Monthly Archives: October 2014

Grilled Beer Butt Chicken

Mighty pollo!
Mighty pollo!

This crazy sounding BBQ recipe from America is one of the best, if you want tasty and very juicy chicken. The idea is that an opened beer can is sticked in the chicken’s butt and it keeps the inside of the chicken juicy during slow roasting in a grill. You don’t pour the beer in – the beer just boils and vaporizes during cooking. Many recipes suggest that adding garlic or BBQ sauce to the beer add flavor to the chicken, but it’s not true according to our experiences. We have tried this recipe several times and actually you can drink the beer and replace it with water and the chicken still tastes the same.

There are several different ways to season the chicken. The authentic American way is to use BBQ dry rub, but we Europeans appreciate more delicate flavors. Since we have some rosemary growing on our terrace, we had some sprigs of those along with black pepper and smoked sea salt. We also buried some garlics in a flower pot and they started to grow greens just like spring onions. It tastes like mild garlic so we used those as well, but you can use regular garlic, of course. The idea behind this recipe is to keep the chicken moist and juicy so you can use whatever seasoning you prefer.

We had some roasted vegetables and yogurt based sauce with lots of herbs with the chicken. But the chicken is good finger food, too, and dipping in to a home made BBQ sauce works very well with it!

Ingredients for Beer Butt Chicken for 4 Servings

  • 1 whole chicken – pollo entero
  • 5 sprigs of rosemary – ramitas de romero
  • 5 cloves of garlic or garlic greens – ajo
  • smoked sea salt – sal marina ahumado 
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • 1 can of beer or Coke – lata de cerveza

Separate the rosemary leaves from the sprigs. Slice the garlic. Make some cuts to the chicken skin and push the rosemary leaves and garlic slices under the skin. Rub some smoked sea salt and ground black pepper all over the chicken.

Pour i.e. drink half of the beer. Open the top of the can and place the chicken on top of it. Don’t spill the beer. You can lubricate the can with olive oil to insert it more easily. We know, this sounds very bad… 🙂

Place the chicken in the grill so that there are burners on each side and one underneath the chicken. Fire up the ones that are on the sides. You don’t need to use the one below, because slow roasting needs indirect heat. Put the burners on medium-high so that the temperature inside raises to 175 ºC (350 ºF) with the cover closed. Cook for 90 minutes. When done, carefully remove the beer can without spilling the beer inside the chicken.

Want to decorate your chicken? There’s an online store called Chicken Headz that sells ceramic chicken heads for beer butt chicken!

¡Buen provecho!

Lamb Kofta in Tomato Sauce

Kofta with tomato-yogurt sauce
Kofta with tomato-yogurt sauce

Ever heard of kofta? It’s a meatball or meatloaf which can be made of lamb, chicken, beef or a mixture of them. They are popular in many parts of the world, but this recipe comes from northern India. Locals there eat it usually with naan or pita bread, but this time we were a bit lazy and used tortilla breads straight from a supermarket.

The main difference between regular Swedish meatballs and kofta is spiciness and spices. Of course lamb brings its own flavor to the meatballs, too. In addition to chili there are cinnamon, coriander, smoked paprika, turmeric, cardamom and cumin in the tomato sauce. Thick yogurt adds creaminess to the sauce and cuts the chili heat a bit.

This dish is a wonderful snack. Once we did a large batch of kofta in tomato sauce and served it with pita for our terrace party guests. It was a huge success and it was easy for us, because once the kofta is ready, people can prepare their own dishes by filling the pitas or rolling tortilla breads.

Ingredients for Kofta for 4 Servings

  • 750 g (1.5 lbs.) of minced lamb – carne de cordero picado
  • 1 onion – cebolla
  • 4 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated – jengibre
  • a handful of fresh coriander – cilantro
  • 2 green chillies – pimiento picante verde
  • 1 small red chilli – pimiento picante rojo
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • black pepper – pimienta negra
  • canola oil for frying – aceite para freír

Chop onion, garlic cloves, chillies and coriander fine. Grate the ginger. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let it rest in the fridge until the tomato sauce is just about to boil.

Roll the meatballs with wet hands and fry them in canola oil nice and brown either on a grill plate or on a frying pan for about 3-4 minutes. Not that they are fully cooked, but that they get brown skin. Lift the meatballs to the sauce and cover with lid. Let it simmer slowly for about half an hour.

Ingredients for Tomato Sauce for 4 Servings

  • 1 tbsp of coriander seeds – semillas de cilantro
  • a splash of olive oil – aceite oliva
  • 1 tsp cardamom – cardamomo
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder – pimentón dulce
  • 1 tsp of turmeric – cúrcuma
  • 1 tsp of cumin – comino
  • 1 big onion – cebolla grande
  • 4 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • 1 red chili – pimiento picante
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated – jengibre
  • 8 ripe tomatoes – tomates
  • 1 cinnamon stick – ramita de canela
  • 2 dl (1 cup) of thick yogurt – yogur

Dry roast coriander seeds for few minutes on a dry sauce pan. There are good instructions how to dry roast in Kitchen Butterfly blog, in case you have never done it before. After roasting, use kitchen mortar and pestle to break the seeds.

Add oil to the hot sauce pan along with all dry spices. Mix well for one minute so that oil receives all the aromas from the spices. Then add finely chopped onions, garlic, chili and grated ginger. Cook until onions are soft.

Add peeled and chopped tomatoes to the sauce with the cinnamon stick. Cook until the tomatoes begin to soften and get mushy. Then add yogurt and kofta balls. Season with salt, stir well and check the taste. Cover with lid and let it simmer for about half an hour.

Steamed cauliflower goes very well with this dish. They get medium soft in about 5 minutes over boiling water. Cauliflower is not necessary, but adds a bit of structure to the kofta rolls. Fill the rolls with the sauce, cauliflower and fresh coriander, and enjoy authentic northern Indian streetfood!

¡Buen provecho!