Hunk of Meat Monday: Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken

I am giving away my new favorite cookbook. Maybe it is because it is grilling season, and I love to grill on my Big Green EGG. Or maybe it is because I am making food that looks like this Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken.

Bacon wrapped BBQ chickenAnd just how do you get to this end beauty. Start with chicken tenders or in my case chicken breasts and then cut them in half.

Chicken breasts for bacon wrapped BBQ chickenI multi-task in the kitchen so before you start wrapping your chicken, get your special barbecue sauce going. Pick your favorite barbecue sauce and then add two tablespoons of brown sugar and a teaspoon of onion powder.

homemade barbecue sauce

As the sauce simmers, get to wrapping up your chicken. I was able to use one slice per chicken. Some folks may want to hold the bacon in place by toothpicks. I had good luck keeping the bacon in place with the just the barbecue.

bacon wrapped chicken

Once it safely wrapped and completely covered with bacon, it is time to slather each piece with your barbecue sauce.

Barbecue Sauce Bacon Wrapped Chicken

I used a grill brush to put the sauce on but you could also use a spoon.

Brushing on Barbecue Sauce on Bacon Wrapped ChickenThen it is grill time! The bacon will put off bacon grease. So, if you a grilling over a gas grill, you may want to put the chicken a little in between the burners or a more indirect location on the grill.

Grilling Bacon Wrapped ChickenNow, don’t get flip happy. If you flip too much the bacon will fall off. And you don’t want to lose the bacon to the grill. Trust me. I cooked the chicken for about 10-15 minutes on each side. Use a meat thermometer and make sure you cook your chicken to 165 degrees. And plus, you want your bacon done too!! The barbecue and bacon will keep the chicken juicy.

If you want to enjoy a bacon wrapped meal, add some asparagus wrapped in bacon to the grill.

Bacon wrapped grilled chicken Love this recipe, go register to win this cookbook!

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 cup favorite BBQ sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in half
  • 1/2-1 lb bacon

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine barbecue sauce, brown sugar and onion powder. Simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile wrap chicken breast with one to two slices bacon each. Set aside 3/4 cup sauce mixture. Brush remaining sauce mixture over chicken.
  3. Place chicken on grill not directly over flames to prevent flare ups with a medium-high heat. Grill for 25-30 minutes, flipping twice, until nearly done. Brush chicken well with reserved sauce mixture.
  4. Cook until chicken juices run clear and sauce is caramelized. Always cook chicken to 165 degrees.
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Gooseberry Patch Grilling and Campfire Cooking Cookbook Giveaway

Sometimes you get a cookbook that you literally want to make every recipe in the cookbook. Every single one. This new Grilling and Campfire Cooking Cookbook is that cookbook for me.

Grilling and Campfire Cooking Cookbook from Gooseberry Patch

Maybe it is because I am obsessed with my Big Green Egg. Or maybe because we had a hard, cold winter. Or the recipes are just that good. The chapters of the cookbook lend to your summer day’s cuisine desire. Whether you are grilling out, looking for a side dish, on a campfire or just looking for a cool crisp salad, you will find it in this cookbook.

Grilling Campfire Cooking table of contentsHere is a sneak peak into a few of my dishes.

April's barbecue chicken

April’s Barbecue Chicken

Bacon wrapped grilled chicken and asparagus

Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Chicken

Sizzling Bacon Asparagus

Backyard Cheddar BBQ Burgers

Backyard BBQ Cheddar Burgers

I also made the Lemony Grilled Broccoli and Versatile Grilled Veggies. Both were awesome grilled side dishes.

But, don’t just take my word for it, checkout some of these recipes from a few of my friends.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Campfire Burritos

Balsamic Grilled Tomatoes

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Are you dying to get your hands on the cookbook? Register to win one by leaving a comment on what your favorite summertime or grilled dish is. Can’t wait for the 10 days I will be running this giveaway, go buy the Cookbook. Be sure to register by July 1 or you will have no chance to win it! To give you an idea of just how yummy this cookbook can be, here is one of the recipes I prepared

April's Barbecue Chicken

April's Barbecue Chicken

This is a juicy grilled chicken recipe with an easy homemade barbecue sauce.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken or chicken pieces
  • 1 T. plus 1 t. garlic powder, divided
  • 1 1/2 t. onion powder, divided
  • 2 c. ketchup
  • 1 to 2 c. brown sugar, packed and divided
  • 1/2 t. dry mustard
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1 t. liquid smoke

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, place chicken and cover with water, one tablespoon garlic powder and one teaspoon of onion powder. Cook on medium-high heat till the pot comes to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While chicken is cooking, combine ketchup, one cup brown sugar, mustard, chili powder and remaining garlic and onion powders in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer for 15 minutes adding liquid smoke and remaining brown sugar to your taste.
  3. Once chicken has simmered, place on medium-high heated grill. Grill for 30-40 minutes or till chicken reaches an internal temp of 165. Baste with barbecue sauce as it grills.
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This cookbook was given to me by Gooseberry Patch to review and giveaway. The recipes were prepared by me and enjoyed by family. 

Hunk of Meat Monday: Herb Crusted Grilled Pork Loin

I love when whole pork loins go on sale for insanely low prices like $1.88 per pound. Especially when pork chops are selling for $3.25 per pound. After all pork chops are just sliced pork loins. I stock up on the pork loin when I hit a sale. In the summer I can get tons of flavor from my herb garden landscape to make a juicy garlic and herb crusted grill pork loin.

garlic and herb crusted grilled pork loinI normally try to get a four to five pound pork loin. That way I can cut it in half, cook one and freeze one. The pig that keeps on giving.

pork loinTo do a quick and easy rub you need to gather a combination of herbs. I love sage with pork as well as thyme, basil, parsley and oregano. Use what you have though. And then finely chop.

herb and garlic crusted grilled pork loinThe olive oil and white wine vinegar give the pork loin the needed combo of tangy alone with fat to keep the pork nice and juicy.

oil and white wine vinegarCombine the crushed garlic, herbs, oil and vinegar and rub on the pork loin. Wrap the pork loin in saran wrap and place in a shallow dish. I let the pork marinade for about an hour while I ran after kids and their activities. I then grilled the pork loin on 325-350 degree grill for about 25 minutes. Remember, you only have to cook to 145 degrees. Then rest your meat for several minutes. And don’t be afraid of a little pink in your pork!

garlic and herb sliced pork loin

For anyone who has been afraid to grill a pork loin, go for it. Keep the heat low, indirect if possible, and keep an eye on the internal temp. Have a great Hunk of Meat Monday!!

Garlic Herb Crusted Grilled Pork Loin

Garlic Herb Crusted Grilled Pork Loin

Fresh herbs during summer give this herb crusted pork loin lots of flavor right off the grill.

Ingredients

  • 1, 2-3 pound pork loin
  • 1 cup herbs, finely chopped - Sage, Parsley, Thyme, Oregano, Basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine herbs, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper.
  2. Place pork loin on saran wrap and then coat with herb marinade.
  3. Wrap in saran wrap and place in shallow dish. Marinade for 30-60 minutes.
  4. Unwrap loin and grill on 325-350 degrees for 25 minutes or internal temp of 145 degrees. Flip loin one time.
  5. Rest meat for several minutes before slicing.
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Hunk of Meat Monday: Bacon Burgers

I am keeping the pork farmers in business with the amount of bacon we are consuming at our house. We have BLTs once a week. I add bacon crumbles to salads. I always have at least two pounds of bacon in the fridge and who knows how much I have in the two chest freezers we have moved twice in six months. Naturally, I was drawn to these bacon burgers that Gooseberry Patch‘s latest cookbook, Garfield…Recipes with Cattitude!

Bacon Burgers Now, for those of you have a debate at your house on if beef burgers or pork burgers are better, this burger uses both! It also uses fillers that actually help the burgers stick together and fill them with flavor.

Bacon Burger RecipeNotice one of my new favorite sauces from my North Dakota bestie is used in this in place of steak sauce!

Ingredients to add the meat for bacon burgers

In a large bowl mix the ground beef and pork together. Add the Parmesan cheese, steak or barbeque sauce, garlic powder and pepper. Mix well. This means get your hands in the meat. Don’t think you can mix ground meat with a spoon!!

Mixing flavors into burgersOnce you have the meat ready, you will be ready to make the very thing patties that you will press together around bacon crumbles and then onions and mushrooms you sauted in the bacon grease. It is dripping with pork juiciness.

stuffed burgers processThe key is very thin patties that are about an inch bigger than your bun. Thin people. when you have them sandwiched, get them on the grill. We started them on aluminum foil in fear that I would have a burger that fell apart.

grilling bacon burgersBut no burgers fell apart. No aluminum was needed. We add slices of provolone to ours. We like to support dairy farmers. And I am also guilty for having every kind of cheese imaginable in my fridgeBacon burgers with cheese We love onion buns at our house and add a little melted butter and then grill them for a few minutes. Absolute perfection with these stuffed bacon burgers.

Bacon burgers on onion bunsPerfection. The kind of perfection you want on a Hunk of Meat Monday. Now share what you are craving from your blog!!

Bacon Burgers

Yield: 4 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

Bacon Burgers

Everyone loves burger. Add bacon, onions and mushrooms to the middle of the burger, and this take a plain burger to an amazing bacon burger.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 4-5 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T steak or barbeque sauce
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 4 slices of Provolone cheese
  • 4 Onion Buns

Instructions

  1. In a skillet over a medium heat, cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and fry until crisp. Remove bacon and reserve dripping in skillet to fry onion and mushrooms till tender. Set aside with bacon.
  2. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, cheese, sauce and seasonings. Mix together with hands and form eight thin patties that are slightly larger than the buns.
  3. Place bacon, mushrooms, onions on four of the patties. Top with remaining patties and seal edges. Cook burgers on the grill for 5-8 minutes on each side. Do not flip more than once to prevent the burger from falling apart. Add cheese to burgers with a minute of grill time left.
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Day 7- Grilling the Perfect Steak

If you are going to spend the money on good steaks you want to make sure you have done everything in your favor. Here are a few tips to help you.

Pick the right steak

The meat counter can be filled with an over whelming amount of beef cuts laid out on the beef.

meat counterBut, when it comes to wanting to grill steak, don’t just be a price shopper. Lately, I have noticed a lot more recipes for flank steaks or skirt steaks. These steaks are not the best choices. These cuts come from the outer parts of the animal’s body. The best cuts of meat come from the middle part of the cow’s body. Look for ribeyes, New York strips, T-bones, or porterhouses. Bone-in steaks often times also have better flavors as the bone helps add flavor during grilling.

USDA Choice Beef Grade

The other thing to look for is the grade of steak. The grade is based on the amount of fat on the steak. There are four quality grades, the most desired is prime, followed by choice, then select, and least desired is standard. You may have noticed advertising or signs that will say select ribeyes or choice ribeyes on sale. Their is a ranking system for beef grades. The more fat, the more flavor. You especially want to see flecks of fat in the muscle of the meat, not just the outside. My recommendation is to only by Choice steaks. Even if select graded steaks are cheaper, you won’t regret the extra flavor and juiciness in a choice steak.

Thickness is also important, if you like your steaks with no pink in the middle, thinner steaks, less than 1 inch thick will be fine. If you like your steaks medium-rare, pick a thicker steak that is over 1 inch.

Prepping the steak for the grill.

If you have an inch thick steak, you want to pull your steak out of the fridge an hour before it hits the grill. If it is 3/4 inch, then 45 minutes. If it is 1 1/4 inch then an hour and 15 minutes before grill time. Make sense? If you ended up getting a choice steak, there is no need to marinade to add flavor or tenderness. If you bought a select steak, then you may want to use a marinade to add flavor as well as tenderize the steak. So, if you just have choice steak, you just need to season it.

Montreal Steak SeasoningMy favorite seasoning is Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormicks. Plain salt and pepper would be just fine as well.

Grill Time

High heat on the grill is key. You need the grill to be hot when you put the steak on it to sear the steak, allowing it to lock in the juices and char the steak. A little flame isn’t bad either. Just make sure you don’t have huge flames. Don’t get flip happy either. You really want to just flip the steak once. Period.

steak griling

How to tell when your steak is done?

Sure, you can just temp your steak when you are grilling it, but then you have to puncture the steak and watch juice run out. Instead, you can just do the palm test. That’s right, you can tell doneness of steak based on what it feel like. Here is what you need to do. Began by having your hand open relaxing your fingers. Press on the inside of your hand below the thumb. This should feel similar to your raw steak. Start your baseline here. Then, decide on the doneness you like for your steak and touch the corresponding finger to your thumb based on the descriptions below. But, basically the closer the finger to your thumb, the more rare your steak.

How to tell steak temperature palm test

Let it Rest

As tempting as it is to cut right into the steak as soon as it is pulled off the grill, let it rest. Resting it for several minutes allows all the juices to redistribute throughout the steak. If you cut right into it, the juices will just run all over your plate. The steak could continue to cook after it is pulled off the grill, so to avoid it from being over cooked, set it on a wrack so air can cool it from all sides.

Be sure to check out the other tips and food tidbits as part of the 30 Days on the Prairie Farm Series.

30 days on the prairie farm

 

Hunk of Meat Monday: Asian Chicken Kabobs

I sort of have to sneak anything that might be remotely close to Chinese food onto the table. So, when I made chicken kabobs, I left off the simple fact that it might be a smidge close to Chinese. I figured I could tell them once they loved them!

Grilled Asian Chicken KabobsI made two versions. One with a marinade from scratch with a few simple ingredients.

Spicy Asian Marinade Ingredients

And one with a bottle of Panda Express Orange Sauce.

Panda Express Orange SauceI cut 2 pounds of chicken breast up in two-inch pieces, split them in half and put into two ziploc bags. Then I mixed together 2 parts balsamic vinegar to 1 part honey and 1 part sriracha hot chili sauce together.

Spicy Asian MarinadePour the spicy marinade over one bag of chicken. At the last minute I also pressed to cloves of garlic into the bag of chicken and marinade also.

Spicy marinade over chicken with garlicI poured about 1/2 cup of the orange sauce over the other bag of chicken. Refrigerate for a few hours. About 30 minutes before grill time I grabbed some veggies out of the fridge and chunked them up. I used a red bell pepper, onion, zucchini, and mushrooms. Use what you have on hand.

vegetables cut up for kabobsOnce the veggies were cut into chunks, I pulled the chicken out and put the veggies and chicken on stainless steel shish kabob skewers. I start with a pepper closest to the handle followed by a piece of chicken and two pieces of veggies and then chicken again. I like every piece of vegetable to be touching the chicken.

skewered chicken kabobs with vegetables

Don’t discard the homemade spicy Asian marinade. Instead, pour into a small pan and reduce over a medium low heat to make into a glaze.

Reducing spicy Asian marinade to a glaze

I sprinkled the spicy Asian skewers with sesame seeds and was ready to hit the grill.

kabobs ready for the grillI spread sauce on the kabobs before putting on the grill.

kabobs on the grillI grill on a medium low heat, turning every 6-7 minutes till chicken and veggies are cooked through. Then remove from the grill and enjoy!

Grilled Asian Chicken KabobsServe over rice or alone. Either way, make sure you have extra sauce to dip everything into while you eat.

Spicy Asian Chicken Kabobs

Prep Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: 4 Kabobs

Serving Size: 1 kabob

Spicy Asian Chicken Kabobs

Spicy chicken kabobs with Asian inspiration that lovers of heat in their food will love.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of chicken breast cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha Hot chile sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, cut into eighths
  • 8 button mushrooms, halved
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Mix together, vinegar, honey, hot sauce, and garlic. Pour over chicken in a ziploc bag and refrigerate for several hours.
  2. Skewer vegetables and chicken beginning with a pepper, followed by a chicken, two vegetables and chicken, repeat till the end of the kabob.
  3. Reserve chicken marinade and pour into a small sauce pan and reduce over a medium low heat for 5-10 minutes till it thickens to a glaze.
  4. Sprinkle kabobs with sesame seeds and brush on reduce glaze.
  5. Place on grill over a medium heat, turning every 6-7 minutes till vegetables and chicken are fully cooked.
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Have a great recipe from the 4th of July to share? Link up your latest favorite!

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Hunk of Meat Monday: Beef vs. Pork Burgers

Beef seems to be king in burger world. And why shouldn’t it be? Nothing can be beat a 100% beef burger. Except an occasional pork burger.

grilled pork burger

Buy lean meat to prevent burgers from shrinking.

Whether it is a beef burger or a pork burger, you want to start with a lean selection of ground meat. I will be totally honest, I have never bought ground meat at the grocery store. My brother raises beef cattle and we know plenty of pig farmers to get custom butchered pork.  So, I don’t know what the leanest percentage of fat percentage is at the store, but you want to keep in mind that if you buy a 80/20 ground beef, you are going to lose 20% of your burger to the fat grilling off. Ground pork isn’t always easily found in the meat counter, and it should not be confused with pork sausage. You want to buy ground pork with no seasonings in it. Ask your meat counter manager if you have trouble find it.

ground beef and porkPork, the other white meat.

The above picture shows ground beef on the left and ground pork on the right. You can see that pork is considerably lighter colored than beef. Hence, the reason “Pork, the other white meat” was used for so long to market pork. But don’t be fooled, pork is still red meat. Pork and beef a very similar and can be just as lean as poultry options when you trim away fat. Plus red meat provides 5 essential nutrients, iron, zinc, omega-3, B vitamins and protein.

While I have made several burgers with various different flavors like the fajita burger and French onion soup burger, nothing beat the basic burger. I just added a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce  and a teaspoon of burger seasoning, like Weber’s Gourmet Burger seasoning to a pound of beef.

Ground beef with seasonings for burgersMaking pork burgers is just as easy. I add Worcestershire sauce to the pound of pork along with a teaspoon of Lawry’s seasoning.

ground pork with lawry's seasoningRecently, I have been adding flax seed to recipes to add more omega 3’s along with fiber. I decided to add a tablespoon to both the beef and pork before pattying it up. Is pattying a word? Well, I am using it. Pattying: the act of making a meat patty.

flax seed sprinkles added to burger meatMaking the Hamburger Patties

Now, the no brainer is to make four patties from a pound of meat to get four quarter pounders. However, rules are made to be broken and quarter pound burgers can be a lot of burger for a 5 year old. I made quarter pounders from the beef and made more like fifth pounders from the pork.

Beef burger patties

pork burger pattiesTips to grilling hamburgers

  • Seasoning both sides of the burgers before you put the patties on the grill can lock in the flavor.
  • Putting a dent in the cent of the top of the patty can keep the patty flat opposed to round.
  • Only flip the burgers once or they may begin to fall apart.
  • Don’t over smash the fat out.

grilling beef hamburgersIf I am going to add cheese to the burgers, I wait till the burgers are cooked and add the cheese while the burgers are still on the grill. I then kill the burners and leave the burgers on for a minute or two before removing. Perfectly melted cheese.

cheese burgerThe hard part, choosing pork or beef!

Beef or Pork Burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 or 5 burgers

Basic burgers made from ground beef or pork.

Ingredients

  • BEEF BURGERS
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon burger seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)
  • POKR BURGERS
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix ground meat, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings and flax seed. Form into four or five patties.
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Do you have any burger secrets? Do share your favorite recipes from this week!

Hunk of Meat Monday: Sweet & Spicy Pork Grilling Rub

It’s still Monday, late in the day albeit, but Monday. It seems summer days get away from me and then all the sudden, I need to get supper on the table. This is my new favorite go to rub when I don’t have time to marinate or brine meat.

Sweet and Spicy Grill Rub IngredientsThe great thing about rubs is that you can add more or less of the spices to increase or decrease the amount of heat in the rub. So the basics for this rub are brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix them together entirely. The sugar likes to clump together.

sweet and spicy RubThis makes enough rub for about 4 pounds of meat. I used two smaller pork loins.

pork loin catfishAnd just used my hand to rub the meat with the spice rub.

pork loins rubbed with spice rub

spice rubbed pork loinsThen place on the grill over indirect heat.

grilling pork loinsI cook pork to 150 degrees and let it rest for at least 5 minutes to let the temperature raise another 5 degrees.

grilled pork loins restingAnd then I sliced the pork loins up for everyone to enjoy!

sliced grilled pork loinMMMM, MMMM good. And wouldn’t you know it I have pork chops sitting on the counter waiting to hit the grill. Can you like we love pork in this house!?!?

Sweet & Spicy Pork Grilling Rub

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 16

Serving Size: This can be used on 4 pounds of meat.

Sweet & Spicy Pork Grilling Rub

Simple rub with seasonings you have in your spice cabinet. Great on pork and chicken.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix together seasonings.
  2. Rub generously on pork loins or chops. Makes enough rub for 4 pounds of meat.
  3. Cook meat as you normally would.

Notes

Store in sealed container if you do not use it all at one time.

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What do you have cooking this Hunk of Meat Monday?

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