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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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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

Ingredients:

  • 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

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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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Grilled Tri-Tip

Sorry I havent written in a very long time…did you miss me? Of course you did! I have been suffering from a condition known as “baby brain,” where my pregnant body has decided to shuttle all of my body’s resources into the new little parasite leaving me semi-retarded.  What brain function I do have left is reserved for focusing on all the sh*t I need to do/research/buy over the next few months…and housework, I really need to do some housework, when I have the energy, turning food into a human being is exhausting enough.

Now, the tri-tip is a seriously under-rated piece of meat.  It is part of the sirloin, and is (hands down) the best roast on a cow.  It is very well marbled, which means its tenderness rivals our beloved filet(at 1/4 the cost).

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After trimming any rouge hunks of fat, we rubbed ours with a good strong beef rub that had a lot of coarse ground malabar black pepper, salt, and garlic with just a little bit of chili powder, paprika, and onion powder. Then start up a dual zone fire on your grill, one side for searing and the other for cooking.

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We cooked the tri-tip for 5-7 minutes each side over high heat, then moved it over to indirect heat and threw in some cherry wood.  Let the tri-tip cook for another 20 minutes or so, or until the internal temp gets close to 140 on the thick end.

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Top your meaty goodness with a few chunks of Kerrygold butter and wrap in tinfoil.  Let the meat rest for at least 20 minutes, I throw mine in the microwave or oven so it doesn’t cool to quickly.

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Slice, serve, and then come thank me for introducing you to this amazing cut of meat!

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Beef

 

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SousVide Surf and Turf Benedict

In case you haven’t heard, the SousVide  and TX Bar Organics paleo blogger challenge is in full effect.  Please take a minute and vote(for me of course).  Anyone who votes is automatically entered to win one of the $200 gift cards.  Here is the badass breakfast recipe I created for the challenge…

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5lbs of cooked snow crab legs or approx one cup of crab meat
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 12 tablespoons of minced red onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of duck fat + extra for frying
  • 2 TX Bar Organics grass-fed filet mingons
  • salt and pepper

Ok, I am going to commit a meat sin here for the sake of competition, I am going to take the worlds most perfect cut of beef and slice it open and mutilate it prior to cooking…please don’t be afraid, I am a professional.

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Start by gutting your crab legs and mixing the meat with one egg, garlic, jalapeno, onion, and the spices. Add in one TB of coconut flour and check the consistency, you may want to add a bit more (slowly), so that it holds together.

Next, take that beautiful TX Bar steak and cut it lengthwise almost all the way through, to form a pocket for all your tasty crab stuffing. Salt and pepper both the insides and outsides of the steaks, if you don’t salt your food you don’t love the people you are cooking for! Top each steak with 1/4 teaspoon of duck fat and seal them into a SousVide pouch. Before you go to bed, throw the steaks into a SousVide water oven, at 54 degrees Celsius(just over 129F).

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In the morning, your delicious breakfast will be ready and waiting. Heat up a cast iron skillet and sear the steaks on each side in a bit of fat to get a nice brown crust. Now, I know that benedict style breakfasts are usually served with a poached egg, but I haven’t poached a d*mn thing since I went paleo…why bother when fried eggs are so much better(and easier). Place one egg, fried in duck fat, on top of each steak and smother with coconut hollandaise.

Creamy Coconut Hollandaise ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Old Bay
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put the egg, lemon juice, and coconut cream into a bain marie(glass bowl over a pot of boiling water), and whisk like your life depends on it. Seriously, just keep whisking until you think your arm is going to fall off. Slowly steam in melted coconut oil and continue to whisk until the mixture is emulsified. Mix in your chives and spices to taste, this sauce will thicken up as the eggs cook. Garnish your meal with some chopped chives and fresh grated horseradish(optional) This is the only breakfast delicious enough to stand on it’s own without the addition of bacon, that is no small feat, but feel free to serve with bacon if you’re feeling frisky(your tastebuds will thank you).

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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Beef, Breakfast, Seafood

 

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Frog Leg and Filet Faileo

I love it when a recipe comes together…this however is not one of those times.  I grabbed some frog legs at the store and figured I could do what I always do, experiment in the kitchen and be lucky enough to have it turn out perfect.  What I should have done is look for a recipe ahead of time before I decided to throw those b*tches on the BBQ

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Here is what I started with,

  • 4 pairs of frog legs
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 t coriander and onion powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 TB white vinegar
  • 3 beef tenderloin steaks
  • salt and pepper

I mixed all of the ingredients except the meat together in a bag and threw in the frog legs, they marinated in there for about 3ish hours.  I then cooked the delicate meat on the grill for 60-90 seconds per side.  These are prone to getting tough and drying out so don’t leave them on too long.

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Whoever said these things taste like chicken is on drugs…they are not like any chicken I have ever tasted, and I have put some questionable food-like substances in my mouth in the past! If I were to cook frog legs on the grill again, I will marinate for at least 48 hours and glaze them with a vibrant sauce.  They just don’t have any flavor on their own and they really need some things that are not whole30 approved to make them edible(like sugar)! I know why most people batter and deep-fry these little guys.

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Now, here is a little tip for cooking beef tenderloin steaks.  When You pull them out of the package they just do not look pretty and perfectly round like what you get in a restaurant, so tie around the edges with some butcher twine and it will help mold your steak, like beautiful beefy play-doh.  The only thing you need to season these with is salt and coarse ground pepper, anything more would be a crime.  Cook them on the grill for 5-7 minutes a side, and don’t forget to let them rest before serving.

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So there you have it, the worlds best steak and the worlds worst amphibian.  Seriously, those frog legs were friggin gross! I would eat them in a survivalist situation if left with no other options, but I am pretty sure I would eat my cat before trying to catch those slippery little f*ckers….sorry Lyra

Noooooooo

Noooooooo

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Beef, Random, Seafood

 

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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

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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.

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Ingredients:

  • 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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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

 
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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Barbeque, Chicken

 

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