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Michael Symon's Playing with Fire: BBQ and More from the Grill, Smoker, and Fireplace Hardcover – April 3, 2018
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From the Publisher
One of my all-time favorite dishes is beautifully simple oven-roasted chicken. But something magical happens when you cook whole chickens in a wood-burning oven. If you don’t have access to a wood-burning oven, you can do what I do here and use a grill with a cover that is equipped to handle real wood fires. I love this method because the screaming-high but indirect heat cooks the chicken incredibly fast, leaving the meat super juicy and the skin dark, rich, and crispy. For the best results, season the chicken the night before.
1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, liberally season it inside and out with the salt, and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.
2. Build a wood fire on one side of the grill.
3. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Lift the skin above each breast and insert 3 lemon slices and 1 bay leaf into the pocket. Put the onion, garlic, thyme, and any remaining lemon slices inside the cavity.
Liberally coat the exterior of the chicken with olive oil.
4. When the temperature inside the grill reaches 500°F, lift the cover and place the chicken breast-side up on the side without the fire. Cover and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°F at the meaty part of the leg, about 1 hour.
5. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
- 1 (3- to 4-pound) whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds and seeded
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 small red onion, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme
- Olive oil
Grilled Pork Chops
Smoked Corn on the Cob
Whole Grilled Striped Bass
"Chefs have an emotional fascination with fire, something primal and intuitive. This is not chichi food. Michael's cooking comes from the heart, soul, and gut. Simple, straightforward, and convivial, it is the food of a true pitmaster."
"Here's why I'm lucky . . . Michael Symon is my best friend and I've eaten most of the dishes in this book. I can smell the smoke and taste the fire of these recipes just by paging through the spectacular photos. The Fireplace Chicken has become legend in our friendship, and now it can all be yours."
"I've long been a fan of Michael Symon—his genuine enthusiasm, wild talent, and love of food are evident in anything he touches. Over the years, I've watched him develop a deep love for and embrace the culture of barbecue. At Mabel's, he applied his immense skills to create a flavor profile that reflects his unique heritage and geography, and here he shares all that and more. In this book, readers can join his world and learn from one of best as Michael offers his tips, tricks, and techniques for smoking meat. Anyone who loves barbecue will devour this book."
—Mike Mills, 17th Street Barbecue, author Praise the Lard and Peace, Love & Barbecue
"This is an excellent guide to live-fire cooking."
Top 10 in Cooking & Food Spring 2018—Publishers Weekly
Best New Cookbooks Spring 2018—Eater
About the Author
MICHAEL SYMON is a cohost of ABC's The Chew and Food Network's Iron Chef America and Burgers, Brew & 'Que. He is the chef and co-owner of the acclaimed restaurants Lola, Lolita, and his newest restaurant, Mabel's BBQ, all in Cleveland, Ohio; the BSpot burger restaurants in Ohio; and Roast in Detroit, Michigan. He is the author of Michael Symon's Live to Cook, Michael Symon's Carnivore, Michael Symon's 5 in 5, and Michael Symon's 5 in 5 for Every Season.