We stayed home for New Year’s Eve this year. Avoided the crowds, the drunk drivers and the police sobriety checkpoints. Besides, the big screen provides a better view of the NYC fireworks than camping in Times Square would, LOL.
I made grilled chicken for dinner tonight. I have the usual pictures also, but I wanted to give a couple of tips for any charcoal grilling newcomers.
First is a piece of equipment that I consider essential. I was and still am one of those people who couldn’t get a traditional charcoal fire going to save my life. Then I discovered this:
It’s called a charcoal chimney. Stuff the bottom section with newspaper, junk mail sales ads or similar paper (crumpled up) then flip it over and fill the top portion with charcoal. Put the chimney on the lower rack for charcoal in your grill and light the paper. 15 minutes later you’ve got perfect coals for cooking over. Empty the chimney’s coals onto the rack, put the grilling rack on the grill and you’re ready to go. This thing really is flawless. You also avoid the need for any lighter fluid and the nasty aftertaste that it can add to food.
Here’s the end result there by the way:
Yes, it was dark out when I started. It gets dark crazy early here this time of year. The glowing charcoal at night made for a neat picture though. 🙂
Now the next thing I want to mention is how to avoid flare ups on a charcoal grill. Flare ups happen when fat melts from the heat and drips down onto the charcoal. The way around that is indirect heat. You arrange the coals along two sides:
And then put your food along the middle so that it’s not directly above the hot charcoal:
Yes, the food is a bit too close together. Ideally you want it spaced out a little more so that it gets more uniform heat all around the individual pieces of food. By the way, indirect heat has two other advantages; you lose a bit less moisture, and it’s slower than direct heat. That gives you time to finish that side dish that’s taking longer than you thought, LOL.
So back to the chicken. It all got my usual Salt Pepper and Garlic treatment, then half got some lemon pepper seasoning and the other half got some chipotle pepper seasoning.
After grilling, add in some Au Gratten potatoes and steamed veggies and you have a nice relaxing meal at home to enjoy: