Monday, August 12, 2013

Cook One Thing (and my fave grill rub)

One of my friends is a pretty great cook. One day I asked her what she was making for supper. "Oh, I'm so over that," she answered. I have to agree. After all these years of cooking for teenagers and athletes, I am kind of done. Because cooking is so much work. You have to procure the food, clean it, chop it, cook it, present it. And then you have to clean up the mess you just made. It can be a thankless job.

But here's the thing. We still have to eat. I, for one, get hungry. 

Awhile ago, I realized that the meals that went over the best, that resulted in the most enjoyment for the least amount of resentment, were the ones in which I made one thing. So if I made a grand dessert, we ate hot dogs. If I spent all afternoon making my mom's amazing potato salad, then it went alongside something very easy, such as hamburgers (which my husband grills) or this Memphis Shake chicken.

It's still a ton of work to feed a family. Even if you only make one thing, I can assure you, many other things will need attention. But if you can slice a watermelon, chop some veggies, and throw together a salad without  feeling like a martyr, then tell yourself firmly that you are still just making One Thing. And enjoy every bite.

 The rub goes on the chicken about 15 min. before grilling.

 After about 40 minutes on the grill, the chicken was  perfect.

Memphis Shake chicken, served with bottled barbeque sauce.
On the side: our yellow beans (with some chard stems for color), sliced cucumbers, grated zucchini fried in olive oil. 
You might argue that the zucchini is work. But it was left over from a chocolate zucchini cake, so it wasn't work. Adding bacon, which would have made it amazing, would have been work.

Memphis Shake Rub

1/4 cup paprika
3 Tb. brown sugar
2 Tb. dried oregano
2 Tb. mustard powder
1 Tb. spicy chili powder
2 Tb. sea salt
1 tsp. celery salt

Combine ingredients, keep in lidded jar.

To make grilled chicken:

Chicken thighs, as many as you need. 
Take the skin off the thighs, cutting away extra skin and fat with kitchen shears or scissors
Sprinkle the Shake over each thigh, using about 1 Tb. per piece of chicken
Allow chicken to rest at room temperature for about 15 min.

Heat grill for about 10 min.
Over medium-low heat, grill chicken pieces shake-side up for about 20 minutes.
Turn chicken over, grill on other side for about 10 minutes, then test with meat thermometer.
Length of grilling time will depend on how hot your grill is, and how thick your chicken pieces are.
When done, chicken should register 170 degrees on a meat thermometer. The meal in these photos took about 40 minutes, because I was alone with the baby and couldn't get outside to check on it. It turned out fine though.

It's delicious. Hope you like it too!

(Hint: if you can get to the Anoka co-op, that's my favorite place to buy bulk spices. Much cheaper than a regular grocery store)

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