I’m a ‘hands-on’ kind of cook.
My favorite kitchen appliance is a sharp knife.
As I may have mentioned one or fifty times, I don’t use a lot of electrical kitchen gadgets.
Oh I like them; I want them; I even own a few.
They just never get used.
They’re at the back of the cabinet in the corner (along with my special pot for asparagus and the one for sweet corn, which also don’t get used).
It’s ever so much easier to wash a knife than it is to wash a food processor.
There are one or two hand gadgets, however, that I love and use often.
This is one:
It’s for crushing garlic. Three or four twists and 3 cloves of garlic look like this.
Did you know the health benefits or garlic are much greater if it’s crushed? It releases more allicin than when it’s chopped. Of course it’s also healthier if you eat it raw…..
This is my other favorite:
A mezzaluna and chopping block.
I bought them years ago at Williams Sonoma – back when it was only mail-order (at least, in the Midwest).
Both gadgets make short work of one of my favorite summer chicken recipes: grilled, with lots and lots of herbs stuffed under the skin.
Having an herb garden is also beneficial….
Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes prep, plus 40 minutes cooking
1 whole chicken, cut-up, skin on or your favorite pieces
4 tbs snipped fresh chives
4 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tbs finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tbs finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tbs finely chopped fresh oregano
2 tbs finely chopped fresh basil
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
Early in the day or the night before snip, chop and mince herbs and garlic. You are making a paste so they should be fairly fine. Put all into a small bowl and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add enough olive oil to make a thin paste – it won’t hold together but it shouldn’t be like a vinaigrette.
Loosen the skin on the chicken by slowly working your fingers between the flesh and the skin. Try not to puncture the skin. With your fingers take a bit of the herb mixture and put it under the skin, smoothing it over the flesh. Stretch the skin to cover and put in a glass baking dish of some sort, just large enough to hold all of the pieces.
Put about half of the mixture under the skin of the pieces. When finished, add a bit more oil to the rest of the herb mixture and rub/pour over the the top of the pieces. Cover with film and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Cook on barbecue grill for 30 – 45 minutes. Chicken is done at 170F (76C) or when juices run clear – poke with a skewer or knife. Thighs and legs take a bit longer than breasts. Try not to overcook.
Start it over direct heat, but watch carefully – the oil will cause flair-ups. Once it gets some nice color/flavor move it to indirect heat, close cover and let finish cooking.