CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Summer is on the way and, while I don't need a warm-weather excuse to roast animal parts on the grill, I am fired up to fire up the old Weber Performer in clement (as opposed to inclement) weather.
Shucks, I'm like a dedicated athlete. You know the type. Nothing gets in the way of our mission to be the best regardless of whether (or weather) the contest is imminent.
While you were warming your tootsies by the fireplace last winter, I was out back trying to start a charcoal fire in a blizzard. Hey, frostbite is a small price to pay for the culinary treats I created.
Today I'm going to regale you with a recipe for one of those cold-weather creations and suggest two really nice wines that match this food just about perfectly.
When I was a tyke, before R&B ("Rocky and Bullwinkle"), my Italian grandfather would lead me and a few cousins to his chicken coop, where he would select a fat hen or two for the guillotine. Then he would revel in our pasty-faced reactions as the little critters pranced around headless for a few seconds.
After dispatching the birds to chicken heaven, he would present them to my grandmother and assorted aunts for de-feathering and cooking. The usual method was frying or roasting in the oven. I'm sure if Grandpa had a charcoal grill, he would have approved of my iteration of Grandma's roasted stuffed chicken.
I call this B.S. Chicken. No, I'm not disparaging my own recipe; the B.S. simply refers to "Barbecue Stuffed." Here goes.
1 3- to 4-pound chicken (fryer)
4 tablespoons garlic, chopped finely
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground mustard
3 ounces olive oil
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 red pepper, chopped