Category Archives: Chicken

Whole Chickens Part One: Basic Grilled Chicken with Grilled Peach Salsa

Summer is a great time of year for us, we are getting a fresh whole chicken in our CSA box every other week, but there is no way I am turning my oven on for 5 hours in Virginia in the summertime, the temperature consistently stays at a level of uncomfortable which can only be described as “Satan’s ass crack.” So, after some experimenting, we have developed a few fool-proof methods for cooking whole chickens that keep my kitchen at a tolerable temperature.



  • One whole chicken
  • BBQ rub
  • two peaches or nectarines
  • a small onion or scallion
  • one tomato
  • one jalapeno pepper
  • juice of one lime
  • fresh herbs: cilantro and parsley work particularly well here
  • coconut oil


Start off by seasoning your chicken inside and out with your favorite rub, we don’t personally make all of our own rubs, because other companies have spent plenty of time and effort discovering the perfect ratios so that I don’t have to. After your coals heat up, I want you to  divide them up so that the coals are pushed over to each side of the grill with a space in the middle.  Weber makes these neat little baskets you can use for this if you have them, but they aren’t necessary.


If you have guessed that we are going to put the chicken in the space between the hot coals so that they dripping chicken fat doesn’t cause flare-ups then probably don’t even need to keep reading…just go fire up that grill.


The bird goes in the middle of the coals breast side down, and we cooked it to about 150-160F before throwing on the ingredients for salsa.


Finely chop the tomato, sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper and the lime juice then set it aside for later.  Then slice the peaches, onion, and jalapeno in half and lightly brush with coconut oil, before putting them directly over the coals.  Let them cook for a few minutes until they soften and nice grill marks form, this happens pretty quick so don’t wander off.  Flip them over and let them cook for another minute or two before pulling them off the grill.  By this point your chicken should have also reached an internal temp of  at least 165F, which means it is also ready to come off. Chop up the remaining ingredients for your salsa and add in the fresh herbs, the skin should easily pull away from your cooked peaches, it is texturally unappetizing if you leave it on.  Now you are ready to eat, we paired our chicken with a nice cool vinegary cucumber salad which turned out to be the perfect refreshing combination on yet another sweltering hot day.


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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Chicken


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Chicken Cacciatore

As I sit here trying to think of some clever and entertaining way to start this recipe, I remember that I have not done anything interesting for months other than rescue a turtle from the road.  Even on that day I spent half of my hike resting with the dogs instead of being productive.  Pregnant people suck, we are boring, the only thing we talk about is babies, pregnancy and food.  Fortunately you came here for the food right?

6 months down, 3.5 to go!

6 months down, 3.5 to go!

Ok, so this recipe is so amazing we even shocked ourselves.  Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a rustic stew prepared “hunter-style” with tomatoes, onions, and herbs…enjoy


  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs with the skin removed
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • about 1/4 cup bone broth (or more as needed)
  • am container of baby portabella mushrooms
  • 3 carrots
  • an onion
  • several springs of fresh rosemary
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • a pinch (or more) crushed red pepper
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • handful of fresh herbs, I used parsley and basil, but thyme and oregano would be good too
  • small scoop of cooking fat (butter or coconut oil)
  • and of course, what is a meal without 8 pieces of bacon


Fire up that grill and start chopping up all of your veggies and rosemary, put those in a bowl and set aside for later, then chop up that bacon.  Put the bacon and a bit of starter cooking fat into a grill friendly pan.  I used the Weber Gourmet BBQ system here, if you don’t have that a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven would work too. Season the thighs on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and go check those coals, they should be ready by now.


Here is my setup, I seared the chicken thighs for a couple of minutes on each side until they got some grill marks and then set aside.  Do not cook these all the way through because they will finish up in your sauce. I put the bacon on there too, so it can start releasing some of its yummy bacony goodness.  Lets see a close up of that beautiful pork porn…


Oh yeah baby!

Once your bacon has given you a nice amount of fat in the bottom of your pan add in your chopped veggies, garlic and rosemary and sauté, stirring frequently so they don’t burn.  Once they start to caramelize season them with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper then add in your tomatoes and let everything simmer for a few minutes. I kept a bit of bone broth on hand in case things started to look dried out and added a little bit at a time.  If you are using a dutch oven with a  lid you probably wont have this problem.


Once those veggies start to get tender nestle those chicken thighs into the stew and let them finish cooking.  Once they hit 165, carefully pull the pan off the grill and serve with fresh herbs.  I even topped mine with a little shaved pecorino romano, but that is because it would take divine intervention to get me to give up cheese permanently.


Don’t click on this picture unless you have a towel handy to wipe up the drool

The only word that comes to mind when I try to describe this dish is a-friggin-mazing! Derek, who had previously never even heard of chicken cacciatore, devoured it, gushing about how wonderful it was with each bite, and then asked if I would make it again.  An absolute must-have when you are sick of the same old burgers on the grill. Weber should seriously pay me to cook with their products!

Also, have you entered to win your free copy of Beyond Bacon yet?  Get on it!

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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Bacon, Chicken, Soups


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Chipotle-Cajun Jambalaya

How is everyone doing on their New Year Resolutions so far? I honestly can’t wait until the flood of people give up on their “work out every day” resolution and I have some space at the gym again, jeesh.  I wanted to give up coconut butter for new years, but I knew that would last about an hour so I made a few more reasonable goals.

  • Deadlift double bodyweight
  • Squat 200lbs
  • give up coffee
  • do a whole30/sugar detox hybrid
  • read more books


I know what you are thinking, I must be f*cking insane giving up coffee,convenience foods, and all fruit and sweet potatoes at the same time, but I don’t like to do anything half-assed.  I am already into my 2nd book this month, real ones too, not the kind with lots of pretty pictures, and I obviously have to slowly work up to my strength based goals, although I am getting really close.  Working out in January sucks though, I wish all these people decided to buy a treadmill instead of a gym membership…at least then they could use it as a coat rack when they quit.



  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1(or 2…I will explain later) cans of tomatoes
  • 12oz of bone broth, or whatever broth or stock you have on hand
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 3 dried chipotles
  • A package of chicken breast tenders, or two chicken breasts sliced up
  • 2 cups of shrimp
  • Pork sausage
  • I also snuck in a handful of kale or two

Ok, so the cajun mirepoix(base veggies for soups) is always bell peppers, celery, and onion; however it was like the apocalypse or something when I went to get celery from Trader Joes because the produce section was bare.  An employee informed me that they did not get a produce truck that day so I was sh*t out of luck.  There goes my cauliflower rice and celery….if you have these things, then by all means please add them to the recipe, but I was not hauling my ass all over Virginia looking for organic celery.


Lightly grill your chicken tenders, they cook fast so someone should be baby sitting them, that is actually why I used them, because they don’t require a lot of cooking.  They don’t need to be perfectly done, they will finish up in your stew so just a few minutes on each side.  Set aside the shrimp and sausage, then chop everything else up and throw it in your dutch oven, I cut up my chipotles with kitchen shears because it will save you a sh*t ton of time.  D insisted that there was not enough liquid in the pan and that it would not cook right, not wanting to argue about the veggies releasing liquid as they cook I let him throw a second can in, this just made it more like a stew…if you like things on the soupier side add two cans…or don’t…I don’t really care.


We used hickory wood in the 22.5 inch Webbie and cooked this for about 30 minutes uncovered while the sausage got nice and smokey off to the side.  We then added in about 4TB of cajun-style seasoning:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Dizzy Pig Swamp Venom (or for Whole30/Sugar Detox sub with salt and add cayenne pepper to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black  pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme


Your sausage will be done when the internal temp reaches about 160, slice it up and try not to eat it all while the rest of your food finishes cooking.  After 30 minutes on a grill toss your shrimp into the jambalaya and put the cover on the dutch oven.  Let everything cook for another 20-30 minutes or until everything looks cooked through.  Adjust the seasoning to your taste, we added in a couple extra tablespoons, and serve.


The hubbs informed me that avocado is not very cajun…you should eat it anyways though because it is delicious.


Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Chicken, Pork, Seafood, Soups


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Myron Mixon’s Cupcake Chicken

Now, we love the show BBQ pitmasters, but you cannot watch this show without being subjected to the loud mouthed jackass pitmaster known as Myron Mixon.  I personally find him a bit too abrasive, but the hubbs loves him.  Anyway, the show got me thinking, all the people on there have really badass BBQ names, and Derek and Michelle just doesn’t sound quite as cool as Hickory Rick and Shotgun Chelle.  Ok, that was the best I could come up with…maybe they’re not the best pitmaster names, but maybe theyre at least as cool as Paul Diablo, Johnny Trigger, and Tuffy Stone.  I am still working on the names…I need some help.  What do you think?

I know its gross that they cat is on the table, you try telling a cat what to do.

I know its gross that the cat is on the table, you try telling a cat what to do.

So, Myron Mixon does this competition chicken in a cupcake pan, so that the end result is perfectly round and uniform, making for a nice presentation.  So, we got Myron’s top-secret method…which you cannot get from watching the show, you have to shell out 30 bucks for his book of course.  Anyway, we adapted it for Primal Smoke, since we are not too keen on following any recipes that call for 5lbs of sugar and 1 cup of MSG “flavor enhancer.” Seriously, you cannot help but laugh when you read that!


You will need:

  • A cupcake pan with holes drilled in the bottom, as a bonus, now you cant scarf paleo cupcakes because you don’t have a pan to cook them in.
  • a cookie sheet (we used disposable)
  • enough chicken thighs to put one in each hole…in this case 12
  • bbq rub
  • bbq sauce
  • chicken stock

Ok, so the holes help the meat drain, so that it does not get “water-logged,” A collection of liquids in the muffin pan will ruin your perfect, slightly crisp skin that is so sought after when cooking BBQ chicken.  You can start prepping your meat by cutting the knuckle end off of the bone and trimming the bone down until it fits in your pan.  Trim all the big chunks fat off the edges of the chicken, and especially off the edges of the skin.  I know fat is good for us, but too much fat =soggy, rubbery skin.  Sprinkle a little BBQ rub, or just some salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken thigh and place it skin side down in the pan.


Be sure to trim off any excessively large chunks of meat that stick out of each little nest and then throw those babies on your smoker.  We used our stick-burner for this one, which is a large offset box that we burn whole logs of wood in, instead of the usual charcoal-wood chips combo that I use for the bullet.  Put the cupcake pan onto a cookie sheet and pour a layer of chicken stock into the cookie sheet, being very careful not to get it on the meat.

Don't use your good bone-broth for this, as you are just going to discard it later

Don’t use your good bone-broth for this, as you are just going to discard it later

Smoke the meat at 275 using a strong wood, we used mesquite which is traditionally not for chicken, but the meat is only in the smoker about as long as the media cared about John Travolta flashing his junk to a hotel masseuse…not very long, so it makes a stronger wood acceptable.  Smoke the chicken for about an hour, or until the internal temp gets to about 140-145, then pull it off, flip the chicken and put it back in the pan skin side up.  Before returning it to the smoker sprinkle the skin with more rub, or salt and pepper, then put it back on the cookie sheet and let it cook for another 30 minutes or so.  Once the internal temp hits 155-160, brush some sauce on top of the chicken and close the lid for another 20-30 minutes.

When they come off the smoker, cover them with some foil and let them rest for about 3 minutes, then glaze again with sauce one more time before serving. Here is a perfect recipe for BBQ sauce, this stuff with make your meat sweet and juicy, like JLo’s backside.


That’s it for this week, we have been Qing up a storm of Whole30/Sugar Detox compatible foods, so check back next week for more smokey goodness.  Shotgun Chelle signing out!


Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Barbeque, Chicken


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Michael Symon’s Juicy Thighs

I friggin love Michael Symon! Perhaps it is his fresh and local approach to cooking, or the pork tattoo, but I can’t get enough of the guy.   Super nerdy chef crush!  You can imagine how excited I got when I saw him cooking a dutch-oven kale and chicken thigh dish that I had the ingredients for…well sort of, I have kale and chicken thighs, the details are bit different though.  So I took his basic idea and made my own little dish for dinner tonight.  If you are my husband you are thinking, “ugh, not kale again,” but don’t blame me, blame Michael Symon!  Seriously though Mikey, call me.   You and Lizzy can come over for a BBQ at our place, we’re not weird swingers I swear.


Put this on your grocery list:

  • Coconut oil- about 3TB
  • 4-8 skin-on chicken thighs, as many as you want or can fit in your dutch oven, I used 4 because it fit my needs tonight.
  • A whole bag or two bunches of kale (I used organic tuscan kale from TJs)
  • Half an onion(You can’t buy half an onion, but figure it out)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 C Balsamic vinegar
  • 2TB water or stock
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • a bunch of fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 TB parsley
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • and always add some salt and pepper


Start by heating up your oven to 375, seasoning up your chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and paprika, and heating up your cast iron dutch oven to medium. Yes, I cooked this indoors out of pure laziness…so sue me! Add in your coconut oil and when it gets hot add in your chicken and let it brown on each side.  After you flip your little birdies add in your turmeric and paprika.  This helps them to “open up” and brings out their flavor.  Pull the chicken out of the pot while you start the rest of your meal

Let them hang out while you start the kale

I threw in the onions and garlic and let them start to break down, and simultaneously deglazed the pan with the balsamic and water/broth.  I added in a few sprigs of fresh thyme and let all those kick-ass flavors come out.   Throw your kale in the pot, toss it real well, put the chicken back on top, put your lid on and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes or until your chicken reaches an internal temp of 180F.


This one was really tasty!   It can of course be altered for the grill by putting the dutch oven on the indirect side with the kale, searing your chicken thighs over high heat and then adding them in.  Which I will get around to later I just didn’t feel like it that night, so for now we will just bask in Michael Symons awesomeness…or is that shine just the reflection off his head? I can’t quite tell.

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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Chicken


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Hail Caesar! King Of The Salad!

Interesting fact about Caesar, it is not actually pronounced see-zar in its native latin.  C for the Romans was pronounced like K and the AE is actually more of an I sound.  This makes the pronunciation sound like the German word kaiser, also meaning emperor.  Isn’t linguistics neat?  Next time you go into a restaurant insist on a Kaiser salad instead!  Or don’t, you really should not give the person who handles your food a hard time, lest you end up with a few pubic hairs mixed in.

Check it out I forgot to take the sticker off my bell pepper

Ok for this simple, yet impressive dish you will need:

  • 2-3 romaine lettuce heads
  • 2 TB dijon mustard
  • 1 t
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3 lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • capers
  • 4 egg yolks
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar or reduction
  • salad fixin’s: I used bell pepper, onion, avocado, basil and hungarian sweet pepper

I started by poking a bunch of holes in my chicken with a fork and marinating them in the dijon, some salt and pepper, garlic powder, and the juice of one lemon. Pop that in the fridge overnight or for a few hours.  Next I soaked a few chunks of alder wood for smoke, then started up the dual zone fire.

By now cooking the chicken should be no difficult feat; sear over direct heat and finish on indirect heat.  While the chicken is finishing(to an internal temp >160F) build your salad.  Rub the heads of romaine with oil and sear them on the grill for a couple of minutes on each side.  Also, lob your lemon in half and put that on the grill, cut side down, until you get a nice char.

Next build your dressing, which is a caesar-style aoli.  Aoli’s take patience grasshopper, add the oil in slowly you must.  I guess that sounded like Yoda crossed with Mr. Myagi, but you get the idea.  Press your garlic and combine it with the juice form one lemon until you get a paste, add in your egg yolks and whisk well until everything is incorporated.  If you do not have an electric beater and are armed with nothing but a lowly wire whisk, I suggest getting a partner and tag-teaming that sh*t like New Age Outlaws in the ring, because your arm is going to get tired.  I added in a very small amount of oil at a time and continued mixing for several minute until everything is incorporated.  I used between 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil, or until you get your desired consistency.  I wanted mine to be really thick so it would coat the lettuce.  At the end I also added between 1-2 T of capers and salt and pepper and mixed well.

A total tanget about the capers, traditional caesar dressing calls for an anchovy or anchovy paste, neither of which I could find at the stores I went to.  If you have these things, then by all means use them, I subbed capers for the briny-salty taste.

Back on track now, toss your chopped up grilled lettuce with the dressing, make a little halo with your salad toppings, leaving a big hole in the middle for a mini meat mountain.  Once you add your chopped chicken, drizzle with the balsamic and top with chopped basil.  A neat little basil chopping trick is to roll a bunch of leaves up like a little cigar and slice, that way you get pretty little ribbons of awesome.

Don’t think I forgot about the grilled lemon, I also squeezed that over top just before I started shoveling huge forkfuls of food into my mouth.


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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Chicken, Salad, Sauces


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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner with Smokey-Dokey Sauce

There are two ways to cook chicken on the grill…Theres the easy way, and then my way.

We used a whole chicken cut up in to pieces, the problem with this is that they all have different cooking times.  Breasts the longest, then thighs and back, after that drumsticks, and finally your wings.  You have to stagger the times at which you put them on the grill or you could just by a package of all breasts or thighs or whatever and make it easy.

Before you even start soak your hickory wood chips in some water.  No water pan, no chip box? No problem today, we threw them b*tches right in with the coals this time.

Ok, now give your birdy a little massage.  Rub her down real good!

The ingredients look a-ok

I used Pork Barrel BBQ rub because I am lazy, feel free to copy my idea or just sprinkle them with some salt, pepper, and garlic.  Before you start handling the chicken be sure to put your spice rub in a separate bowl.


It can get pretty disgusting and you don’t want to go around contaminating all of your spices.  If your hands aren’t getting nasty then I don’t think you are doing it right.  After you finish the rub put your bird in a bag and put him in the fridge.  I put my bird-bag in a bowl too because I didn’t want it leaking all over my fridge.

I’ll wait while you wash your hands….

Ok…this sauce effing rocks! Even if you don’t own a grill you should make this sauce.  I am thinking of stirring it into my coffee in the morning, I love it that much


  • 4TB tomato paste: I found the stuff in a jar because its resealable and ya know, that nasty BPA s*hit
  • 2TB olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1TB molasses
  • Heaping teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 t coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 dried ancho
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 TB liquid smoke

Do you have all that crap?  If not…then just go to the store, those are all staples in any BBQ house.  We will start by cutting up your dried ancho(scissors work best here) and pouring you 1/2 cup water over it.  Let that soak while you chop up your apple, then throw the apple and the ancho + water in a small saucepan to simmer until soft and tender.  Chop up the onion and garlic and add those in too, everything will be soft and tender in about 10-12 minutes.  This doesn’t need to be pretty, you’re going to puree the whole thing anyways.

While that is simmering, you can start building your sauce because you are going to be doing a whole lot of measuring.

Still steaming

When you are pureeing your apple mixture it is ok to leave some very small chunks in there, but you want to make a fairly smooth sauce.  Stir that in with all of the other ingredients, except for the smoke, in a sauce pan and bring to a boil-ish state.  Sauce doesn’t really boil but you will see when big splatter-y bubbles form, I actually recommend doing this part naked, since chances are a splatter will ruin your shirt.   Once it is good and hot go on and reduce the heat down to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.  Then you are pretty much done.  Add in the liquid smoke at the end of the cooking, stir it in while it is cooling down so as not to damage the flavor too much and get back to your chicken.  Mine yielded two cups of sauce, which was plenty for the dinner with a little leftover for later!

Liquid orgasm

If you made your sauce naked as-per my instruction you should probably put your clothes back on before you fire up the grill, I can think of a few places I really wouldn’t want hot ash landing.  When I say fire up your grill, you should know the routine by now; charcoal chimney, dual zone fire, blah blah blah.  Throw your wood chips on when it is nice and toasty to get that smoke going.

Put your bird over the hot direct heat first until it gets a nice sear on the outside.  This not only gives you amazing skin, but it also seals in the juices.  When it looks good move it to the indirect side.  After your meat is on the indirect side, brush with the sauce and let the heat caramelize it.

The pan is for collecting the juices so we can bathe in them later

Chicken is one of those meats I just don’t really trust when it comes to “eyeballing it” or going by time.  I can poke a steak and tell you how done it is, but I just don’t trust chickens…they’re shifty creatures.  We used our instant read thermometer to periodically check the temperature.  Funny story, I fed someone raw chicken once because my 13 pound bird wasnt cooked all the way through.  The standard is 16-165 for light meat and 170-175 for dark, you can check by sticking the thermometer into the deepest part of the meat without touching the bone. Our chicken had pretty big t*ts so you can imagine those took a long time.  In fact, this could take up to an hour depending on the heat of your coals and the size of your bird so I hope you don’t have any time-sensitive plans.  If you wanted quick and easy chicken you could just go to KFC and grab a Double Down.

I really hope I don’t have to explain common sense, but I feel compelled to (just in case).  Please just leave your grill alone for a while and let that sh*t cook..  If your internal temp is like 75F, just put the lid on and walk away for, like, a half hour.  Humans like to meddle, sometimes we need to learn to sit back and let nature take over, or in this case the grill.  All you need to do is flip it once or twice and brush your meat with a bit of sauce every now and then and leave it alone.  If you keep poking holes in your meat to check the temp you will let all the the juices run out.

After I pulled it off the grill I brushed it with sauce one more time and tried to let it cool for a while before eating.

Derek couldn’t even wait long enough to take his head lamp off, let alone wait for it to cool.  I must say though, a head lamp is a useful tool for night-time grilling.


Posted by on September 8, 2012 in Barbeque, Chicken, Sauces


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