Fourth of July: Revving up for a summer of fun, food, and family!

Fourth of July: food YOu know your family will love, even if you're making it for the first time!

Fourth of July kicks off a summer of fun and easy food. Here’s our famous holiday menu, with a tip: For extra flavor, put Blak Label on your table.
— Lisa

Welcome to EuroCAST's Recipe of the Week: Special Edition. We honor the United States independence day celebration. 

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In 1776, in order to create a more perfect union, a small group of brave visionaries dedicated themselves to key ideas whose logic -- and heart -- were stronger than any king. Equality being key among them. 

And every Fourth of July, we remember this pivotal turn in world history by coming together with family to enjoy delicious food.

4 July Menu

Sweet tea brined hens, roasted in EuroCAST's double roaster
With onions and lemons

OR

Sweet tea brined fried chicken

WITH

Classic potato salad with shallots, bacon and jammy eggs

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Sweet tea like my West Texas parents used to drink is as common in the South as the dewy, steamy mist that thickens the air and slips off your shoulders, a delicious, wet humidity. Hair curls. Cheeks glisten. Things slow down to a quiet sleepy hum. 

Iced tea solves the sizzle, sitting square and hard on your tongue and gathering force down your throat. Its powers quench the dustiest thirst.

The little girl that was my Momma started making iced tea with white sugar in her youth, but then moved to brown sugar after she left home. Later, when I was being raised by Momma in the secrets of iced tea, I remember she sometimes hurried the brewing and sweetening, so thirsty was she, that the brown sugar hung and then sunk in the glass, giving me a sweet little brown sugar sand dune at the bottom. My Momma's tea was always sweet, year-round, no matter if it was hot or cold. It tasted always like comfort.

But tea ain't just for drinking. 

My sweet tea brine with brown sugar makes the chicken moist and supple with a hue of tea-stained umber. After brining, you can roast it in your EuroCAST double roaster, which at 10 quarts' capacity is large enough to fit two whole birds, so you can feed a crowd on these crowd-pleasing recipes. 

Or use our deep-sided fry pan to turn the brined chicken into ridiculous tenders for children (or adults), or to fry up parts.

Roasted tea-brined chicken

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Brine for chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 family-size tea bags
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 (3 1/2-lb.) whole chicken to roast. Or, your favorite parts, selected to create 3-1/2 to 4 pounds total of your most popular chicken parts
  • 4 onions 
  • 1 head garlic 
  • 2 lemons 
You want easy? Put out some fresh bread and serve up these dipping oils. The kids can dip in the pool. You can dip in the Napa Valley goodness. Just click to go to the  blak•label  site to explore.

You want easy? Put out some fresh bread and serve up these dipping oils. The kids can dip in the pool. You can dip in the Napa Valley goodness. Just click to go to the blak•label site to explore.

PROCEDURE

  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan (I used the EuroCAST one, which is now $80 off on special); add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes.
  2. Discard tea bags. Stir in brown sugar and next 5 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely (about 45 minutes); stir in ice. (Mixture should be cold before adding to chicken.)
  3. I put one brined chicken in one large freezer bag, then put that  bag in a bowl to store in the fridge for 24 hours. 

Double this brining recipe if you're roasting two birds. 

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To roast

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Add to the bottom of your EuorCAST double roaster: 

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  • 4 white onions 
  • 1 head garlic cut in half
  • 2 lemons cut in half 
  1. Drain both chickens, discard brine and pat chickens dry 
  2. Place chickens side by side on top of onions and lemons
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and black pepper. 

NOTE: The brine will imbue a golden color to the skin which increases with cooking. If it becomes too dark during the cooking time, tent with foil. 

Roast uncovered for 35-45 minutes, or until juices run clear. 

Let rest. Cover loosely until cool enough to touch and serve. 

A variation for fried chicken

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Brine your chicken as above. Heat oil in your Eurocast 10" deep sided fryer to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Gently place chicken pieces that have been dipped into a well-seasoned batter into the hot oil, and fry until chicken is cooked through and golden brown, 8-10 minutes (breasts and wings) or 13 to 15 minutes (thighs and drumsticks). Drain on a kitchen rack or paper towels. 

You could also just do a roasted bird with a quick rub. We love the poultry seasoning from our partners at blak•label. Rub, roast, rest, serve. 

Click on the image to go to the  blak•label  site! Easy to explore, easy to buy, easy to use, easy to please.

Click on the image to go to the blak•label site! Easy to explore, easy to buy, easy to use, easy to please.

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Classic potato salad with bacon and jammy eggs

Everyone has a favorite potato salad. This is one of mine, and I think you'll love it to. It's spiked with crispy bacon, raw shards of sliced shallots, and topped with beautiful, jammy eggs. 

One egg per customer, sir!

Potato Salad

INGREDIENTS

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  • 1 pound red boiling potatoes plus
  • 1 pound Yukon gold boiling potatoes (2 pounds total potatoes, cooked through but not mushy) 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs
  • 1 small celery stalk diced
  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 5 large shallots sliced wafer thin on a mandolin or by hand  
  • 1 pound bacon cooked till extra crisp, broken into shards

PROCEDURE

  1. Cut warm potatoes in 1/2 and place in a bowl. Season with vinegar, salt and pepper. 
  2. Cut peeled eggs into slices, add celery, red onion, parsley and chives.
  3. Stir in mayonnaise and mustard until  everything is combined. 
  4. Chill, covered. 
  5. Stir in sliced shallots and gently fold in bacon shards before serving. Taste for seasoning. Salt and pepper before serving.
  6. Serve topped with jammy eggs. 

Jammy Eggs

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  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower eggs into water one at a time.
  3. Cook 6½ minutes, adjusting heat to maintain a gentle boil.
  4. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water and chill until just slightly warm, about 2 minutes.
  5. Gently crack eggs all over and peel, starting from the wider end, which contains the air pocket.

Do-ahead

Eggs can be cooked and peeled three days ahead. Store airtight in the refrigerator.

And to add some flavors you'll love on a hot day ...

 

Tease

Well, you can't get away without dessert. Care to find this in our Recipe of the Week archives? 

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Paul WardComment