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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.

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Ingredients:

  • 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Grill Mods: Dual Zone Thermometers

So we did this a while back but I never posted it…partially because it was in the winter and I was pretty ashamed that we had no grass at that point.  Our yard looked super white trashy at the time, but after putting a pool in the middle of our front yard and waddling my huge pregnant booty out there in a bikini, I figure that my white trashiness has reached the point of no return, so here goes.

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The common question seems to be “Why the front yard?” Because the dogs are in the back and it would take them all of 3 seconds to have torn this thing apart.

Anyways, we went down to our local BBQ store to look for a couple of thermometers to add to the lid of our 22.5″ Weber kettle so we could monitor the temperature and have better control over our dual zone cooking.  We picked up two thermometers and a silicone sealant safe for high temperatures.  You are also going to need a power drill, marking pen, and possibly measuring tape(if you want things to be all nice and symmetrical)

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We (meaning Derek, I just stood there and took pictures), measured out the desired distance and drilled a pilot hole, which is a small guiding “starter hole” before you start putting holes in your grill lid with a giant drill bit.

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We also noticed that there was a small notch on the back of the thermometer, to keep it from turning I am assuming? Not really sure, but it required the drilling of yet another hole as well.

It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to work

It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to work

Put your sealant around the top of the holes and install your thermometer.  Then seal up around the inside of the grill and you are done!

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Let this dry for at least 24 hours before using, and enjoy your new customized Weber grill!

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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Barbeque, Technique

 

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Beyond Bacon Review and Giveaway!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months, you must have heard the buzz about the new book from the Paleo Parents, Matt McCarry and Stacy Toth. I hesitate to call Beyond Bacon a cookbook because it is so much more than that, this is actually the paleo pork bible, it tells you everything you need to know about purchasing and cooking a whole hog.

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Now, I consider myself to be quite the pork connoisseur, and they still managed to surprise me with the range and variety of recipes included, there is even a BBQ section for those of you with a smoker addiction(although I might have to challenge them to a cook-off for best smoked pork shoulder). The only disappointment is that I didn’t have this in my kitchen sooner, I really could have used this after our last hog aporkalypse when I was stuck with what seemed like an endless supply of pork chops.

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This book on it’s own is truly a piece of art, with rustic photography on each page more beautiful than the last but once you start to indulge in these recipes you will have a new appreciation for all parts of the hog. A couple of my favorites so far are the smoked pork belly, Italian tomato pork chops, and the salted mocha biscotti and I even tried my hand at making my own lard, caramel fudge and pancetta.

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Pancetta in progress

Ok, so I know you are sick of listening to me rave about Beyond Bacon, so I will stop myself before I ramble on all day.  I love this book, and you clearly need it, luckily Matt and Stacy sent along an extra copy, so here is your chance to win one…

Beyond Bacon Cookbook Giveaway

Good luck!

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Bacon, Pork, Random

 

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Oh Jeez, She is Angry Again…

Definition of barbeque
abbr. BBQ
NOUN
1.outdoor party with food cooked outdoors: an outdoor party where people eat food cooked on a grill
2.food cooked on grill: food, especially meat, poultry, and fish, cooked on a grill
3.equipment for cooking outdoors: an apparatus, including a grill and fuel, used for cooking food outdoors
[ Mid-17th century. < American Spanish barbacoa, probably < Arawak barbakoa “frame of sticks” ]
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Guess what the definition of BBQ does not include:
1. Meat covered in a sugary-red sauce that you cooked in your crock pot
2. Pulled meat products of any kind that were cooked indoors
3.  Anything that requires electricity to cook.
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I really tried not to start this post with another pissed off rant, but it did not happen once I started looking at recipe blogs this morning.  I do not care what you call it, but if you are cooking indoors you are not making bbq.  You can make pulled pork inside, but you cannot make BBQ pulled pork.  Do you understand?  Real barbecue is a friggin art and takes time and dedication to master.  It makes me angry when you people throw that term around just because there is some sugary red crap on your meat.   I want to beat them with a slab of baby backs until they change the name of their recipe to not include the word barbecue!
Now, while we are on the subject of BBQ, do you want to learn how to do a St. Louis style cut on spare ribs?  Of course you do! Now that we are nice and pissed off let’s go grab a knife!
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This, ladies and gentlemen, is a slab of the finest spare ribs.  Wrapping around one half of the slab is an extra hunk of meat that is not actually part of the ribs themselves, and for aesthetic purposes it is often trimmed off.
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With your fingers you will be able to feel where the excess meat is that is not directly attached to the bones.
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Trim the excess off in an L shape and throw that sh*t in your crock pot for some BBQ pulled pork! Haha.
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Now, we cooked these exactly the same as we always cook spare ribs, because there is no sense in messing with perfection.  So you can follow these instructions.  What you end up with is a nice rectangular slab or ribs that you can use to impress your neighbors, or to stick it to that b*tch at a potluck who brought a tofu salad.
 
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Posted by on December 27, 2012 in Barbeque, Pork, Technique

 

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Smoked Sausage

I guess everyone knows what tomorrow is…if today was your last BBQ what would you make? Fear not though, with the help of this wonderful little chart you can still have all of your favorite barbeque cuts in a postapocalyptic world with no agriculture system.

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I know there will be no more internet so you cannot thank me for this valuable information, but I trust that all of you will print out several copies and thank me in your prayers as you cling to your automatic rifles and await the coming apocalypse.

Just in case we do make it through tomorrow, I figured I would show you how we smoked sausage.

Ingredients:

  • sausage
  • smoke

Sounds complicated huh?

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While we were smoking a pork butt, I figured we might as well make some smoked sausage since we have an abundance of the stuff right now.  We already had the smoker going as about 250 degrees and full of hickory wood.  We threw the sausage on there and let it smoke for one hour, and BAM you’re done.  Easiest recipe ever posted on a food blog.

If you want bonus pork points, you can throw it back on the smoker after you wrap it in bacon

If you want bonus pork points, you can throw it back on the smoker after you wrap it in bacon

Lastly, I would like to apologize to my family and friends if December 22nd rolls around, as you will not be receiving any holiday gifts from me this year because I spent all of the money on ammunition and canned bacon in preparation for doomsday.

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Pork, Snacks

 

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