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Le's get Cookin' For the Fourth

By Jane Butel  June 28, 2018

With the Fourth of July less than a week away--I am sure you have dusted off the barbie and are all geared up for a cookout....or maybe not!  In the event you haven't sorted out your menu for the holiday--perhaps you would welcome a couple of yummy grilling and barbecue recipes.  With the current heat wave affecting nearly all of us--cooking outside sounds like a terrific idea.

If you would like some new and different barbecue recipes--get my newly republished "Finger Lickin', Rib Stickin' , Hot 'n Spicy Barbecue"  cookbook.  And, my new "Fiesta"  cookbook has a special Fireworks watching party complete menu with timelines--so you won't have to  worry about getting everything done at just the right moment.  Also, for special grilling ideas, my "Southwestern  Grilling"  cookbook offers my very favorite meat grilling recipes.  If you order any of them from me, I will autograph the books for you.  They are of course available through  Amazon, Barnes and Noble and your favorite independent bookstore.

To add extra flavor to all your meats, veggies and even popcorn--try our favorite rub, Gordon's Rub is now 20% off until Sunday midnight.  And remember with this rub as with all of our chiles and spices, keep them in the refrigerator or the freezer for best quality and freshness...as we do not have flavor "tangling" additives which would offset the natural flavor and goodness.

And, if you would like to sharpen up your grilling techniques and learn some new ideas, register for our Creative, Fun , Grilling class set for August 16 at 5 PM.

Here's my recipes. 


Pecans grow all over the Southwest. The richness of pecans tinged with tart lemon and tarragon is delicious. This can be served with grilled vegetables.

Yield: 6 servings

Lemon-Pecan Butter (see below)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed

3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Salt and freshly ground white or black pepper

6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley or tarragon

Lemon-Pecan Butter

¼ cup pecans

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

Zest of 1 lemon, minced

2 teaspoons fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.

  1. Prepare the Lemon-Pecan Butter
  2. While the butter is chilling, brush chicken with lemon juice and melt butter, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat grill to medium or 350°. Place rack 4 inches above heat
  4. Arrange chicken on rack: grill 6 minutes. Turn and grill 5 to 6 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife and the interior is 185°.
  5. To serve, place 1 breast half on a plate and top with 2 thin slices Lemon-Pecan Butter. Garnish with parsley.

Finely grind pecans in a blender or food processor. Add butter, lemon zest, tarragon and lemon juice and process until combined. Place on a plastic wrap or waxed paper, forming into a log about 1 inch in diameter. Refrigerate until firm. (Freeze if time is short)

Kentucky’s Best Bourbon-Glazed Thighs

This is the gooey, yummy barbecue sauce you think of from the South. The addition of bourbon really makes it special.  This sauce is equally great on pork chops or ribs! 

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup molasses

2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons yellow prepared mustard

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon pure ground hot chile (you may experiment with really hot chiles here if desired such as the habanero or even hotter—the sweetness of the sauce allows you to tolerate more “heat”)

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

1/3 cup bourbon

12 chicken thighs, butterflied to remove bones and skinned

2 lemons, thinly sliced (optional)

1 onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings (optional)

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup onion and cook until clear. Add ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire, mustard, pepper, ground chile, and salt. Reduce heat to low to simmer until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in bourbon, and cook until heated through.

Meanwhile, heat a grill or broiler to medium heat. Grill chicken until the flesh is lightly browned and juices run clear, about 12 minutes per side. When done, brush each side with barbecue sauce and heat in a moderate oven 3 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer thighs to a warmed platter and serve with reserved sauce in a bowl. Garnish with thin lemon and onion slices, if desired.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.





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