Spring is in the air and so is Grilling Season.  Although, I have been known to grill in the snow before!  There are many great foods to take to the grill.  I mentioned a favorite Glazed  Salmon and I must...

Spring is in the air and so is Grilling Season.  Although, I have been known to grill in the snow before!  There are many great foods to take to the grill.  I mentioned a favorite Glazed  Salmon and I must give my Roasted Chickens and Leg of Lamb a shout out!

My backyard houses two Weber grills, with rotisseries that I have learned to love, a gas grill and a charcoal grill and smoker combination.  I think I have some of the best grilling tools, but a Big Green Egg would not be turned away if it ever showed on my back deck!  For two of my favorite grilled meats, I like the old-fashioned Weber grill and rotisserie attachment.  The Roasted Chickens and Leg of Lamb were served at our Sunday Dinner Table many times during my youth.  My preparation is a bit different than my father’s, as I have learned some valuable cooking lessons that include garlic as a secret and prized ingredient.   As a child, I remember simple mashed potatoes were always served with this Sunday Supper along with a green vegetable and a salad.   I have often stepped up the potatoes in more of a Gratin and often followed Ina Garten’s or the Barefoot Contessa’s  Potato-Fennel Gratin as a favored recipe to accompany my grilled meats.  There is always another vegetable and salad to this meal, but the grilled meats are the stars!

Grilled Chicken
Grilled Chicken

I can promise that this Chicken will be some of the best you have ever enjoyed.  I like the seasonings of Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary for this poultry.

Grilled Chickens Ingredients:

  • 2 chickens about 3 ½ -- 5 pounds each.  When you are grilling two, select these birds with similar weights for the best results.
  • 3 lemons, cut in 4 sections each
  • 2- 3 heads of garlic – Cut in half
  • About 10 – 12 stems of fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • Seasoning salt
  • Garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Start your charcoal or gas grill. I prefer charcoal treatment for these chickens and I would build a large fire to last the duration of a cooking time of at least 65 – 90 minutes.  I allow my coals about 30 minutes to prep and heat before I spread the ashen coals for the roasting process.   Keeping both vents open to stoke the fire and interest your neighbors in your grilled dinner!
  2. Rinse the birds and remove any meat packaged within the carcass
  3. Pat dry.
  4. Heavily salt the inside cavity of the bird.  Using at least 1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt to season.
  5. Stuff each carcass with 6 lemon chunks, three garlic bulb halves and about 6 – 8 stems of fresh rosemary.
  6. Secure the birds on the rotisserie rod with the spikes.  I will also use my kitchen twine to “tie-up” these birds for their spinning on the grill. The trussing process also helps to helps to keep the bird stuffed and allows for the most even cooking of the birds.
  7. After these birds are trussed, liberally sprinkle the outside of the birds with a combination of seasoning salt and garlic powder.
  8. Roast for about 60 – 90 minutes.  Checking with a meat thermometer for a temperature of 180 degrees for poultry.
  9. Allow these birds to rest covered with a tent of foil for about 15 minutes before carving.  Remove and discard the lemons, rosemary and garlic. The bones make the start for a fabulous stock.   Here is the link to my secret stock.

Grilled Leg of Lamb
Grilled Leg of Lamb

Grilled Leg of Lamb

Ingredients:

  • 1 leg of lamb, removing excess fat and silver skin
  • 6 – 8 cloves of garlic, chopped into large slivers
  • 6 -8 stems fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. About one hour before you intend to begin the grilling process, begin the work on your meat so that this leg of lamb can come closer to room temperature when you add this to the grill.
  2. Leg of Lamb Seasoned with Garlic and Rosemary
    Leg of Lamb Seasoned with Garlic and Rosemary

    Make small incisions into the leg of lamb and stuff with garlic and 2” pieces of rosemary.  This is not an exact science,  you are going for infusing these flavors into the roasting process.

  3. Following this stuffing process, impale the leg with the rotisserie rod and secure with the spikes.  Again, I will use my butcher’s twine here to keep the leg in place for the roasting process.
  4. The fire directions follow that of the chickens above.    Start your charcoal or gas grill. I  again prefer the charcoal treatment for this lamb and I would build a large fire to last the duration of the cooking time of at least 65 – 90 minutes.  I allow my coals about 30 minutes to prep and heat before I spread the ashen coals for the roasting process.   Keeping both vents open to stoke the fire and interest your neighbors in your grilled dinner!
  5. Consult a meat thermometer in the cooking process.  We prefer our lamb rare, so we will remove this meat from the fire at about 140-150 degrees over the suggested 160 degrees.  I think lamb is best cooked rare or medium rare.  You should also enjoy a nice smoke layer visible on your meat from this cooking process.
  6. Again, allow the meat to rest under a tent of foil for about 15 – 20 minutes before carving. Carve and serve with your favorite sides for a most memorable meal  Do not forget to save the pan drippings as the wonderful treat to pour on top of the meat at serving time. Both of these grilling treatments are very simple, but these important roasting steps will have your entrée shine as the main course for your meal.

I have tried the Beer Can Method of roasting chickens, and continue to return to this traditional method and the simple concept of the rotisserie.   Over my cooking career I have only once made a leg of lamb in the oven, and determined that this meat deserved the coal treatment.

In  my next blog,  I will offer some suggestions of how to use any left-overs for a next meal.  Chicken Pot Pie is best with Grilled and Seasoned Chicken and I will also share a Lamb Ragout that is another favored second dish!

What is your favorite grilled meat?