3 Grilling Recipes from Colorado Springs Chefs

    Before summer’s sunset, proudly don your “Kiss The Cook” apron, crack open a Colorado brew, and grill like the Springs’ culinary best.

    backyard grilling with friends
    Photo Adobe Stock

    We’re standing at autumn’s door, but before it opens to peak views of golden aspens, there are plenty of prime days ahead for backyard grilling and patio chilling. Here are three recipes to impress guests and up your grilling game no matter the season.

    Noah Siebenaller’s Grilled Spatchcock Chicken

    Noah Siebenaller worked at Phantom Canyon Brewing, an early player in Colorado Springs’ bourgeoning culinary culture. Since then, he’s risen to executive chef and general manager of Beasts & Brews, a Northgate concept offering a market-style butcher shop. “This chicken is great served with a root vegetable medley and Brussels sprouts, all of which can be grilled along with the chicken,” Noah Siebenaller says. “I also like to garnish it with my chimichurri.”

    Spatchcock Chicken from Beasts and Brews
    Spatchcock Chicken. Photo courtesy of Beasts and Brews.

    Start to finish: 1 hour, plus 12-24 hours of marinating chicken

    Servings: 4

    2 whole chickens, halved*
    1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoons granulated/powdered onion
    3 tablespoons sunflower oil
    2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
    1 lemon, cut in half

    Brine
    1 quart water
    2 quarts ice
    1/4 cup kosher salt
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 lemons, halved
    1/2 ounce fresh rosemary
    1/2 ounce fresh thyme
    2 tablespoons peppercorn

    • In a saucepot, simmer water. Add sugar and salt; stir until dissolved. Squeeze lemons into water and drop in juiced halves. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.
    • Remove brine from heat. Pour over the ice. Allow to cool.
    • Place butterflied chicken in brine for 12 hours
    • When ready to cook, preheat grill to 250 F.
    • Remove chicken from brine. Pat dry. Lightly baste with sunflower oil then cover with seasonings and herbs.
    • Cook over indirect heat, with grill covered, for 30 minutes. While grilling, baste lemon halves with sunflower oil and place on grill until lightly blackened. Once internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 F, remove and let sit for 10 minutes. Then squeeze lemons over it and serve.

    * To cut chicken in half: Place chicken breast side down and cut along sides of backbone (cutting through the ribs). Remove. Turn over. Using the heel of your hand, press firmly to flatten.


    Mark Soto’s Smoked Oysters on the Half Shell

    Mark Soto has been influencing the culinary scene in Colorado Springs since arriving nearly five years ago, slinging whiskey at Axe & the Oak and working the kitchen at the game-changing, but bygone, Blue Star. Growing up in southeast Texas, he enjoyed Cajun, barbeque and Tex-Mex cuisines, and now he brings those roots to the Front Range with Slow Downz, a mobile food cart serving po’boys, gumbo and Mexican grilled corn. This recipe will take you beyond ordinary grilling!

    Start to finish: 1 hour

    Servings: 6

    Equipment
    oyster shucking knife
    disposable pan
    apple wood chips

    Ingredients
    2 dozen oysters
    3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
    1 green pepper, minced
    ½ cup sour cream
    ½ cup green onions, sliced
    6 slices of bacon, cooked then minced
    smoked paprika for garnish

    • Preheat smoker or grill for indirect heat to 400 F, and add wood chips.
    • Soak wood chips and set aside.
    • While the smoker is heating up, shuck the oysters and discard top shells (wedge the knife to release bottom half).
    • Place oysters on disposable half pan, and place cheddar cheese and minced green pepper on each oyster. Important: Keep cold before cooking.
    • Cook bacon, slice green onions, and prepare sour cream for garnishes.
    • Place pan of oysters directly over heat and cook 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Add garnish, and enjoy!


    Justin Castor’s Grilled Lamb with Couscous and Carrot Puree

    Award-winning Chef Justin Castor graduated from the acclaimed Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts with honors. Currently creating breakfast specialties at Urban Egg, Castor has also traveled France, exploring esteemed Michelin star kitchens, local farms and renowned wineries.

    Start to finish: 1 hour

    Servings: 2

    2 lamb shanks
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    • Mix all seasonings in a pan.
    • Marinate lamb in mix, 4 minutes each side.
    • Grill lamb on each side at 375 F until medium rare.
    • Let rest for 10 minutes.

    Couscous
    1 1/4 cups chicken broth
    1 cup couscous
    1 tablespoon butter
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon thyme
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    • Boil water. Add couscous and salt. Remove from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes.
    • Heat oil in a shallow pan. Cook garlic until golden, add spices, and cook for 30 seconds more.
    • Mix garlic and spices into couscous. 

    Carrot Puree
    1 1/2 pounds carrots
    1/2 cup roasted red pepper
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    pinch of cayenne pepper
    pinch of salt and pepper

    • Steam carrots in a 1/2 inch of water until soft.
    • Transfer to a food processor. Add roasted red pepper, oil, lemon juice, cayenne, salt and pepper.
    • Puree all ingredients.

    Plating
    Once you’re done grilling, plate the puree in a half-circle with the couscous in the middle. Place lamb on couscous. Garnish with melted butter and rosemary mixture.

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