“Beer” In The Rear Chicken with Quinoa Veggie Pasta and Wine Sauce

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Grilling season is finally here, right? As I look out the window it’s raining (again) and 52 degrees. That’s a sad state affairs for the 7th of May where I live. The up side is that we have a covered deck, so we grill 12 months out of the year. But there is that certain “feel” you get on a warm spring day when you can grill, hear the birds tweeting away happily, and smell the neighbor’s fresh-cut lawns. Guess we’ll have to wait a couple of weeks before we can get the full spring effect.

If you haven’t ever grilled a whole chicken, you’re missing out. It’s incredibly easy! There are many ways to do it but tonight I decided on the “beer” in the rear style. I put beer in parenthesis because I don’t think we’ve had a beer in a can in probably 20 years (at least). Call me a snob, but I prefer good beer in an ice-cold bottle. I also prefer Coca Cola in its original form in an ice-cold bottle right out of an old-fashioned machine. Some things should just never be allowed to change. With that said, I use a soda can, dump the soda out, and fill it 3/4 of the way with spring water. You could probably also fill it with juice, beer, broth, and probably even wine. I’ve done both beer (pour soda out and fill with bottled beer) and water and I didn’t notice one bit of difference between the two. So why waste a good beer, right? I’d much rather drink it while I’m grilling.

And as luck would have it, now it’s raining and sunny all at the same time, and my son is mowing our lawn. Guess we will at least have that partial “spring grilling” feeling going on after all!

“Beer” In The Rear Chicken

1 Organic Whole Chicken

Olive Oil

Fresh Rosemary

Fresh Oregano

1 Fresh Lemon

1 Can, your choice (If it’s beer, keep the beer, if it’s soda pour it out and fill 3/4 with water)

Garlic Powder

Seasoning, your choice (I used Chicago steak seasoning)

Salt & Pepper

Clean the inside and outside of the chicken and pat dry. Place can in chicken grill roaster.

If you don’t have one of these you can just set it on your grill, but be careful and keep and eye on it, sometimes they tip over.

Stuff the cavity with the lemon, rosemary, and oregano.

Place on the grill at about 325-350 degrees and close lid.

Check every 15 minutes for flame ups. If it flames up on you too much, you can place a piece of tin foil under the bird and that will help.

Grill for about an hour or until the juices in the leg aren’t blood-red or to your desired temperature.

Quinoa Pasta with Veggies &Wine Sauce

1 Box Quinoa Garden Pagodas Pasta (8oz.)

About 1 Cup Asparagus Spears

1/2 Large Orange Bell Pepper, sliced

1/2 Small Zucchini, sliced

1/2 Small Yellow Squash, sliced

1/2 Large Onion, sliced

About 8 Crimini Mushrooms, sliced

About 1 1/2 Tbsp. Garlic, chopped

About 1 1/2 Tbsp. Oregano, chopped

Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Pepper To Taste

About 1/4 Cup Non-Dairy Butter

2 Ladles of Pasta Water

About 1 Cup White Wine (I used Chardonnay)

Boil pasta according to package directions, rinse, and set aside. Reserve 1 ladle of pasta water.

Prepare vegetables, garlic, and herbs.

Drizzle oil in a large skillet (preferably NOT a non-stick) and heat on medium to medium high. Add onions and mushrooms and saute until onions just begin to become translucent and mushrooms are slightly browned. Add asparagus spears.

Saute for 5 minutes and then add the peppers, sauteing for about 3 minutes.

Add the remaining vegetables, the herbs, and the garlic.  Add a ladle of pasta water and saute until most of it is absorbed. Add the wine and scoot the vegetable mixture to the side, add the dairy-free butter. Allow to saute for about 3 minutes, tossing the veggies.

Add the pasta, warm through.

Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. I also served a simple spinach salad with the pasta and chicken. Baby spinach, 1 tomato chopped, vinaigrette of your choice. Toss.

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