Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grilling for Groups: Sausage, Chicken and Salmon

Hot Italian, Mild Italian, Chicken Feta and Herb
When grilling for large groups this summer, grill it right. It's easy to destroy perfectly good food by over or under cooking. Here are some easy suggestions for grilling sausage, chicken and salmon.

First up is sausage. Underdone and your party could be undone. Overdone and your guests are likely to be snapping into a giant Slim Jim. I could give you some tips here but I would just be repeating what Michael Ruhlman has already said so well. Go ahead and give it a read. I'll wait.

You're back? Great. Now, what I can do is suggest a light and tasty side that requires minimal preparation. Sausage is delicious, but it's not exactly health food. And in the heat you don't want to side your sausage with something heavy and debilitating like potatoes.


The answer? A light summer salad or just whip up some hummus. If you're feeling lazy in the heat pick some hummus up at the store and serve it with cut celery, apples, carrots and maybe even some bell pepper. I added a few home made pickles for a vinegary snap.

Light and Delicious
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Next up are chicken and fish. When I grill for the whole clan it's usually a "surf and cluck" affair and timing is key. I find it best to start the chicken first over indirect heat and then add a salmon filet in oiled foil and drop the burner under it to medium when the chicken is about halfway done. Remember to oil the foil so that the fish doesn't stick and don't flip the fillet. The salmon should finish up while the chicken is resting and when you can see the white albumen appear on the top of the filet it is moist, flakey and done.


And remember to use indirect heat for your chicken. Spread your coals around the outside of the grill or if you're using gas turn the outer burners to high and place the chicken on the middle of the grill with no flame beneath it. Chicken will drip considerably and the burning chicken grease will kick the flame up onto your food resulting in ...

Waaa-Waaa
... sadness. What you're looking for is this:

Mmmmm, mmm
With a little thoughtful preparation and careful management of timing and heat anyone can have a successful summer grill. Enjoy!