I am so proud to introduce this next blogger. We both grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. We were both Orchestra geeks in high school and we were both Navy brats. Although, I will thoroughly admit that she was a far better violinist than myself. Please meet my good friend, Patricia. She writes for her blog, Ground Control to Major Mom.
Patricia is a woman of many talents. First of all (and most importantly) she is the Mom to two very amazing little boys. Patricia is also a meteorologist in the Air Force Reserves. And now you know where she got her blog title from. Yep, she's a weather weenie (and darn proud of it!). She is also very happily married to a fellow meteorologist who is currently on Active Duty in the United States Air Force.
I admire Patricia in so many ways. She volunteered to go on deployment to the Middle East to serve her country. She went on active duty for several months, was away from her little boys and devoted husband because she wanted to do her part for our country. I know one day her boys will understand the importance of their parents service and understand their Mother's sacrifice.
She has my undying gratitude, that's for sure.
Patricia's blog isn't a dedicated food blog. She does include recipes from time to time but she also writes about being in the service, about being a Mom, about her home life and gardening. Pretty much anything and everything. I love reading her posts because she is so relateable and it's like we're just sitting around hanging out together and having a chat. Because that's how she makes you feel. Plus, she is so super smart that I always learn something from her.
Speaking of smart, have I mentioned that she also writes for GeekMom? Yep, that's Patricia, she's great at a lot of things and I'm proud to call her a friend.
So everyone, please say hello to Patricia.
Hello Country Cook Fans! I'm so honored to be invited to guest-post on Brandie's awesome blog!
I hail from Brandie's hometown of Norfolk, VA. She and I crossed paths vaguely in high school among orchestra circles, but it wasn't until 2009 when a mutual friend "virtually introduced" us on Facebook. We've been swapping Facebook and blog comments about our cooking (among other topics) ever since!
When Brandie invited me to share one of the recipes I've blogged about in the past, I realized that many of my recipes aren't that unique. I have a girl-crush on The Pioneer Woman, so often I'll show the results of her recipes that I've attempted on my family. Or I'll make some sort of commercial product for the family and will write up the results of that.
But what follows is one of my favorite "unique" recipes. Seemed appropriate for the time of year, too. It's a big hit when you want to invite guests over for a summer BBQ! I had originally written this post in two parts over Memorial Day weekend 2009: the making of the marinade, then the grilling of the chicken. I've combined them for you here.
Enjoy and Happy Summer!
***********************************I don't remember that much in my life before about age 4. I don't know why, I just don't. Just the intermittent here-and-there memory.
My family was living in Hawaii when I was 4-years-old. My Dad, who was in the Navy, was stationed at this small base northwest of Honolulu (not Pearl Harbor). My first solid memories were from Hawaii.
And here's one of them: Huli Huli chicken fundraisers. Click here for a history of Huli Huli chicken (thanks to the obituary of the inventor -- a Navy man -- from 2002). I vaguely remember driving up to a large dirt/gravel parking lot, perhaps at a church or a high school. And you'd see row-after-row of rotisserie-like skewers, all covered with chickens. I also have vague memories of large metal trash cans to hold the marinade (this was in the 70s, well before plastic trash cans, apparently), and folks using cotton mops to slop on the marinade on the skewers.
My Dad mentioned to me once that the chickens would be sold whole for just a few dollars (I think he said $5, but I could be wrong), and they'd be wrapped for you in newspaper!
I found this nifty blog entry here about a modern-day operation on Oahu.
As for this blog post, what I'm going to present you with is a recipe that always brings back the memories I had, but I'm sure someone will tell you that it's wrong. I've had chicken made with commercially purchased "Huli Huli Chicken Sauce" and that just seemed WRONG WRONG WRONG. Too syrupy, from what I remember. If you do a web search for "huli huli chicken recipe" you'll come up with a very wide variety of recipes. I see ginger, sugar and garlic as a common thread throughout, but from there you'll see varied other ingredients: limes, chiles, honey, ketchup, white wine, etc.
Here's the recipe that my family has used over the years:
First, let me introduce the ingredients:
Note the whole chicken...let me warn you, I'm about to show pictures of a chicken dismemberment, so if you're adverse to such images, click away now!
Let's disassemble the chicken. When I'm motivated enough, I choose to break up a whole chicken rather than buy the parts separately...it's cheaper and I can take advantage of ALL of the chicken for broth, soup, etc. The first thing I did was take my kitchen shears and CUT down both sides of the spine.
I got sick of cutting a little bit of the chicken, then washing my hands, taking a couple pictures, then going back to cutting, I decided not to photograph the rest of the disassembly. I cut the remaining chicken into 2 breasts, 2 leg quarters and 2 wings.
Now I chop the garlic and grate the ginger. I freeze my ginger, so grating it on the Microplane (BEST KITCHEN TOOL EVAH!!!) is easy:
The cooking is the tough part. Because of the sugar content of the marinade, you have to be VERY careful how to cook up the parts. Low low low, for 25 minutes on each side, then you can turn up the heat at the end to give a nice crispness to the skin. I guess I could invest in one of those rotisserie cooker thingies, but we're lazy and just want to throw it on the gas grill.
Another option is to slow bake the chicken first, then throw it on the grill. In this I don't have a rigid cooking time, or even a rigid cooking temperature. Let's call it 350F for 1 hour. Then give it about 5 minutes on each side on a NASA-hot grill (to coin an awesome Alton Brown term). Baste it with more marinade, if you wish.
So enjoy some pictures of my Dear Husband Dave cooking up the chicken, we're smelling it, hearing it sizzle, looking at it cook up golden brown and delicious...
Here's the recipe in an easy-to-read format for your convenience.
Major Mom's "Huli Huli" Chicken
based on a recipe passed down through her parents
3/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. white wine
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. grated ginger (I use much more than this, more like 1 Tbsp.)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch MSG (optional, I don't do this)
3 lbs. of chicken parts: breasts, leg quarters, wings
Combine all ingredients except the chicken parts. Mix thoroughly until the sugar is well-dissolved. Marinate the chicken parts in a zip-top bag for at least 2 hours. Overnight is best.
Bake the chicken at 350F for 1 hour, marinating occasionally. One can then sear the chicken on a hot grill for 5-8 minutes on each side.
Grill the chicken over low heat for 45-60 minutes turning the pieces halfway through cooking time, marinating occasionally.
I'll tell y'all something, I have made this chicken a few times and it so tasty.
I hope you'll give it a try soon!
I hope you'll give it a try soon!
Thank you to Patricia for sharing this fantastic recipe.
I hope you'll stop by her BLOG sometime and say hello!