I’m visiting my parents this week and one of the perks of going to Rochester is visiting Wegmans. My family has a long history with this store. In the 50s, my paternal grandfather was the meat, fish and poultry buyer for Wegmans.
My father is a retired plumbing and heating contractor and did much work over the years building the many stores that populated the Rochester area. There are now 95 stores, most in Rochester, with stores in a few other states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.
When my girls were young we’d drive up to Rochester to visit Grandma and Gramps. Our lunch stop was at the Binghamton store. The size of the store and variety of items was a great way to exercise the girls after lunch and before driving that last 170 miles. When we got to Rochester, more than likely we stopped again at the Chi-Paul store. Every day while visiting we made a trip to Wegmans. And I have to admit I still love visiting the store, often!
They are such an innovative organization. Take a look at the prepared meals. These are fully cooked that require reheating only. They also sell EZ Meals., which are uncooked, portioned meals you cook in the container. My parents rely on both of these services as Mom really doesn’t feel like cooking much these days. They are 90 and still live in their own home and with the ease-of-use and wide variety, they eat well.
Anyway, we were in Wegmans earlier than expected yesterday because the forecast is for two-inches of snow later. We were planning on picking up a roasted chicken and sides. I was reluctant to get the chicken so early; I prefer to get it closer to dinner, carve, and serve. Then I noticed that they offer a marinated uncooked roaster chicken that you cook in the bag — this I had to try!
It doesn’t get any easier. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place the chicken in a roasting pan, in the bag, stickers and all. Cook for an 1 hour 15 to 30 minutes. Let rest, open and serve. The only downside is no crispy skin. We chose the Lemon-Rosemary Chicken. It was moist and flavorful. The lemon was probably a lemon flavor as opposed to fresh lemon, it was too to be fresh lemon, but still delicious. I roasted some pre-cut butternut squash and Cipollini onions and we also had asparagus. It was delicious and super easy. Another benefit is the aroma of the roasting food, which I love.
As much as I’ve appreciated Wegman’s over the years, these new innovations are a big relief since I live almost 400 miles away from my parents and can’t physically check on them as often as I’d like. I don’t worry about their nutrition or how they manage their meals.
This is the final video in our mini grilled chicken series: Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs.
When you remove the bone from the thigh, the meat is thin and cooking time is quick. The thigh still retains some fat and remains moist. The flavorful meat is good with only salt and pepper and a little oil to prevent sticking. Also try different marinades and rubs.
I like to use the grilled boneless chicken thighs in sandwiches. Choose a nice bun or good bread and use your favorite condiment or condiments, pile on the lettuce and tomatoes and a few slices of dill pickle. The perfect sandwich!
Tune in to Honeypie’s Recipes YouTube Channel to view the Grilled Chicken Mini Series playlist!
Watch the Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs Video Here
This quick marinade trick was a fluke. Many years ago I was making Rosh Hannah dinner. One cousin doesn’t care for red meat and won’t eat the brisket. I always make something else as a second entrée. One year I was running behind and needed something quick. I grilled chicken and as soon as the chicken came into rest I poured an herbed lemon juice over the chicken. The resting time allows the denatured proteins to coagulate again and when they do, they trap liquid. The salty juices from the chicken and now the lemon, thyme and garlic from the quick marinade.
My cousin and her husband loved the dish and she asked for the recipe. When I told her what I did, she didn’t want to believe me. It was too simple for something that tasted that good!
You can do this, too. Simply juice a lemon, throw in some thyme sprigs and smash a garlic clove and toss these together. Pour this over the chicken after grilling and let rest for 5 minutes. Use lime juice and garlic – sprinkle with chopped cilantro for something different.
These are just two quick and easy suggestions for a quick marinade trick!
Cooking onions highlights their inherent sweetness. Making grilled onions does that and adds a lovely charred flavor so distinctive of the grill.
It’s a simple thing to make grilled onion rings, but frustrating. No matter how hard you try to keep the onion slice in one piece, it eventually softens and falls apart. Then the onion rings begin to fall through the grates and all is lost.
Now I use a vegetable grill tray. Don’t ask why it took so long to get one of these – it changed my life!
Slice and separate the onion rings. Toss with a little oil, salt and pepper, and strew the rings over the vegetable grill tray. Place on the hot grill, cover and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn and cook a little more. Keep turning and cooking until you get the desired doneness. I like some to have a little char on them, but still have some texture.
These are perfect for fajitas, hamburgers or toss over any grilled meat or vegetable.
Next up in mini course on cooking chicken: Grilled Bone-in Chicken Thighs!
Whenever cooking meat or poultry with the bone on, the cooking time takes a little longer. The bone can be in the center or perimeter and location also affects cooking time. Center bones take longer to reach and the meat near the bone is the last to cook because the bone holds that coldness from the refrigerator.
The best alternative on the grill for cooking anything with a bone is to start with direct heat and then move to the other side of the grill and finish on indirect heat. This keeps the outer meat moist and slowly lets the heat permeate throughout.
Chicken thighs have more fat than the breast, so if you overcook a little, it’s a bit forgiving. Use marinades, rubs or just plain old salt and pepper with a little olive oil.
Fire up the grill and get started on your grilled bone-in chicken thighs tonight!
Here’s another video in our mini course on cooking chicken: Grilled boneless chicken breast. Pound the breast with a meat pounder or heavy bottomed skillet to an even thickness. Use your favorite marinade, rub or merely sprinkle with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
A grilled boneless chicken breast cooks quickly. Close the grill on the first few minutes. Gently pull the chicken away from the grate. If it doesn’t release easily, let it cook a minute or two more. Pulling now only rips the meat.
Flip the boneless chicken breast and continue cooking for a couple minutes more with the cover closed. Use a thermometer to get an internal temperature; 165 degrees F is considered safe, I prefer 170 degrees F to make sure there’s no pink left. Don’t forget to let them rest for 3-4 minutes!
These boneless chicken breasts are moist and flavorful, as well as quick and easy.
Skirt steak is a flavorful working muscle that is versatile. Avoid overcooking as it becomes very tough and dry. Marinate a skirt steak, use a rub or simply season with salt and pepper. This tasty steak is also great to use for fajitas, and an excellent choice for a Chinese stir fry. For fajitas or a stir fry, cut the meat with the grain, I know it goes against custom, but for these recipes, cutting with the grain results in tender pieces that are easier to bite into.
Throw some red onions, bell peppers and corn on the cob on the grill along with the skirt steak!
Salsa Crudo is a quick and easy dip to make that is also a great condiment. Add more chili for a spicier dip and don’t hesitate to a different pepper, such as a scotch bonnet, if you like the heat.
Fresh ripe tomatoes, which are just arriving at our farmers markets, add a natural sweetness to the salsa crude and provide a bright color you never get out season.
I prefer to remove the tomato seeds and the juicy pulp they are imbedded in. I find the salsa is too watery otherwise. Another way to reduce some of the excess liquid is to chop and salt the tomatoes and let sit in a strainer for 20 minutes before finishing the recipe. Adjust your salt after the salsa sits for 15 minutes.
Salsa Crudo is also delicious served over grilled chicken, fish or pork as a flavorful condiment.
Today we’re making grilled pork chops; not just any grilled pork chops, but double-thick pork chops!
I use a simple marinade for two chops of fig vinegar, olive oil, dried sage and salt and pepper. It’s a subtle marinade and complements the pork chops nicely.
These pork chops are thick and need both direct and indirect heat. Start over the direct heat to sear and color the chops on both sides, then move to the indirect heat, turn the direct heat to low. The ideal grill temperature is 300 degrees F.
Cook until the internal temperature is 140 degrees F; let rest for 8 minutes. These pork chops are slightly pink inside and very juicy!