July 4th Menu: Entree and Dessert

Yesterday we posted the first half of a July 4th menu. Today we feature the entree and decadent dessert! Thanks to menu-mama Jen Lewis.

flag-waving.gifGrilled Chicken with Apricot-Balsamic Glaze

This is a new recipe for me and came out in this month’s issue of Fine Cooking. It goes well with the Arugula Salad and the Potato Salad with having the sweetness of the Apricot glaze and a little crushed red pepper for a kick.
Look in your butcher’s display case for bone-in parts that are about the same size—legs about 5 oz. each, thighs about 6 oz., and breast halves a little more than a pound each. I really like Richard’s Meat Market and they will prep your meat any way you want.
Serves six to eight.


2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 cup apricot preserves
3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt
Vegetable oil for the grill
Two 4-lb. chickens, each cut into 8 pieces, or 5 to 6 lb. good-quality bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, drumsticks, and breasts, each breast half cut into two pieces
Freshly ground black pepper

How to make: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the preserves, vinegar, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and a large pinch of salt; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. (If making ahead, store covered in the refrigerator. Before using, warm over low heat to loosen the consistency.)

Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. Using a stiff wire brush, scrub the cooking grate thoroughly. Dip a folded paper towel into vegetable oil and, using tongs, rub it over the grill grate.

Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Set the parts skin side down on the grill. Cook, covered, until the skin is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stay near the grill, especially during the first 10 minutes, to manage any flare-ups, by moving pieces out of the way. If the chicken is browning too quickly, turn the heat down slightly or close the vents partially. Flip the chicken and cook until an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F in the thickest part of each piece, 5 to 10 minutes more. The thighs, legs, and thinner breast pieces are apt to cook a little faster than the thicker breast pieces. Transfer each piece to a platter when done and tent with foil.

When all the chicken is done, brush it with the glaze on all sides. Return the chicken to the grill and cook for another minute or so on each side to caramelize the glaze. Brush the chicken with any remaining glaze and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

The apricot glaze can be made up to a day ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator. Before using, warm over low heat to loosen the consistency.

The Grand Finale!

Sour Cream Pound Cake with Strawberry and Blueberry Compote (serves 10 to 12)

This recipe came from Southern Living Magazine a couple years ago and it said to serve it with peaches. I’m sure peaches would be wonderful with it , but I make it for the 4th of July with the strawberries and blueberries because I love the colors and it wouldn’t be the 4th without some fresh juicy strawberries.


1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Blueberry/Strawberry Compote

1 pint of Blueberries
1 pint of Strawberries
1 T sugar
Orange Liquor (optional)
Whipped cream


1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until the yolk disappears.

2. Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat batter at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in extracts. Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup tube pan.

3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

Put blueberries, strawberries, sugar and liquor in a small pan and heat on medium heat until sugar melts and berries are heated. Try not to let the blueberries burst. Remove from heat and spoon over slices of pound cake and serve with whipped cream and garnish with a mint sprig.