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Twas the Night Before Christmas Menu, by Beverly Hicks Burch

We had a friend over for Christmas Eve this year and Tall & Handsome wanted to plan a festive meal that wasn’t necessarily “traditional” and was “social. T & H loves those social meals. You know the kind where everyone can gather in the kitchen and chat while the meal is prepared or part of the meal is prepared. Fondue is one of his favorite wingdings to throw, and we have yet to do that as a couple. We also know not everyone eats like we do.

So, I took some time to develop a menu and here’s what I came up with:

Christmas Eve Menu

  • Bev’s Savory Cheese Ball
  • Nuts and Bolts (my homemade Chex Mix)
  • An antipasto tray made up of olives, pickled okra, pickles, roasted red bell peppers, banana pepper rings, etc.
  • Bev’s Special Deviled Eggs (I don’t know what it is about deviled eggs but men LOVE deviled eggs)
  • Baked spiral cut ham
  • T & H’s special Chipotle – Cinnamon Apple Roasted Chicken (instead of a rotisserie chicken)
  • Cheese assortment
  • Italian bread
  • Multigrain bread
  • Assortment of mustards
  • Fresh apple and pear slices
  • Southwestern Chowder
  • Fresh Apple Cake
  • Cherry Cheesecake
  • Beverages

Here was the plan. The ham and chicken were going to be used to make panini sandwiches to go with the Southwestern Chowder. I like apples or pears on mine, guys tend to enjoy the peppers on their sandwiches. There was a choice of mustards, breads, cheese and low fat mayo. (We love our Wolfgang Puck Panini maker.)

Normally we use a rotisserie chicken to make the Southwestern Chowder, but for Christmas Eve Tall & Handsome used a Chipotle – Cinnamon Rub, apple juice in the well of the chicken cooker, 2 cinnamon sticks and Jack Daniels wood chips to add extra flavor. He used apple juice in a spray bottle to baste the the chicken during cooking. Cook over medium indirect heat. Grill to 165°F.

We used half of the chicken for the Southwestern Chowder and the other half was sliced for the Panini sandwiches.

I’ve mentioned T & H and his “beer can” chickens before. They’re not really beer cans, so I thought I give you a picture demo today of what his beer can cooking actually is. These chickens are as good or better than the rotisserie chicken you can buy. Once cooked, they’re so handy to debone and freeze in packets. I make two – therefore, two meals from one bird.

So, for the Chipotle – Cinnamon Apple Chicken, here’s a pictorial guide to T & H’s bird:

Beer Can Chicken Roaster

Weber’s “Beer Can” Chicken Roaster for the Grill

Fill the well with a liquid

Remove the top and add the liquid of choice – we used apple juice for this recipe

adding spices or herbs

Add spices or herbs to well and liquid before adding top back to roaster

place chicken on cooker

Putting the chicken onto the roaster/”beer can” device

right before the grill

The chicken securely on the roaster and ready for the grill

the finished beer can chicken

Just of the grill: Chipotle – Cinnamon Apple Chicken

This method of cooking a chicken produces a tasty, moist and tender chicken. The fat drains down into the pan instead of the chicken laying in it the whole time it cooks.

This is the chicken we used half for the chowder and half for panini sandwiches. We’ll do this again!

Tall & Handsome told me it was a good night before Christmas menu.

© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Comments: 4

  1. Marlayne December 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm Reply

    Oh my goodness what a lovely and elaborate meal. You are so talented when it comes to thinking up different things to use and make. I love that creativity. The photos you produce help us to understand far better what you are discussing as well. Congrats and hope everybody got their fill! Happy New Year.

    • bamasteelmagnolia@windstream.net December 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm Reply

      Happy New Year to you and yours. The beauty of this recipe is how easy it is – especially the chicken, Marlayne!

      Happy New Year and big hugs!

  2. mountainmode December 29, 2013 at 8:37 pm Reply

    The chicken turned out great. My Weber roaster has seen many chickens and it still cooks fantastically.

    • bamasteelmagnolia@windstream.net December 29, 2013 at 11:47 pm Reply

      I’m looking forward to the next one. I really like the Apple Curry, but the Chipotle – Cinnamon was outstanding. What’s next?

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