Who says bbq’s have to be informal dining only?! Here’s what we had for dinner last night. Spicy Chicken with Jewelled Quinoa. So simple, and with just a little creativity on the plating, we elevated it from “flip-flops” to “sandals” while we dined – ahem! The spicy chicken rub is just a regular spice rub with the addition of Coconut Sugar – the new “it” item in cooking (recipe for the rub is below). Remember, taste your rub before you use it, if it tastes good, your food will taste good. If it doesn’t taste good, fix it, taste it, then use it. All the hoping and praying in the world will not salvage your food if your marinade or rub, isn’t tasty.

For the quinoa salad, I used Trail Mix. Yes I know it’s pre-made. You can make your own if you happen to be so inclined and eat this a lot, I’m not and I don’t often eat it as a snack.  So for my needs, the package works fine.  This package contained dried papaya, raisins, coconut flakes, cashews, almonds and a bunch of other things screaming of healthy goodness. Of course I added finely diced Thai chilies to the quinoa just to perk it up a bit. So, as always, enjoy this easy weeknight supper!

Spicy Chicken
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tbsp. each – cumin, coriander, garam masala, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder
3 tbsp. coconut sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the spices and sugar with the salt and pepper – taste it, re-season and taste again – good?!
Remove any excess fat from the thighs, spread them out on your raw chicken cutting board (yes you should have one of these) and sprinkle the rub on top, rub this in to the chicken thighs to ensure all surfaces are coated
Let this marinate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour in the fridge
About 30 minutes before you bbq, remove from the fridge and pour a couple of tbsp. of vegetable oil on the chicken and rub it in so all the pieces are coated – this is important, just a technique to avoid the meat from drying out
Get the bbq good and hot – about 400f, oil the grill using a pair of long tongs and a paper towel that has been balled up and dipped in oil
Put the chicken pieces on the grill – close the grill and leave it for 2 – 3 minutes – you don’t want any flames so make sure you have the heat dropped to medium – after a couple of minutes, turn the chicken over – Chef Josh used to say, when it comes off the grill easily, it’s ready to flip over. Now bear in mind, this is if you are cooking at the right temperature and your grill is oiled well. Oh and yes, burnt food does come off the grill easy, just let it cool before tossing it into the garbage:)
That’s it, really!

Jewelled Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked Quinoa – cooked as per package directions (usually 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa, this yields about 2 cups. This is cooking not baking, you don’t have to be that precise)
1 cup Trail Mix – with your favorite ingredients
2 – 3 finely diced Thai chilies
Olive oil, Lemon juice, Salt and Pepper – to taste

While the quinoa is still warm, toss with olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper
Add all the ingredients to the cooled quinoa mixture, using a fork, gently stir to combine breaking up any large clumps of quinoa – taste, season and taste again
Plating – Using a ring mold, place the quinoa in the mould and tamp down to compact, slice chicken thighs on the bias and fan over the top, drizzle reduced balsamic vinegar on top of the chicken
Place 5 dots (really any amount) of Sriracha on the plate, vary the size, do a zigzag patter, use your imagination – top with half a peanut, scatter a few baby basil leaves on the plate, grind some pepper over the whole thing. As always – enjoy. This salad is even better the next day!



bbq with style4