the skin prior to serving to reduce the saturated fat content.



While the chicken was cooking, I wrapped the beets in foil and grilled them alongside the bird.

I made a double batch of wheat berries last week and stored the extra in the freezer, so I defrosted them to toss with the roasted beets along with some goat cheese and basil. To add some green to my plate, I quickly sautéed the beet greens just after I removed the chicken from the grill. One of the things I love about beets is that you get two vegetables in one--the beets and the leafy green tops. If you don't have fresh beet greens, spinach would work just as well.

Beer Can Chicken

1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 4-pound chicken, preferably organic
1 12-ounce can of beer
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

Preheat a gas grill (with all burners lit) to 400° F or build a fire in a charcoal grill and let it burn down to medium heat (about 400° F).

Combine paprika, oregano, salt, brown sugar, cumin, garlic powder, chipotle chile, and pepper in a small bowl. Remove giblets from chicken (if included) and trim any excess skin. Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat. Rub the spice mixture under the skin onto the breast meat and leg meat, over the skin, and inside the cavity.

If using a gas grill, turn off one burner (leaving 1 to 2 burners lit, depending on your grill). If using a charcoal grill, move the coals to one side.

Pour out 1/4 of the beer, and add the garlic cloves to the can. Place the chicken over the open beer can and stand upright on grill. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165° F, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Makes 6 servings.

Roasted Beets with Wheat Berries

1 bunch beets, trimmed and quartered (greens reserved for another use)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
2 cups cooked wheat berries*
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Place beets on a double layer of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tightly wrap edges of foil to form a packet. Place packet on grill over indirect heat. Grill beets for 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Let beets cool slightly, then peel (peels should slip off easily) and slice into bite-sized wedges.

Place beet wedges into a large bowl with wheat berries, basil, vinegar, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and gently stir in crumbled goat cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

*To cook wheat berries, rinse dried wheat berries in a colander under running water. Place in a large stock pot and cover with several inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until wheat berries are tender, about one hour. Drain well.

Sautéed Beet Greens

1 bunch beet greens
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Remove stems from beet greens and discard. Coarsely tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add beet greens, and stir until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.

Makes 2 servings.

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