A first-time barbecue for young cooks.
Here four budding chefs, ages 8 to 12, tackle the process of building a charcoal fire, operating a barbecue, using a marinade, skewering safely, cooking over hot coals, and sharing the rewards of their labor with adult guides who provide more reassurance than help.
But even the experienced cook will find this simple, attractive menu works well for informal occasions.
First-time barbecue Skewered Chicken Mini-drumsticks and Potatoes Cherry Tomatoes Carrots Celery Stalks Lemonade Barbecued Banana Splits
From beginning to the last taste of dessert, this meal takes about 1-1/2 hours. The first thing to do is make the marinade and let the chicken pieces soak in it. Then clean the vegetables and chill them; allow 3 or 4 cherry tomatoes, 1 or 2 carrots, and 1 or 2 stalks celery for each person.
Set up the barbecue and ignite the coals; while they burn, there is time to put chicken and potatoes on skewers, and perhaps squeeze lemons to make fresh lemonade. When you take the chicken and potatoes from the barbecue, bananas in their skins go on the grill over the cooling coals to heat and get soft for dessert.
We suggest you combine instant-lighting (fire-starter-impregnated) charcoal briquetss with regular charcoal briquets so you can light the fire with just a match. Briquets are about 2 inches square and 1 inch thick; you control the amount of heat by the number you use. The coals should be stacked in a mound, and air must be able to circulate through it so that the coals will ignite evenly. It takes about 30 minutes for the surface fo the coals to turn gray; beneath this film of ash, the coals are red with heat.
you can buy chicken wings sold as wing drummettes or mini-drumsticks at the supermarket; they are actually the largest section of the wing (of wing's three parts, it is the section attached to the breast).
You will need about 2 dozen slender metal skewers, each 10 to 12 inches long. Skewered Chicken Mini-drumsticks and Potatoes
3 dozen (about 4 lbs.) chicken wing drumettes (the largest piece of the wing) Paprika marinade (recipe follows)
10 instant-lighting charcoal briquets
40 regular charcoal briquets
6 medium-size (1-1/2 in. thick) white thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed (about 2-1/4 lbs.)
Salt and pepper
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Put in a 9- by 13-inch pan and pour in marinade; mix to coat. Cover and let stand while you start the fire (or chill as long as overnight).
To prepare the fire, put fire grate in place and open all drafts on barbecue. Stack the instant-lighting charcoal briquets neatly in the center of the grate. Surround with regular charcoal briquets, stacking them on top of the first mound. Use a long fireplace match to reach into the center of the pile to light charcoal. Let charcoal burn, checking occasionally, until coals are grayf this will take about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, skewer chicken and potatoes. Lift wings, one at a time, from marinade. Holding onto bony end, push a skewer perpendicular (at a right angle) to bone through the meaty part of the wing. Push a second skewer, parallel to and about 1/2 inch away from the first, through the wing in the same direction. Repeat this procedure to skewer all the wings; put 6 or 7 wings on each set of skewers and keep each piece about 1/2 inch from the next.
Hold each potato on its edge on a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise, holding the knife handle in one hand and pushing down on the blade with the other. Set pieces on the board, cut side down. With your hand on top of a piece of potato to keep it in place, hold a skewer parallel to the board and push through the middle of the potato. Then push it through 2 or 3 more halves the same way.
Alongside the first skewer and about 1-1/2 inches away, push through a second skewer, as pictured above; this can be a little difficult, so be sure to keep one hand flat on top of the potatoes so you won't poke yourself with the skewer. Ask an adult for help, if needed. Skewer the remaining potatoes the same way.
Brush some of the chicken marinade all over the potatoes.
Using long-handled tongs, push coals out in a single layer, with no spaces between. Put the cooking grill in place, about 6 inches above the fire grate.
Lay potatoes in the center, hottest area of the grill (potatoes need more heat to get done at the same time as the chicken). Arrange the chicken around the sides of the potatoes.
Keep an eye on the foods, and if drips cause flames, extinguish the fire by spraying with water (use a spray mister). Let foods cook until they brown on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Using padded mitts or tongs, turn over skewers; baste foods once or twice with chicken marinade; do not let it drip onto the coals. Continue to cook until chicken is browned and not pink at the bone (cut to test) and potatoes feel soft, about 25 minutes total. Turn as needed for even browning.
Lift skewers from grill and put food on a tray; pull out skewers and serve the foods to eat with your hands. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Makes 6 servings.
Paprika marinade. Stir together 1/2 cup salad oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons each soy sauce and paprika, and 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves. Barbecued Banana Splits
When you take the chicken and potatoes off the barbecue, lay on the center of the grill 6 small (6- to 8-in.-long) ripe, unpeeled bananas. Let cook until the skin darkens and the banana feels very soft when pressed, turning once, about 10 minutes total. You don't have to watch closely, but check every few minutes.
Lift bananas from grill and put each on a plate. With a knife, make a slit lengthwise through the banana skin; pull skin away from fruit to make a boat. Put a scoop (about 1/4 cup) of vanilla ice cream on top of each banana, then pour 2 to 3 tablespoons purchased chocolate sauce on ice cream. Makes 6 servings.
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|Date:||Jul 1, 1984|
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