Fried Chicken with Gravy using the Vortex

I’ve had Grandma’s fried chicken with gravy. It was crazy good. Cooked in oil in a cast-iron skillet over a hot gas stove, it was the food of dreams. I’ve now had the pleasure of enjoying that same great crunchy, moist chicken with a delicious gravy, all cooked using my Vortex insert. This right here is amazingly great chicken, and all without deep-frying.
Fried Chicken with Gravy using the Vortex

Fried chicken with gravy using the Vortex takes a bit more work than just making fried chicken on the grill. The gravy is the special addition, and to make it you need drippings from the chicken. Normally when I ‘fry’ chicken on my charcoal grill the drippings end up disappearing into the bottom of the grill. To make the gravy I had to ‘capture’ some of those drippings using disposable pans positioned underneath the chicken. I found some small aluminum pans at your grocery store that worked just fine, capturing all that dripping goodness.

Also try my more traditional (but dang good) fried chicken on the Vortex. Nothing beats chicken on a Vortex. Nothing.

Fried Chicken with Gravy using the Vortex

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 pieces

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 2 Vegetable oil for basting

Gravy:

  • 1/4 cup chicken drippings
  • 1/4 cup All purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

For the chicken

  • Put the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add enough cold water to cover the chicken. Stir in 2 tablespoons of salt. Cover and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.
  • Fire up your Vortex. Let the coals get just ashed over. To make gravy place small disposable aluminum pans under a few of the pieces of chicken.
  • Remove chicken from the brine. Do not rinse. In a pie plate or shallow bowl, combine the flour and salt and pepper to taste. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, coating completely. Shake off any excess.
  • Transfer the chicken to the grill around the Vortex. Cover and cook 45 minutes, rotating the lid every 15 minutes. Check for near doneness (160 F for white meat, 170 F for dark meat) in several places before removing.
  • Lightly brush the chicken with oil and cook another 2-3 minutes to crisp the skin and finish cooking the chicken (165 F for white meat, 175 F for dark). Remove to a plate or cooling rack.

For the gravy

  • Carefully remove the disposable pans containing the drippings. Don't spill it onto the Vortex or it will flame up. You'll need 1/4 cup of the drippings.
  • Place drippings into a medium skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until browned, about 1 minute. 
  • Add milk and whisk until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve chicken with the gravy and devour.

Brazilian Rotisserie Pineapple

For almost 20 years I wondered why I didn’t get a rotisserie when I bought my first grill. Well, I solved that problem when I bought a Weber Summit S-670. I never knew how much I needed a rotisserie until I got one. Besides the ‘usual’ stuff like rotisserie chicken or ham, I also get to make delicious dishes like this Brazilian rotisserie pineapple. The pineapple is brushed with coconut milk then coated in cinnamon sugar. Onto the grill for a while and then sliced and served with whipped cream, it’s one delicious dessert!
Brazilian Rotisserie Pineapple

One of the things I learned while making Brazilian rotisserie pineapple is that the eyes on a pineapple grow up the sides at an angle. You get a really great presentation when you remove them in a spiral pattern. And it gives the coconut milk and cinnamon sugar more places to stick to. Win!

You don’t need a massive Weber S-670 to make this. Any grill, gas or charcoal (Weber makes a rotisserie that works with their charcoal grill too!), with a rotisserie will do just fine. Just remember that you skewer the pineapple from the side and not lengthwise thru the core (which would be pretty hard to do!).

If you have a Char-Broil Big Easy you can make this great dessert on it, too!

Brazilian Rotisserie Pineapple

Course Dessert
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves optional
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

Instructions

  • Twist off the crown of the pineapple and cut off the ends. Cut down the sides to remove the rind. Then, using a sharp knife, cut spiral cuts up the sides of the pineapple to remove the eyes.
  • Place the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a bowl and stir to mix.
  • Fire up your Big Easy. Get that rotisserie ready!
  • Skewer the pineapple crosswise with the rotisserie and NOT thru the length of the core.
  • Brush the pineapple with the coconut milk. Dust heavily with the cinnamon sugar mix.
  • Roast until the pineapple starts to turn golden brown.
  • Remove and let cool 10-15 minutes before slicing.

  • Serve with whipped cream.

Notes

Depending on the size of your pineapple and how heavy handed you are with the spices, you might have enough of the cinnamon sugar mix to make 2 pineapples.

Spicy Bacon Burger

Messy and spicy. That’s all I need to know. Plenty of crispy bacon too. And a little of ‘garden’. Nothing really that fancy, just a good juicy spicy bacon burger with plenty of kick. Thanks to the spicy cheese and a very spicy sauce.
spicy-bacon-burgerI usually cook my burgers on the grill, but not on the grates. Instead I use a griddle insert that is made of cast iron. The insert gets screaming hot, like a griddle from a diner. You know, the diners that make great burgers. When you cook on grates the juices drip down into the grill, lost forever. When you cook on the griddle the juices hang out, flavoring the patties and keeping them moist. You can’t go wrong griddling burgers in my opinion.

Also try my Louisiana burgers. They’re seriously good.

Spicy Bacon Burger

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 3 servings

Ingredients

For the burger

  • 1 pound ground beef I prefer a 85/15% mix
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 slices smoked bacon
  • 3 sesame seed hamburger buns
  • 3 slices extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 slices habanero jack cheese
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • 6 thin slices tomato
  • 6 thin slices red onion

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce

Instructions

For the burger

  • Preheat oven to 380 F.
  • Divide the ground beef into 3 equally sized patties. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Place bacon slices on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping once, until done but not overly crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Fire up your grill and cook the burgers until the desired doneness is reached.
  • Toast the buns if desired.
  • Top patties with cheese and melt.
  • Slather the buns with the sauce. Add the patties, lettuce, tomato, red onion and cooked bacon.

For the sauce

  • Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.