Charcoal Barbecue Chicken


Spring catapulted me into summer fairly quickly. Frankly, way too fast since winning the Edible Communities, Reader's Choice, Eddy's Award for Best Healthful Recipe for my Gluten Intelligence article for Edible East End. Time seems to spiral out of control, when in fact, it is me playing a game of twister to just catch-up.

I tend to take on more than I can chew, what can I say? There has been plenty of: nibbling, spiralizing, sipping homemade concoctions, rooftop and herb garden tending, spending time with family, and mingling with friends who know a thing or two about barbecuing over a coal fired grill.


For a Summer Solstice Potluck I purchased a Char-Griller Super Pro to kick-off warm weather grilling, just in time for the 4th of July. I was so excited about my new toy that I put the grill together myself —in the middle of a 90° sunny day— with a little bit of coaching from my husband Chris along the way. He gave me a "B" for trying my best; skimming over the user manual is not recommended for first-timers like me who learned the hard way what a cotter pin, hex nut and ratchet is used for. Besides a few flubs and bumps the grill was intact and ready-to-grill. 

Charcoal grilling is an art. I observed, tasted and was taught by my friend Steve Schwab who is an avid grill master. His wife Andra who is my childhood friend, stated how he "mans" the grill at home. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to learn the proper way of barbecuing. 

I think the technique of grilling is 75% the key to a phenomenal juicy and flavorful meat; a good marinade, carefully sourced meat and select natural wood chips, drives it home. This may sound trite, or like I'm overly sensationalizing, but I had an "aha" moment of mind and tastebuds saying, "whatever was made, do it again".

This is the best BBQ I have ever had.  

Are you grilling your chicken to a black pulp? If so, stop! Embrace a slow cooked indirect flame that will keep you barbecuing all year round.

Charcoal Barbecue Chicken


Note: You can freeze the back bones and necks for chicken stock. 


  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil
  • 4 limes; squeezed
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/4 cup; cilantro chopped
  • 1 teaspoon; dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon; worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon; ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup; chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon; spanish paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

    Note: Here is a nifty herb and food pairing guide by Personal Creations

    For the Grill
  • 8 pounds of charcoal
  • 3 cups of apple wood

    Note: apple wood imparts a mild fruity flavor that is not overly strong
  • Bucket of water
  • Crumpled balls of paper
  • Kindling twigs
  • Matches


  1. Cut up the whole chicken in parts and place in a shallow dish.
  2. Place all marinade ingredients into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
  3. Pour over chicken and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. The lime will begin to tenderize the chicken.
  4. Place crumpled balls of paper on bottom of the grill rack. Then place the kindling twigs on top.
  5. Arrange the charcoal around the edges of the kindling and paper. Light the paper and kindling to allow the edges of the charcoal to burn.
  6. Meanwhile, soak the wood chips in a bucket of water for 30 minutes. By that time the charcoal should be a grey ash color.

    Note: optimal temperature for grilling is 275° - 300°. My grill has a temperature gauge.
  7. Push all charcoal to one end of the grill and leave space where charcoal is to work the flame.
  8. Then place the chicken on oiled/sprayed flavor bars on the opposite side and skin side up; breast meat should be the furthest from the flame towards the back.
  9.  After 30 minutes, place 2 handfuls of wood chips. (do this every 20 minutes).  
  10. Close the lid and be sure to check frequently. Do not turn the meat and cook until golden brown.
  11. Chicken can take 1 - 1.5 hours to cook; if you have a temperature gauge it should reach 165°.

A Winter Farmers Market to Warm the Stomach and Soul


One way or another we all have been affected by the polar vortex, a new weather phenomenon that has been coined by AccuWeather or as they prefer to say, "extreme arctic air coming south". Winter is a time where the earth breathes in, a moment for pause and most of all for me — reflection. I have been doing my fair share of reflecting and 2013 by far has been one of the most challenging, creative and enriching years of my life. The construction of Sheridan Green has been an amazing feat — as some of you know — and confidently I can say that this week a final inspection is scheduled; prayers are welcome for a certificate of occupancy. And in between managing and nurturing the building process I have met some of the most amazing edible artisans and craftsman of the East End and made new friends along the way. 


We may not be in the height of a bustling harvest or running into one another at a local farm stand, but in the middle of winter there are plenty of artisanal edibles and chitchat to warm the stomach and soul, you just need to seek it out. A dash of craft and a dose of local nibbles were what I needed and what better way to combat the polar vortex than at a winter farmers market in Bridgehampton on the grounds of the Topping Rose House in the restored barn. This gathering was a celebration and thaw from the frigid grasp we have all been under for the past month. As attendees mingled with artists, artisans and local farmers inside, it seemed Heat Miser made a deal with Snow Miser for a bit of warmth and sunshine outside; It was a balmy 47 degrees and sunny.


The turnout was so sensational that some vendors ran out of items. Holly Browder of Browder's Birds was selling pickled eggs, dry rubs, barbecue sauce, brine and of course fresh farm eggs; I snatched the last dozen — lucky me. Kate Pratt of East Hampton Gourmet had to call her partner Michel Mazuret to bring her more of their signature Lentil Rice Crispbreads as they were selling out. Mecox Bay Dairy was inundated with cheese lovers hovering over their table to nibble on their most celebrated varieties: Atlantic Mist, Sigit and Mecox Sunrise. I walked away with a pound of their grass-fed ground beef and a farmhouse cheddar. Deborah Lukasik of Southampton Soap Company was selling her sudsy craft left and right; thankfully I got to her table in time to hoard the evergreen soap that she featured in a 2013 holiday pack, truly invigorating. Long Island Mushroom was showing off their finest fungus and I took away a 1/2 pound of shiitakes. Chef de Cuisine Ty Kotz of Topping Rose thanked all 31 vendors personally for participating in their first ever farmers market — I thought this was a warm touch. I first met chef Kotz at the Great Chefs Dinner and I was blown away by his beet risotto that tasted equally as beautiful as it looked; fingers crossed that he puts it on the menu.


Topping Rose plans to host another winter farmers market on Saturday, February 15, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. If you cannot wait that long and tired of hibernating under Snow Misers ice plunge the Riverhead farmers market opening day is February 1, at 117 East Main Street, in the old Swezey's building and will be open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., from February 1 — May 17.

I had big plans for my edible purchase. A dish that would leave you feeling warm and comforted, just like I felt at the Topping Rose winter farmers market.

How does homemade egg noodles with grass-fed beef meatballs in a Parmesan shiitake broth sound? This dish is all about comfort and will take you out of your icy doldrums.

Egg noodles with grass-fed beef meatballs in a Parmesan shiitake broth



Egg Noodles

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup water

Meatballs in Parmesan Shiitake Broth

  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound of shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium - large Parmesan rind 
  • 1 lb ground grass fed beef
  • 1 cup of whole ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of fresh italian bread chopped (trim the crust)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • flour for dredging meatballs
  • 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil


Egg Noodles

  1. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in center and crack eggs into it.
  2. Take a spoon and mix together gently. Add water if dough is not forming a ball. Begin to use your hands when dough begins to come together. It should be slightly tacky.  
  3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. You can refrigerate the dough up to a day. Be sure to have it rest on the counter for 30 minutes to bring to room temperature before rolling out.
  4. Lightly flour your working surface. This will keep the dough from sticking. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, working from the middle out.
  5. When the dough is about a 1/4 inch thick, cut the dough into strips with a pizza cutter. I found the pizza cutter to be the best but you can use a large knife. If you have a hand crank pasta machine or kitchen-aid attachment you can use that too. But this pasta is super easy to do by hand and is fun. Do not worry if your noodles are crooked, this is all about comfort. I cut them in long strips at a 1/2 inch wide.

    Note: When the meatballs in Parmesan shiitake broth is almost done, cook the noodles in boiling salted water until they float, about 3 minutes.

    Meatballs in Parmesan Shiitake Broth
  6. In a large pot add the chicken stock and Parmesan rinds.; cover and let simmer.

  7. In a large skillet over medium heat add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot add the Shiitake mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes. Then add the shiitakes to the broth and continue simmering.

  8. In a large bowl, combine the beef, bread, garlic, ricotta, parmesan, salt, pepper, milk and parsley. Lightly mix everything together without overworking the meat, should be light and not compact.

  9. Once everything is combined, place a large piece of parchment or tinfoil on a baking sheet. Roll the meatballs into 1-inch round with your hands and then dredge in flour and place the meatballs on the baking sheet.  Repeat until all the meatballs are ready to be seared.

  10. In the same skillet you used for the shiitakes, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs, working in batches to not overcrowd the pan. Use tongs to turn the meatballs and cook until all sides are browned, approximately 5 minutes. You are simply doing a quick sear not cooking the meatball entirely. Place the meatballs in the broth as you go.

  11. Let the broth and meatballs simmer for 30 - 45 minutes.


  12. When done place a laddle of the broth on the bottom of the bowl, add he egg noodles and then a few meatballs with the broth and shiitakes. If you desire sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with some crusty bread.

Edible Long Island Launch Party Prompts my Resurgence with an Autumn Panzanella Salad

This past week I joined fellow Long Island food and drink enthusiasts at chef Tom Schaudel’s Jewel Restaurant in Melville, New York, to celebrate the much anticipated launch issue of Edible Long Island, a magazine that celebrates the stories of what we eat and drink, season by season. 

In typical Out East Foodie fashion I was tasting, sipping and photographing Long Island’s best food and drink while conversing with like-minded strangers and friends. 

Mirabelle Duck Rilette with cornichon walnuts marmalade

Jewel Restaurant: Oysters with Mango Caviar

Deb Aiza of Sweet 'tauk  

Roots: Dickens Cider with Candied Bacon

T.W. Barrit of Culinary Types blog

As I took a bite of the candied bacon strip that was in my dickens cider by Roots Bistro Gourmand, I locked eyes with my virtual friend T.W. Barritt, a contributor to Edible Long Island and author of his fantastic blog Culinary Types; I felt like I found my long lost friend. After a minute of us enthusiastically greeting each other, T.W kindly states, “You know Laura, you are a week behind on your blog.” Two different emotions came to mind: complete joy that he follows my blog weekly and major anxiety about what seems to be a setback. I am not sure if T.W. noticed but the sweat started to pool on top of my brow—it was a perfect start to our in person friendship. So thank you T.W. for following my blog and the gentle reminder (we chuckled together) on my delay. 

For over a year now it has been one big blur for my husband Chris and me, an amazing race of sorts to get our home Sheridan Green done before the years end. The combination of managing and constructing the building process, our professional jobs (that pays the bills), my blog and trying to nurture relationships with friends and family has been a feat. So once in awhile, sweat pools above my brow for feeling harried and other times overjoyed with excitement. 

Two weeks ago we were able to sneak away from the daily grind to have dinner with dear friends of ours in New York City; we had not seen them in two years. This gathering reminded me of the homemade meals and spirits we would share with family and friends: breaded grilled flounder with the infamous panzanella salad during the summer months on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, gnocchi made three ways for the Gnocchi Fest in December at our friends Bed and Breakfast, The Sea Spray Inn in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, cassoulet at my aunt and uncles in Weston, Connecticut where we would always cook a feast for no special occasion, corn and flour tortillas for fish tacos during the winter months in Todos Santos, Mexico at my aunt’s compound where my brother’s family from Bend, Oregon and other family members would get together for a vacation and last but not least sipping wines from the Willamette Valley visiting friends in Portland, Oregon.

However sad it may seem that we have not seen most of you in a very long time, I have a feeling it is going to be very hard to get rid of you once Sheridan Green is complete.

We are one month away from being moved in and as I type this the kitchen cabinets are being installed and the trim is getting set in place, Yippie! The 7kw solar array is ready to run the geothermal system so we won't have any energy bills or require fossil fuels to heat and cool the house. 

The hot yoga studio is ready for Heat Mizer temperatures, the kind of heat that us Bikram yoga fanatics love. The Edible garden above the carport awaits some attention, so in the meantime I have been taking biodynamic workshops with the great KK Haspel so we can apply those practices on our property. And for the first time in my life I am the proud owner of a car, a Ford CMAX hybrid; it has been one heck of a ride—no pun intended.


Soon all our friends and family from afar can add the East End of Long Island as your next viticultural and culinary destination. Not only will this be a home for loved ones to gather but a place where like-minded people can come together to talk story, enjoy amazing food and drink and share inspiration in a great space.

In honor of our friends, family and all the edible gatherings we have shared in the past I created an autumn panzanella salad to indicate where we are today. I had such fond memories making this salad over the years that I wanted to create one that reflected the season.

Cheers to all of you who have been so supportive, to T.W. Barritt for reminding me how fleeting time truly is and for my husband Chris who is making it all happen—I love you.


Autumn Panzanella Salad

ingredients salad


  • 1 dumpling and 1 acorn squash (you can use butternut squash) 
peeled, sliced and seeds removed and reserved.
  • 1/3 cup of squash seeds
  • 3 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 8 (3/4-inch cubed) whole grain bread
  • 5 red medium sized beets, peeled and quartered (reserve the beet tops for the salad)
  • 2 cups of beet greens roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh sage, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 10 slices of fresh ricotta salata (as you desire)

ingredients for vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkin oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup




  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toss the cubed bread in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of sea salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Take the reserved seeds from the squash and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with dash of sea salt and toast in oven for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 400°. Slice and peel the squash. Toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of sea salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Do not over cook. (note: you may find it easier to peel the squash (for acorn and dumpling) after the slices are baked
  4. Toss the beats in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and cover with tin foil. Bake for 40 minutes or until fork-tender.
  5. Slice the ricotta salata cheese and set-aside

    for vinaigrette
  6. Whisk together all the ingredients for the vinaigrette.
  7. In a large bowl begin to layer all ingredients (squash, beets, bread, seeds, and beet tops) except for the cheese. Lightly, toss all ingredients with the vinaigrette and let sit for 5 minutes. Place ricotta salata on top of the salad and serve.

    Serves 4 people