PDA

View Full Version : Need some serious chicken help


zabor16
08-29-2008, 04:24 PM
I am about at the end of my rope and need to step back and take another direction. I just can't seem to come up with a marinade that plays well with my sauce. If anyone could throw some suggestions my way it would be greatly appreciated. I am NOT asking for a recipe or measurements, that would not be right, but some basics I can work with on my own to find something that works for me.

I think I like a base of lime and lemon juice with olive oil, S & P. If you could add anything or even suggest a different base to build on, I could use ANY HELP.

Thanks in advance.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
08-29-2008, 04:28 PM
Can you tell us a little about what is in the sauce you are trying to work with?

zabor16
08-29-2008, 04:32 PM
Sure. Just a base of Sweet Baby Rays that's kicked up with a little heat (habaneros and other hot sauce) and some sweet (grape jelly), a little of my rub. Basically that's it. It never comes out quite the same but I like it and it seems to be a crowd pleaser (my wife's family).

The Pickled Pig
08-29-2008, 04:34 PM
A high percentage of teams still use Italian Dressing.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
08-29-2008, 04:40 PM
Sounds like Italian Dressing as Paul suggests or Paul Newman's Own (Olive Oil and Vinegar) that Jumping Jim suggests for contest chicken would work well with your sauce. In either case I remove as much of the marinade as I can with paper towels before I put on the rub.

Jorge
08-29-2008, 04:52 PM
Too much lemon/lime, for too long can be tough to mask. I really like it for chicken, but not on my BBQ chicken.

Without asking what the ingredients are...are you using anything in your rub that has a very strong, distinctive flavor that really stands out?

If you are, look for some more balance.

Backyardburners
08-29-2008, 05:17 PM
You may be marinading too long, 1 and 1/2 hours for parts in just about the limit.

thenewguy
08-29-2008, 05:47 PM
Sounds like your battling against a lot of acidity. Maybe try less of the lime/lemon.

Bbq Bubba
08-29-2008, 05:48 PM
Just my opinion....
Swap the marinade for a brine.
Keep the sauce but lose the Habanero's.
Not sure about the grape jelly.
What are your scores reflecting?
Is it taste or tenderness?

zabor16
08-29-2008, 06:48 PM
A high percentage of teams still use Italian DressingI don't really care for the flavor of the Italian dressing route. It's good on grilled chicken but I don't care for it on bbq.

Swap the marinade for a brine.This may be the route I go. I was thinking of using salt, peppercorns, allspice and maybe some ginger. Any other suggestions?

What are your scores reflecting?I havent' competed yet, my first comp is October and I am trying to practice for it.

Plowboy
08-29-2008, 06:53 PM
I don't really care for the flavor of the Italian dressing route. It's good on grilled chicken but I don't care for it on bbq.

This may be the rout I go. I was thinking of using salt, peppercorns, allspice and maybe some ginger. Any other suggestions?

I havent' competed yet, my first comp is October and I ame trying to practice for it.

This may be the root of your problem... it doesn't matter what YOU like. At competition, you aren't cooking for you. You are cooking for judges.

Paul is right that a lot of teams still use italian dressing, but I'm hearing more and more are brining. I'd keep it a simple salt and sugar brine. The rest sounds pretty fancy, but I doubt it is going to make a hill of beans in smoked chicken.

A nice glaze, bite through skin, and chicken that still tastes like chicken is a good start when it comes to comp chicken.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
08-29-2008, 06:57 PM
Zabor, not to be argumentative, but if you are practicing to compete, it is the taste of the judges you need to appeal to, not your own personal taste. Italian Dressing chicken marinade has proven itself a winner over and over with judges.

PimpSmoke
08-29-2008, 07:34 PM
If your doing thighs, don't marinade or brine. Thighs are fatty enough to not worry about a brine.

Sweet glaze and a good juicy chicken are about as good as you can get.

zabor16
08-29-2008, 07:58 PM
If your doing thighs, don't marinade or brine. Thighs are fatty enough to not worry about a brine.

Sweet glaze and a good juicy chicken are about as good as you can get.

This has also crossed my mind. I do like the flavor. How many others don't marinade or brine?

Plowboy
08-29-2008, 08:25 PM
If your doing thighs, don't marinade or brine. Thighs are fatty enough to not worry about a brine.

Sweet glaze and a good juicy chicken are about as good as you can get.

This has also crossed my mind. I do like the flavor. How many others don't marinade or brine?

Take a package of thighs. Brine half and cook the other half unbrined. See what you get for a flavor and moisture difference. My money is on the marinade or brine.

zabor16
08-29-2008, 09:41 PM
Thanks for all your suggestions. I am doing a practice cook Sunday and I think I will split them up and try 4 different preps to see what I come out with.

Bbq Bubba
08-29-2008, 09:49 PM
Take a package of thighs. Brine half and cook the other half unbrined. See what you get for a flavor and moisture difference. My money is on the marinade or brine.

Also my preferance.

Jeff_in_KC
08-29-2008, 09:55 PM
You may be marinading too long, 1 and 1/2 hours for parts in just about the limit.

I marinate my thighs for comps for about 16 hours on average. Last two results since I started my latest "process" - 1st place and 1st place.

Take a package of thighs. Brine half and cook the other half unbrined. See what you get for a flavor and moisture difference. My money is on the marinade or brine.

I've done this and for white meat, it most definitely makes a difference. For thighs, I think brining is unnecessary. But that's just my opinion. My marinade is for flavor, not holding moisture.

Disclaimer: the preceding message is the opinion of the cook, and is not necessarily the opinion of Schick Wilkinson-Sword, an Energizer Company.

PimpSmoke
08-29-2008, 10:17 PM
I marinate my thighs for comps for about 16 hours on average. Last two results since I started my latest "process" - 1st place and 1st place.

Isn't this illegal by KCBS rules?

If not technically....the spirit of the rules?

Plowboy
08-29-2008, 10:19 PM
Isn't this illegal by KCBS rules?

If not technically....the spirit of the rules?

Huh? Please explain.

MilitantSquatter
08-29-2008, 10:20 PM
Isn't this illegal by KCBS rules?

If not technically....the spirit of the rules?

what would be illegal ?

thenewguy
08-29-2008, 10:27 PM
Nothin' illegal there...

Jeff_in_KC
08-29-2008, 10:29 PM
Isn't this illegal by KCBS rules?

If not technically....the spirit of the rules?

Brother Pimp, I put my chicken into marinade around 4pm on Friday. I pull it out around 8am on Saturday. Illegal? how?

Plowboy
08-29-2008, 11:30 PM
Shaving with a pink razor isn't illegal, but it is against man-law.

Just Pulin' Pork
08-29-2008, 11:34 PM
Isn't this illegal by KCBS rules?

If not technically....the spirit of the rules?

Pimp has to be thinking you are putting it in marinade 16 hrs before your chicken is inspected.

Jeff_in_KC
08-29-2008, 11:40 PM
Shaving with a pink razor isn't illegal, but it is against man-law.

You laugh now but I have a plan. And if it weren't for you, I never would have thought of it! :wink: Thanks!

KC_Bobby
08-29-2008, 11:57 PM
Hold on ... are we shavin between the thighs or the thighs themselves?

Ford
08-30-2008, 06:22 AM
Tyson chicken from SANS is already brined in a 10% solution. No need to brine and add falvors that are not natural and will clash with the sauce and rub.

KISS - try chicken and rub and sauce as a starting point and work from there. And the rub needs to compliment the sauce not be different. I use Slabs.

And as already said it's not your taste it's what the judges expect.

Lakeside Smoker
08-30-2008, 07:18 AM
KISS -

I couldn't agree more.
Last year I did EVERYTHING to chicken: brined, marinated, injected, rubbed, wet rubbed, smoked, glazed... Nothing, no calls. This year I'm keeping it simple. Last three comps, three chicken calls. (1st, 2nd, 10th)
The best piece of advice I got was from a judge early this year. He was commenting on a chicken thigh he judged earlier that day. He said it was one of the best he's ever had. I asked him what it tasted like...he said "chicken."

Jeff_in_KC
08-30-2008, 07:24 AM
Tyson chicken from SANS is already brined in a 10% solution.

And it's frozen at least once or twice. No thanks.

CivilWarBBQ
08-30-2008, 08:03 AM
Tyson chicken from SANS is already brined in a 10% solution. No need to brine and add falvors that are not natural and will clash with the sauce and rub.



Amen to that.

I find it strange that some cooks will pay big bucks for a premium brisket but still use a low grade bird like (shudder) Pilgrim's Pride. Good quality poultry is well worth the price.

zabor16
08-30-2008, 08:06 AM
So much good advice! I will let you know how the practice goes.

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Podge
08-30-2008, 08:36 AM
Amen to that.

I find it strange that some cooks will pay big bucks for a premium brisket but still use a low grade bird like (shudder) Pilgrim's Pride. Good quality poultry is well worth the price.

You're 100% correct !!.. A good chunk of my competition stress is meat quality.

Jeff_in_KC
08-30-2008, 02:19 PM
You're 100% correct !!.. A good chunk of my competition stress is meat quality.

I'll pay extra for great quality chicken, ribs and sometimes brisket but not often will I try to find any high grade pork butt. I've never been able to tell the difference.

Bbq Bubba
08-30-2008, 02:43 PM
You're 100% correct !!.. A good chunk of my competition stress is meat quality.

So i'm not the only one who goes to 5 different stores looking for just the right pkg. of chicken.....:biggrin:

PimpSmoke
08-30-2008, 04:04 PM
Jeff,

Disregard, I don't know what I was thinking.

zabor16
09-06-2008, 06:27 PM
Sorry it has taken so long to update this but life is busy.

I did chicken 3 different ways.
1) No seasoning, just straight out of the package.
2) Brine
3) Italian dressing

The overwhelming verdict was the chicken straight out of the package without anything other than sauce on it. There were approximately 8 different tasters and 5 of them said those were the best and even those that thought the brine and Italian dressing were the best agreed that the plain were good.

Go figure.....

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
09-06-2008, 06:52 PM
Very interesting results indeed. Thanks for doing the test and getting back to us on it.