Barbecue - Easy
This is another in my series of
The veggies I picked up at the Wednesday farmer's market held a few feet from my library. I think the zucchini and eggplant must have been freshly picked about a minute before the truck left the farm, since they looked fresher than what was sold Sunday morning at the local Try 'n Save.
Besides the franks, I BBQ'ed skinless, boneless chicken breasts because that's what was in my fridge. Grilling skinless, boneless chicken breasts can be chancy, since they have neither skin nor bones to add a touch of protection against the charring. So I offer a few Tip Alerts! to make life easier for you:
Oil the grill grids. I can't stress that enough. Prevents your stress when you attempt to pry the meat off the rack, watching helplessly as half of that expensive chicken fuses into the grill before turning into charcoal.
Pound those breasts (the chicken, not ... sorry). Breaks up the connective tissue, making the meat really tender. Truly makes a difference. Don't believe me? Pound one or two, leave the rest as is, then compare later. You're welcome.
Lube the meat, and veggies as long as you're at it. I like to use bottled Italian dressing to coat otherwise plain chicken and veggies, olive oil (if not previously marinated) for beef or bison. Less is more here. Drowning the food in oil means more dripping onto the coals and more flare-ups.
Barbeque Chicken, Veggies and Franks - Easy
Serves 4, plus leftovers
vegetable oil for greasing grill
2 medium zucchinis
2 baby eggplants
1/2 cup Italian dressing (or olive oil)
1 family pack (6 count) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to tenderize
1 pkg. (7 count) hot dogs
hot dog buns, condiments of your choice (optional)
Lightly grease your grill, then preheat on high (or prepare a charcoal grill according to package directions). Mine takes about 10 minutes.
While waiting for grill to heat, cut the veggies lengthwise into slices about 1/4 inch thick. A mandolin (fancy-schmancy term for a veggie slicer) is perfect for the job, but you can simply eye-ball it like I did. Pour Italian dressing into a shallow bowl and add cut veggies, turning to coat exposed sides.
When grill is hot, reduce heat to medium, then toss veggies on grill in a single layer. Grill a few minutes, then lift up an edge to see if it has grill marks. If so, turn veggies 90 degrees (clockwise or counter-clockwise ... amazingly, either way works) to get a really pretty grid on 'em. Leave for another minute or two, then flip veggies over, moveing them to one side of grill in order to make room for everything else.
Add chicken in a single layer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn chicken 90 degrees like you did for the veggies (for more pretty grill marks). Cook for another couple of minutes, then flip.
Add franks. It's difficult to tell here, but I slashed the franks in a futile attempt to keep them from curling. If veggies are charred to your liking, move them to a serving plate and keep warm.
Are these gorgeous or what? And they tasted better than they look!
Turn hot dogs as they start to char. When chicken is cooked completely (no pink in center), move them to a serving plate. When franks are evenly cooked, tell the nearest kid to set the table.
Pass around buns and condiments and enjoy the fruits of your labor.