Andy Husbands and Chris Hart with Andrea Pyenson are back at it again with Grilled to Perfection. This is a simple straightforward grilling book. What is not simple are the recipes. They have included recipes to really elevate your backyard experience. I am a huge fan of these guys. I like their books because they truly actually test food. They obsess over food. I own their other books Wicked Good Barbecue and Wicked Good Burgers. I have used multiples of their recipes. In addition their techniques can really set you on a great course of grilling happiness.
There are a lot of grilling and BBQ books out there. The difference that sets these guys aside is their true love of food. Their involvement with the ingredients and their BBQ passion.
I read cookbooks like novels. I read them cover to cover before I will try recipes. This is easy on the eyes due to the excellent and consistently outstanding photography of Ken Goodman. I hate overly staged food shots. I can’t stand it when the food looks so perfect its plastic. That is about as appealing as eating cardboard to me. The photography from Ken truly captures food in its best light. It is not overly staged. You just want to devour the pages with your eyes and feast on these beautiful recipes.
These recipes are easy to follow and will help you seriously take your grilling to new heights. I completely recommend you buy this book.
You need to try the recipe below for Slow-Grilled Chicken Thighs with Alabama White Sauce – it will knock your socks off.
Slow-Grilled Chicken Thighs with Alabama White Sauce
The beauty of this recipe is crispy, golden brown skin, achieved by coating the chicken pieces with dry rub before grilling – and a little bit of technique. By cooking the chicken over low, direct heat you vastly reduce the risk of burning the skin. When using charcoal, it’s important to watch out for hot spots. If they occur, simply move the chicken to a cooler part of the grill.
Alabama White Sauce (aka Alabama White BBQ Sauce or just plain White BBQ Sauce) is a regional oddity that is virtually unknown outside of northern Alabama. Tangy and rich, with a kick of horseradish, it is typically paired with chicken but tastes great with just about anything you can think to pour it on or dip in it. We think it works particularly well with these chicken thighs.
Makes 4-6 servings
1 tablespoon/15 mL kosher salt
1 tablespoon/ 15 mL turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon/15 mL smoked or sweet paprika
2 teaspoons/10 mL coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 4 ounces/113g each
Alabama White Sauce (recipe follows)
In a small bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Set aside.
Build a low direct fire. Spread an even layer of unlit charcoal in the bottom of the grill. Fill a chimney one-third full with charcoal. Stuff two sheets of newspaper in the bottom of the chimney and light it. When the coals are fully engaged – you should see flames peeking over the top – pour them over the unlit charcoal. If using a gas grill, light the gas and adjust temperature on both sides to low.
While the fire is coming to temperature, place the chicken thighs on a baking sheet, skin side up. Sprinkle the chicken with half of the dry rub.
When you can hold your hands over the fire for no more than 8-10 seconds, clean the grill grate. Set the chicken thighs, skin side down, on the grates. Sprinkle the remainder of the dry rub on the chicken. Cook, covered, for 30-40 minutes, checking periodically to avoid excessive charring on the skin. Rotate thighs over the fire if there are hot spots. If using a charcoal grill, adjust the vents to maintain a temperature of 300oF/149oC.
Flip chicken and continue to cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 170oF/77oC, about 15-20 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slather with Alabama White Sauce and serve.
Alabama White Sauce
Makes 2 cups/475 mL
1 cup/240 mL mayonnaise (we prefer Kewpie)
1/2 cup/120 mL apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup/60 mL light corn syrup
1 tablespoon/15 mL prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon/15 mL fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
Whisk all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until fully incorporated. Cover and set aside until ready to use; or transfer to an air-tight jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Full disclaimer: I was provided a book to review for free – however in no way was I compensated or provided any remuneration for this blog post. I truly think you need to own this book.