Recipes: Serve Up a Michael Symon-Approved Fourth of July Feast

  • Michael Symon with his grilled chicken thighs
    Courtesy Knob Creek
  • Southern Greens
    Courtesy Knob Creek
  • Knob Creek Bourbon Salted Caramel Apple Pie
    Courtesy Knob Creek
  • Knob Creek Summer Spice
    Courtesy Knob Creek

updated 07/04/2013 at 11:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/03/2013 07:15AM

If you plan on partying like it's 1776 today, you'll need to serve up a meal worthy of the Founding Fathers.

Celebrity chef Michael Symon is breaking down everything you need for your Fourth of July barbecue.

On the Food Network regular and Knob Creek bourbon spokesman's menu? Grilled chicken thighs cooked to a smokey, spicy perfection, southern greens and – you guessed it – apple pie. (Is there anything more American?)

And we know what guests at the restaurateur's Fourth of July celebration will be washing their meals down with: an ice-cold whiskey drink that could win over George Washington. Follow Symon's recipes below:

Smokey, Salty & Spicy Grilled Chicken Thighs

Serves four
• 8 Chicken Thighs (bone-in and skin-on)
• 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
• 2 oz. soy sauce
• 2 oz. honey
• 4 tbsp. hot sauce
• 4 oz. bourbon
• 2 oz. olive oil
• 2 limes cut into wedges for garnish
• 1 bunch cilantro for garnish
Whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, bourbon, honey and olive oil. Place chicken thighs in a zip-lock bag, and pour in the marinade. Give it a good shake, and let it marinate for one to two hours. Place on the grill, and cook until you reach 160º internal temperature. Remove from the grill, and garnish plate with lime wedges and cilantro.



Southern Greens

Serves eight
• 1 lb. bacon, diced
• 2 red onions, medium diced
• 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 tsp. chili flakes
• 1 lb. Swiss chard
• 1 lb. mustard greens
• 1 lb. kale
• 1 lb. collard greens
• 3 oz. red wine vinegar
• 1 tsp. granulated sugar
• Kosher salt
• Hot sauce
Roughly chop the greens into about ½-inch pieces. Thoroughly wash them under cold water, drain and set aside. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, add the bacon and render. Once the bacon is just about crisped (about five minutes), add the onion and vinegar, and sweat for three minutes. Add the garlic and sweat for an additional minute.

Add the greens to the pan along with the chili flakes and 1 tbsp. of salt. Put the lid on the pot, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, check seasoning and add salt or more vinegar if necessary. Add hot sauce to taste and serve hot.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Serves eight with one eight-inch pie
Apple Filling:
• 8 cups Granny Smith apples (peeled and thinly sliced)
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 tsp. lemon zest
• 1 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1 tbsp. thyme leaves (roughly chopped)
• ¾ tsp. cinnamon
• ¼ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
• 2 tbsp. bourbon
• 3 tbsp. flour
• 1 egg
• 1 tbsp. heavy cream
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside until you have prepared your crust and salted caramel (recipe below). Once you are ready to assemble your pie, roll out one-half of the crust to fit the bottom of an 8-inch pie tin. (Chef tip: Symon recommends leaving some dough hanging over the edge.) Add half of the apple filling to the bottom crust. Pour half of the caramel bourbon mix on top of the filling. Add the rest of the apple filling and top with remaining caramel bourbon mix.

Roll out the second crust and place it on top, making sure to tuck in the edges. Whisk together the egg and heavy cream until smooth. Gently brush the mixture over the top crust. Bake the pie at 350º for one hour or until golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven, and let it set for about one hour so the juices can settle.

Crust:
• 2 cups flour
• 1 tsp. salt
• 8 tbsp. lard (cubed and chilled)
• 8 tbsp. salted butter (cubed and chilled)
• ½ cup ice water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt, and pulse a few times. Add in the lard and butter, and pulse again until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. While continuing to pulse, continuously pour in the ice water until the dough starts to come together. Remove the dough from the processor and divide in half. Wrap each half separately, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Salted Caramel

• 1 cup sugar
• ¼ cup bourbon
• ¼ cup heavy cream
• 3 tbsp. salted butter
• Pinch of salt
Place the sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot over medium heat. Cook for about three minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved and has turned an amber color. Remove the sauce pot from the heat and slowly whisk in the bourbon, followed by the heavy cream. Return the sauce pot to the stove over a low heat in order to melt the mixture down (if necessary). Whisk in the butter and a pinch of salt. Set aside to cool.

Summer Spice

• 1¼ parts rye whiskey
• ½ part fresh lime juice
• ½ part orange liqueur
• ¼ part white creme de cacao
Pour all ingredients into a shaker. Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

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