For my beloved Brother who introduced me to the art of cooking, who taught me how to taste and truly love food. Without him I'd never be able to be where I am today.

July 23, 2012

Catch the Whiff

Summer time is the time when the air is filled with special vibes. Love is in the air, sex is in the air, people are smiling and radiant, it smells of sunscreen and sunburned skin. My personal favorite and probably the number one most obvious sign of summer is the luring, finger-licking smell of grilled food. Barbecues are everywhere. And people get amazingly creative fixing one up. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a huge terrace by a lake or whether you live in a studio apartment in the very core of a city, there’s a barbecue solution for everyone and every circumstance.

For Finns, barbecues are a real summer time must. Even if pours, Finns will stubbornly light up a barbecue and stand there in the rain with rubber boots and an umbrella. Anything for a delicious grilled sausage! I think I’ve already expressed my love for sausages very explicitly, so I don’t need to tell you how much I enjoy them grilled in the summer. However, I’m very open for new grilled treats. Veggies-wise I’d say that only your imagination is the limit. Grilled summer vegetables is something so simple and so delicious that there are no words to describe it. Enjoyed with or without some nice grilled meat – doesn't matter, I love them either way.

This summer I was introduced to a very interesting and quite funny way to grill chicken. In Finland a whole grilled chicken is usually something you buy at your local super market. It’s perfect for a quick fix summer picnic or alternatively, the best remedy for a summery Sunday hangover. The greasy crispy skin just does the trick better than anything else! It was a happy surprise that my American friend and housemate Sean suggested to grill a whole chicken at home unrelated to either of the two aforementioned situations.

Two hours to go until dinnertime and I nervously walked in and out of the kitchen glancing at the whole chicken that was resting in salt brine. My inner child took over me and I found myself playing with the wings, making silly sounds. Sean stepped in to the kitchen and told me to not play with food. I apologized for my silly manners and curiously asked him how he had planned to prepare the bird. He gave me an answer that didn’t really make me any wiser: trailer park grilled chicken. I guess he was able to tell from my facial expression that what he just said made no sense to me at all, so he kindly explained that he would sit the chicken on a beer can; literally cramming a beer can up the bird’s butt. Nice! I got the trailer park association. I had to look away when he performed the procedure, not out of disgust but out of courtesy to the birdie.

A few minutes later the chicken sat perfectly upright on the grill with the beer can up the booty. What a funny sight, I have to say! I was very eager to try the juicy meat. The beer keeps the otherwise dryish grilled chicken nice and moist I learned. Pretty straightforward, no rocket science there. The lovely smell of grilled chicken filled the air. The neighbor dogs seemed to enjoy it too. They started frenetically running around barking at the fence. Barbecuing is the perfect way to make the whole neighborhood hungry. I bet no one can just walk by without wishing they could pop by for a little grilled snack.

I sure was happy to have an American in the house when Sean started cutting the sizzling grilled chicken. I had to give it to him, Yankees seriously know how to barbecue! The bird was grilled to perfection. I also felt better when the can finally was removed. Boiling grilled beer anyone? I expected Sean to tell me about some outrageous custom of drinking the nasty thing, but he had nothing of the sort to tell. Maybe for the better.

Of course the meat tasted divine and it seriously was the juiciest grilled chicken I’ve ever tasted! I couldn’t wait to introduce the trailer park grilled chicken to my fellow countrymen. I’m sure Finns will enjoy it and crack some suitable jokes about the poor chicken with a beer can up its rectum. Sounds very Finnish indeed.

1 comment:

Tell me what you think. Did I make you hungry?