Grilled Chicken Thighs with Roasted Garlic and Ancho Chile Sauce - With only two components, chicken and sauce, you'd think this dish could be whipped up in minutes. Not so. It's not hard, but it does take some time to roast the garlic and soften the pepper. The garlic does take a little longer, so let's start there. Cut the top off of a bulb of garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in foil and bake at 375 degrees for an hour and 20 minutes.
In a small sauce pan pour in 1/2 cup of chicken broth and add a dried ancho pepper. Add enough water to cover the pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil and turn the pepper often until it softens.
With those two components done, the sauce comes together very quickly from here. In a blender add in 1/4 cup chicken broth and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to the roasted garlic and ancho chile. Blend the mixture then drizzle in 1/4 cup of olive oil until it becomes smooth and glossy. Cover and refrigerate.
To the grill we go with chicken thighs that have been seasoned generously with salt and pepper. We grease up the grates with grape seed oil then place the thighs over medium-high heat coals.
Let these cook for several minutes per side until a nice char forms and the interior is cooked through.
Remove from heat, baste the thighs with the garlic-ancho sauce, return to the grill for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat again, cover and keep warm.
To serve, cut the thighs into bite sized chunks and place on a platter with a scattering of lime wedges. Serve the reserved sauce on the side. This dish is all about balance; a bite size chunk of chicken, a squeeze of lime and a quick dip in the garlic and ancho sauce achieves this perfect storm of smoky, earthy, tart and spicy that made this dish completely addictive.
Only Child Brewing Eat Your Damn Vegetables Wheat Ale - These 22 oz bottles were on display at a local fruit market with a sign that said "locally brewed in Northbrook, IL". That was enough for us to get a few in the cart, reading that it was an American Wheat Ale just got us all the more excited. When we cracked them open and started pouring, the beer came out super thin and a really light, yet cloudy yellow. There was a good amount of effervescence in the glass and the white foamy head billowed over the rim of the glass. Let's talk aroma, which pretty much smacks you right upside the head after the pour. Delicious sweet mango, citrusy grapefruit and earthy grass greet the nose right away. As for the flavor, it stays true to the American Wheat style, meaning it is brings the hops big time to go along with the light and easy drinking wheat. This beer is so light, it is nothing short of amazing that they were able to pack that much hoppy goodness into this beer. We also loved that being a small batch brewery, the beer had that super fresh homebrew taste that made this beer climb even higher in our books. Pairing wise, things were spot on. The beer and food were both way up there on the lightness scale making this a perfect end of summer BBQ meal.
Clutch "From Beale Street to Oblivion" - You would have thought by now that we would have featured the entire Clutch catalog here, but not quite. "From Beale Street to Oblivion" is our sleeper Clutch album. We can play it over and over and marvel at just what an amazing album it is, but then the next time we're in the mood for a little Clutch, it gets looked over like yesterday's mashed potatoes, usually for Blast Tyrant, Robot Hive or Earth Rocker. Well, no more. We're prepared to put this album in the A rotation so it never will be forgotten again. The album begins with the psychedelic funk of "You Can't Stop Progress". The track combines Parliament and Sly Stone with that classic Clutch groove. "Power Player" is firmly rooted in a deep and heavy groove and has a definite "Robot Hive" feel to it. If you dig the blues, look no further than "The Devil & Me". The bluesy riff and big organ sound make this one of the best tracks on the album. One of Clutch's many trademarks is their penchant to toss in a slower, outlaw-ish rock song on an album. On this album, "White's Ferry" is that song. This one differs a little from the formula, as only the verses have the slow, smoky tumbleweed feel. The chorus rocks out in typical Clutch fashion. It's back to the blues on possibly the band's most popular song, "Electric Worry". Interestingly, this hadn't been one of our favorite Clutch tunes UNTIL they closed one of the most incredible live shows we had ever seen with it. Now, every time we hear it, we're immediately transported to the House of Blues show. Normally the words "Clutch" and "Classic Rock" don't go together, but they do on "When Vegans Attack". The track delivers a heavy old school 70s riff with some sweet Hammond organ to boot. The album ends with the organ and spoken word intro to "Mr. Shiny Cadillackness" which quickly turns into a downright cool, slow, burning groove with great lyrics. What can we say? "From Beale Street to Oblivion" is just another classic album from one of the best bands in the world.