Thursday, June 18, 2009

More From Donatello's Obscenely-Titled Recipe File

I truly love my swell pal Donatello. Whenever I'm bereft of original ideas...

(No, I have to re-phrase that. I'm almost always bereft of original ideas.)

Whenever I'm willing to admit that I'm bereft of original ideas, he allows me to publish some of his wonderful stuff. Sooner or later, he's going to glom onto the fact that I'm using him unmercifully. Until then, I'm making hay while the sun shines, which isn't anywhere near as tasty as what Donatello will teach you to make. So, without any further ado (or, perhaps, in this case, adobo) Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Donatello!

Hey Kids! If you don't have a grill but you want one, National Get-A-Free-Grill Day is coming up! It happens yearly on the evening of Father's Day. In your neighborhood, this holiday might be commuted to Trash-Day-Eve that week. Or in someone else's neighborhood for that matter. Perhaps, I might suggest, a snootier one?

Want to join the festivities? Just go for a cruise Father's Day Night (or Trash-Day-Eve) and look for grills. There will usually be quite a few to choose from, charcoal or gas. I recommend gas. The only thing wrong with most of them is that they're not as cool as the shiny new grill Dad just got for Father's Day.

The burner might be shot but a replacement burner is cheap, $12 - $20, depending on the size. You might even find one curbside. Pop off the retaining clips and slide it out. The ignitors rarely work but they're not worth replacing anyway. Get a grill lighter at the dollar store. You may have to pay the deposit on a gas tank, but sometimes you can snag that too. Take only a tank with a triangular knob.

Bring appropriate gear (gloves, basic tools, bungees &c.) and shop the open market. If you see a likely candidate, grab it. If something better turns up, swap it for your first pick. Early birds go out at dusk the night before Trash-Day; 5 - 7am day-of for the less committed. Remember, the scrap metal guys are after these too. Still, for the price of a tank of propane and maybe, if your sensibilities require it, a can of Easy-Off, you're set. As long as your lease allows a grill, that is.

A couple of tips for beginners: be sure to bring a blanket or tarp to cover your trunk or truck bed. Also, used grills often have a can of grease hanging off the bottom! Check before you lift! If it's there, pop it out carefully, leaving the clip, and toss it... probably in the barrel that will be right nearby. Finally, it was mentioned above, but one more time for emphasis: gloves. Better to have 'em and not need 'em....

Of course, you can "shop" for grills anytime, but this is the big week. I love shopping at the Free Store, probably the Abbie Hoffman influence again. I keep the basics in my trunk always, just in case a "bargain" turns up unexpectedly.

Happy Hunting!


Once you've got your grill up and running, you're going to have to put something on it. As the t-shirt says: if God didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat? If you have no better ideas, you might try one of the following:

MY WIFE just loves boneless breast of chicken.

[Ed. Note: Despite the resemblance, Donatello means HIS WIFE, not MY WIFE.]

I think boneless breast is as exciting as Cream o' Wheat. Yawn. One night, in desperation at the thought of facing another meal of chicken, I made this. She really loved it. And I could eat it without nodding off. A fair compromise, and isn't that what marriage is about? At least there's a dish I can make when I have to eat...

Friggin' Chiggen

2 lbs boneless breast (2 big cutlets)

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil, plus a little extra for the grill

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 tsp. hot sauce, or to your taste. (I use Sriracha)

Adobo if you have it, garlic salt if you don't.

Fillet the cutlets very thin, about 1/2 in, like you're filleting a fish. I get 3-4 thin ones from one whole boneless breast. Put them in your favorite marinating container, something you can shake without spilling. I use old plastic bread bags, myself.

Add the rest of the ingredients, top with a good shake of adobo, and shake it up. Put it in the refrigerator to marinate, shake it up every now and then if you think of it. Two hours will do, but longer is better. A day is good, if you have the time.

[Here's the thing, the acids in the citrus juice will practically cook the chicken by themselves. When it's ready it will be white... all the way through if you cut it thin enough and left it long enough. Tender and tasty and ready to grill. By the way, don't let the purists fool you. Fresh lemon and lime juice is great, but the bottled stuff works just fine here, thank you.]

Lay the cutlets on a hot, oiled grill and turn the heat to medium, close the top and cook 5-8 mins.

Brush the top sides with a little more oil, give them a little shake of adobo, and turn them. Close the top and cook another 3-5 min. I like mine cooked just through. If you like yours cremated, well, use your best judgement.



(for pork or chicken)

1/2 cup prepared chopped garlic. Don't chop your own. Not only is that a lot of work, the prepared stuff works better for this.

1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers

1/2 cup red wine (or wine vinegar)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1-2 T. sugar

Hot sauce to taste. (I use about 1 T. Sriracha)

Puree the lot in your blender or food processor. Pour it over meat of your choice. Marinate for 3 hrs. to 3 days. Grill appropriately. I particularly like:

Bone-in, skin-on, chicken breast, slow-grilled over indirect heat, about 1 hr.

Fire up both burners and get the grill really hot, put the chicken on over one burner only, spoon a little extra marinade on top, then turn off the burner under the chicken. Turn the other down to medium, and close the top. Try not to peek too much, you'll just let the heat out. Rearrange them after 1/2 hr. if you like, possibly basting with a little butter or olive oil. You might also fire up that second burner to finish them for a few minutes before you take them off.

This will work just fine with any cut of bone-in, skin-on, chicken.

This is also really good with boneless ribend pork, or pork chops, grilled the usual way, or whole pork tenderloin, grilled as above. I just love me some pork-products. If I could grill the squeal, I would.


Well, there you have it. Another couple of recipes from Big D's Dangerous Kitchen. While these aren't as cheap as FTM tuna, they're just as easy, and making them a couple days ahead improves them. And don't forget, food tastes better cooked on a free grill! Happy Get-A-Free-Grill Day!

Your swell pal,



I have little of value to add. Though that's rarely stopped me in the past, it will now.

Soon, with more better stuff

(Oh, just in case you want to buy a brand-spankin'-new grill, the fine folks at Weber sell swell ones. I tell you this because I stole the photo from their website and I figure it's only fair.)


Chuck said...

I have an electric's the only kind my apartment allows on the patios. Not as good as charcoal, but it gets the job done.

lime said...

what happens if donatello wises up and gets his own blog? hhehehe

now i am hungry for chicken breats and i haven't even eaten breakfast.

i beati said...

sweet marinade

Michelle H. said...

Great recipes. I never tried adobo before.

Chris said...

The things one can learn over here in Suldogland. Free Grill Day. I like that.

Buck said...

It's hard to improve on the classic Weber kettle (charcoal) grill. Propane is for wussies.

Just sayin', albeit with a great deal of authority. :D

Unknown said...

Love the titles of your recipes Suldog, especially Friggin Chiggen!

Rosaria Williams said...

Just had to come over on such a day to get a recipe and a commercial too. Suldog, you never fail to teach and entertain.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, trash days. I always hope my husband misses those.

MVD said...

Hmmmm - Do you think a discarded Weber would fit through the moonroof of a small coupe? Hopefully, I can make all bridge clearances.

The truck bed just ain't happening here.

Karen said...

I love chicken on the grill. Funny that you're back today... I made tuna salad earlier and remembering your post, added pickle juice and breadcrumbs to it... something I've never done before. YUM!

Shrinky said...

Ooooooooh, Free Grill Friday here I come! (The knobs dropped off of my gas one years back, I needs plyers to operate it now.) Mind you, the nervous look on our guests faces when I stride up clutching the set is almost worth the effort..)

I may well try one of these recipes out on my new grill.

Jeni said...

That chicken recipe sounds pretty decent. I'm gonna have to give that a shot -as soon as I figure out what the hell Adobo is.

Hilary said...

That chicken sounds delicious and Webers truly are great grills. Now I'm hungry..

Eddie Bluelights said...

Kind Sir Jim
I will return to read your post with interest later but now I formally invite you to attend an awards ceremony where I am delighted to inform you there are two awards for you which I would be honoured to bestow on you. Lola is doing the cooking so nibbles and drinks are there. Dress is formal since the Queen of England may be present and David McMahon has done a special video shoot of a surprise guest - all will be revealed ~ and I have a searching question for you ~ Sir Eddie

Thumbelina said...

Well I might just invite you over to make me some of that chicken. I am right with YOUR WIFE and boneless breast of chicken is the best. Mm Mmmm.

Shammickite said...

I wish I knew what adobo is.
I know there isn't any in my house.
That's a great way to acquire a "new" BBQ. And isn't it father's day this weekend?

Ananda girl said...

Oh my... I'm having Friggin Chicken tonight! Yum. Have to use last year's sad little hibatchi that's falling apart. But now I know how to replace it! Thanks.

Jazz said...

Hey, that's are Bar-B!!!

Donatello said...

Hey All -

FYI - Adobo is a Latino spice mix. There are a few different kinds - any kind will do. You'll find it in the International aisle. Or you can mix your own from any number of recipes online... or just use garlic/onion salt.

Buck - You are absolutely right, but only if you use real charcoal made from wood, not those sawdust 'n' kerosene briquets.

I like gas for two simple reasons - five minutes after I decide to grill, I'm grilling. And when I'm done, I'm done. No smoldering fire, no ash, no hassle.

Karen - Glad you liked the tuna. For all you skeptics out there, see? It is actually edible.

Eleonora Baldwin said...

Gas, electric, propane, charcoal... are we talking barbecue here or what? What is this grill? (I am Italian, so I am allowed these bouts of vocabulary ignorance, right?)

Whatever the grilling device, I am surely going to try the Friggin' Chiggen. Whatever recipe it takes to elevate those birds to nobility is always happily welcome.

Thanks again, and tell Donatello to keep it comin'.


(word verification: carnivor !)

Janet said...

Donatello is awesome. He needs a blog. You could still use his stuff.
Now I want chicken. Of course, in my house, I'm the only one who would eat it. A friend of mine has a shirt that says "PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals."