Sunday, April 21, 2019

Smoked Chicken

You don't have to be around me long to discover I LOVE smoking meat.  Today I will talk about smoking a whole chicken.

I use a Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker with charcoal for fuel.  I think this is the very best smoker on the market in terms of ease of use, reliability, and it is easy to clean.

The night before, or very early on the morning you are smoking it, soak the chicken in a brine.  Make enough of the brine to completely cover the chicken.  There are numerous recipes out there for brine, but this is the one I use:

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cups water

I usually have to triple this recipe to make enough.

Take the chicken out of the refrigerator after soaking in the brine and let it sit at room temperature.  Rinse well and blot with paper towels.  Rub generously with a good quality rub.  There are many recipes available for rubs and also store bought varieties.  Actually, I have never used a rub I didn't like!  The very basic one is:


While this is sitting, prepare the smoker.  Fill the bottom of the smoker with cold charcoal.  In a chimney, heat charcoal till most of it is grey.  Pour this hot charcoal in the center of the unheated charcoal in the smoker, along with three chunks of apple wood.

I buy my wood chunks online from  Their wood is stored indoors, thus protecting it from bugs and other undesirable "stuff!"

Fill the water pan, which goes above the charcoal.

When the smoker is heated, place the chicken on the rack, close the lid, adjust the vents at the bottom to maintain a temperature of 225 or 250.

Sit back with a glass of wine, enjoying the warm sunshine and the wonderful aroma coming from your smoker.

My chickens are smaller than most you find in the stores, since they have not been injected with hormones to make them bigger.  I get all my meat from a local farmer. It takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours for mine to be done.  The internal temperature should be 165.

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Best Peach Cobbler

There is a funny reason why I'm posting this recipe!  In recent days on facebook, two of my friends, who have never met and live over 1000 miles apart, have brought up a discussion of peach cobbler.  In one of them, Clara, said her grandmother made the best peach cobbler.  To which I replied, "No, No!  I have the market cornered in that regard!"  Clara has accused me, on more than one occasion, of being outspoken and opinionated. . . guilty as charged!

At any rate, here is my recipe that I have had for 50 years or more.  I have no idea where it originated.  But I guarantee you will love this one.  It has a sweet, crusty top with down home Southern goodness baked in.  Enjoy!

Combine:  2 cups fresh, sliced peaches and one cup sugar.  Set aside.

Melt one stick of butter (butter, not margarine!) in a 2 qt casserole.

1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk

Mix together dry ingredients.  Beat in milk until lumps are gone.  Pour batter over melted butter.  Do Not Stir!  Spoon peaches over batter.  Do Not Stir!  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

As the cobbler bakes, the batter rises to the top and covers the peaches.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Energy Bars

This is a tasty, nutritious snack that I found recently.  And it is quick to put together.

Preheat oven to 325 and prepare an 8 inch square pan.

In small bowl, combine:
1 cup oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a larger bowl, combine:
1/2 cup raw honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Pour the contents of the small bowl into the large bowl and mix well.  Add the walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

This recipe lends itself to adding your own ingredients, such as chopped dried fruit, coconut, or ground flax seed.