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Quintessential Summer Dinner: BBQ Chicken, Potato Salad, Corn, and Biscuits

August 25, 2008

Barbecue Chicken

I told you I ate a lot of great food in San Diego. The best part of my trip was being able to enjoy awesome meals with my family and friends. There is something perfect, something I miss everyday living here in Boston, about sitting at a table with people I love, sharing food and conversation. I grew up in a house where family dinners were important: I remember waiting every night for dinner until everyone was home from work and school and practice and whatnot before we sat down to eat, and now that I’m an adult (ahem, ha ha) I realize how great, and perhaps uncommon, it is that my parents brought us up like that. So, thanks ma and pa. You guys are rad.

The last night I was in San Diego, my aunt and uncle and their two kids came for dinner, and we cooked up this way-too-classic summer dinner: barbecue grilled chicken, corn on the cob, German potato salad, and buttery biscuits. The only thing missing, perhaps, was apple pie. But we had vanilla ice cream with strawberries instead, which is pretty perfectly summery itself. And this dinner was truly a group effort. I made the barbecue sauce and biscuits, Mom made the potato salad, my brother’s grilled the chicken and corn, and Dad entertained us all, the goofball.


The corn was extraordinary. I don’t normally eat corn on the cob, but this stuff was so sweet and tender and unhhhh…I’m getting dazed just remembering how good it was. It needed nothing, so all my ideas about lime juice and cotija and chili powder went right out the window.

Corn on the grill

To grill the corn in the husks, you need to pull the husks almost off and remove the cornsilk. Then wrap the husks back up around the corn and soak them in a pan of water for a few hours, so the husks don’t dry up and catch fire on the grill. Then just throw them on for about 20 minutes (I think…uh…my brothers handled the grilling, so I’m kind of unsure. Patrick? Andy?).

I must admit that the barbecue sauce, tasty as it was, might have benefited from the addition of some molasses. And in the future, I would probably mince the onions much more finely. Everyone else, though, said it was spectacular, so what do I know?

Thrown Together Random Barbecue Sauce

  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, very finely minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 c. crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 c. ketchup
  • 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 T. dried mustard
  • 1/2 T. paprika
  • 1/2 T. dried oregano (I used the Mexican variety)
  • salt and pepper
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and just a bit brown. Add all the other ingredients, except the lemon juice and salt and pepper, and bring to a low boil. Let it bubble slowly for about 10 minutes. Then remove from the heat, and add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

For barbecue chicken, marinate the chicken pieces (we used boneless breasts and thighs, and some drumsticks) in the barbecue sauce for about an hour or two. Before throwing them on the grill, wipe as much of the sauce off as possible. Re-heat the sauce in a saucepan for about 10 or 15 minutes. When the chicken is almost done grilling, baste each piece with the sauce. If you grill the chicken covered in sauce the whole time, the sugars in the sauce will burn, and that is no good.

German Potato Salad

My Mom made delicious German Potato Salad, and I am sad to say that I don’t know what recipe she used. Perhaps she will be kind enough to post a link in the comments (hint, hint). I know it involved bacon. And we forgot to save the bacon drippings to cook the onions in, but it was still really good. And I want to make it again.

We rounded off the meal with Homesick Texan’s biscuits. This has become the go-to biscuit recipe for me, although I recently had some drop biscuits with bacon that made me drool, and I’m feeling pretty dedicated to figuring that recipe out. Homesick Texan’s biscuits, though, are easy to make and really impressive to serve to people who don’t know they only took you about twenty minutes.

Buttery Biscuits

Sharing so many great dinners with my family made the 18 hours of travel time to get to and from San Diego totally worth it. Also? So did my kooky brothers.

My brothers make the funniest faces
Andy

Patrick
Patrick

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Andy permalink
    August 25, 2008 4:24 pm

    The brother says 20 minutes is efficient for grilling in-husk corn. You might want to put the lid down when you first put the corn on. It helps to steam them… although I forgot this step and they turned out fine. It was great seeing you. You need to show me how you took control of the kitchen from Patrick. Very impressive.

  2. August 26, 2008 4:03 pm

    What a pretty yard!

  3. August 27, 2008 6:34 am

    I will thank you for my dad! It’s pretty much his pride and joy. I overheard him talking about taking the lawn out and turning it into a big garden, which I think is a fantastic idea!

  4. September 3, 2008 6:01 pm

    Hi Laura!

    Gosh I haven’t been by here in awhile!

    Thanks for the comment :). Boston is a lot of fun…when I’m not working :P. I really love going into the city, I didn’t realize how easy it’d be to navigate around town without a car!

    How are you? Still wanting to do the cooking group shindig? I am :)! Only thing is, I’m kind of on a ‘special diet’ right now. LOL not trying to lose weight (ha!), just avoiding certain foods I have trouble digesting, to put it lightly :P.

    BTW, have you been to Upstairs on the Square? It’s an AMAZING restaurant at Harvard Square. The food is heavenly!

  5. January 13, 2010 6:02 am

    They look really good, i’m mexican and i’ve tried a similar recipe, the only thing that we don’d do here often is “and stir another 1/2 cup sauce into the chicken”, usually the chicken is done the way you did it, a bit roasted or just cooked.

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