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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Grilled Butterflied Chicken!

There is a Lebanese cooking blog that I am a little obsessed with. It's called Dirty Kitchen Secrets.  I think I'm actually more obsessed with the cook herself, this young Lebanese American chick that is crazy talented at coming up with her own recipes, cooking authentic Lebanese food, AND her food photography is pretty awesome.  So, I got ambitious one night and gave one of her recipes a whirl. I made the Lebanese Butterflied Chicken – Farouj Meshwe 3al Fahem.  

I have a tiny little charcoal grill (Indian Jiko thingy), so I started my goal and got my fire going about 45 minutes before I thought I would be ready. I think that was the hardest part. That dang fire would not catch onto those coals. But I finally got it going. 
For the chicken - You basically take a whole chicken and butterfly and de-backbone it so that it looks like it was run over by a steamroller.  Here is a photo of how it should look courtesy of Dirty Kitchen Secrets blog:
I'm using her photo of this part since mine looked kind of scarey and roughed up.  I thought to myself, "Lenna, have some respect for the dead" and so I didn't take a photo.

Once I had my bird all butterflied, I prepared the basting sauce. It was just olive oil, lemon juice, mined garlic, salt and pepper.  I put the chicken inside this folding grill rack that I have since our grill doesn't actually have a grill on top of it.  When the coals were ready, I just placed the grill rack on top of the jiko, basted it with the oil mixture, and let it grill. I flipped it and continued to baste it as it cooked until it was nicely blackened - maybe 25 minutes. It was a tiny little bird.  Here's how it turned out more or less:

I forgot to take a picture before we devoured it. This leg and wing was all that was left.  And not very photogenic I might add.

While the chicky was cooking I made up a quick batch of toum. What's that you say? You dont know what toum is?? Why, it's only a magical Lebanese garlic paste substance that make just about anything taste good. You could rub this stuff on fried cat and it would turn into your favorite food.  If it ever becomes legal to marry a sauce, I will marry toum. It's typically served with shish tawouk and it is so lovely.

The recipe
Mince about a bulb of garlic. Throw it in a food processor with some lemon juice and salt until it gets pasty. Then add an egg white and process. Once you have a nice consistency SLOWLY add in vegetable oil. Let it incorporate very slowly.  You will have to use a lot of oil - this stuff is basically like making a mayonaise. So, maybe like 2/3 cup oil.  You'll know it's ready when it has a whipped sort of creamy consistency. It's not the healthiest sauce in the world..but you only need a little to add some good flavor to your food. And don't try to use olive oil either or it will be bitter and discolored.  It will keep in the fridge for a while.


Then I broiled some zucchini and that was that!


1 comment:

So..what do you have to say about all this?