Posts Tagged ‘Chicken’
I had a hankering for a kabob today. I love meat on sticks. Its just so much more fun. My kids love them too. I often thought if they served salad on sticks I would eat more greens. Probably not but its a nice thought. Its snowing like crazy here today so these were done on my trusty Lil Tex Traeger. I used a mixture of Oak & Hickory Pellets. Super easy to make. Do yourself a favor & double up on this recipe. Freeze a batch for a quick midweek meal. Can be served in a pita with Tzatziki lettuce and thinly sliced red onions.
- 4 Chicken Breasts Cut into approx 1″ Cubes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons dried Greek oregano
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tsp lemon pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Marinate for 4-6 hours or overnight if possible.
Preheat grill to medium high heat.
Remove chicken from marinade & discard- Place on metal skewers grill 10 – 15 minutes until the internal temperature is 165F Serve with salad, grilled veggies or rice. This is also an excellent salad dressing recipe as well. Serves 4
We served ours tonight with basmati rice & toasted almonds plus a simple salad of baby spinach, mandarin oranges, red onion drizzled with a lemon poppy seed vinaigrette.
Having been on the road pretty much for the last 6/7 weeks I have been craving a lot of comfort foods. Since coming home last week from filming BBQ Crawl I have been looking forward to getting back to my grills at home.
Its been raining and cold and generally not the nicest weather either. This leads me to making soothing bowls of happiness.
This is not so much as a recipe that needs to be followed exactly but really a lot of what I had at home at home already just thrown together. No fuss no muss and its ready quickly. All of my kids love it too so no arguments at the dinner table either. PS- You can also add some bacon to this for added goodness.
- 5 cups hominy
- 5 large jalapenos or more to taste
- 3 Chicken Breasts
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 box low sodium organic chicken broth
- 1/4 c Pork Barrel BBQ All American Rub
- 1/8 c Smoked Paprika
- fresh thyme to taste
- fresh chives to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp corn starch
Generously season the chicken breasts with pork barrel BBQ rub and smoked paprika. Preheat your grill to 250F Using hickory wood smoke the chicken breasts and the jalapenos until the internal temperature of the breasts is 155F. Remove both the chicken and jalapenos when done and set aside.
In a large heavy stock pot pour in the chicken broth and the cream of chicken soup. Chop the chives and the thyme and add them to the pot. Add the hominy and the frozen corn. Bring to a simmer. Chop the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the pot. Now here is where it gets personal. If you like spicier foods chop the smoked jalapenos and add them to the pot. Or as we do in our house add the jalapenos whole and then for individual portions chop the jalapenos. This way you benefit from the good smokey flavor of the jalapenos but none of the heat.
To thicken I took the super duper easy route. I had no time to make a roux today so I opted for the corn starch slurry program. In a small bowl mix 1/2 c water with a couple tablespoons of corn starch. Mix until completely dissolved and lump free. Add the entire slurry to the simmering chowder and keep stirring until thickened. Bring the chowder to a boil and then serve. I did not add any additional salt as the rub on the chicken was plenty for my family. Adjust salt & pepper to your liking and dinner is done. Pretty darn easy for a Tuesday dinner.
I am putting this in the category of where have you been all my life.
This is a fully biased post. Be forewarned I am in love with this stuff. I will be gushing and oohhing and awwwing all over this stuff. IT freaking rocks.
I got an email from Texas Pepper Jelly owner Craig Sharry. I had met this gentleman a while back and he had asked me if I would like to try his products. Now they have been around a while but I just had not gotten around to ordering some. Craig has been working on these recipes forever. Nice to see such an amazing product on the market. I have seen there logo and products on the competition circuit and I had read about them. I jumped on the opportunity. Craig sent me a nice assortment of his items. Please note he did not in any way pay for this endorsement. This is just from what I have tasted.
As it is March break I have a bit more time to play on the grills. Today has been designated wing day. 12 lbs of wings to play with.
24 designated to try these 4 items.
I used my Traeger Texas style with oak and hickory pellets for the wings today.
Half were lightly coated in Obie Cues Double Strength Garlic Pepper (another product I love)
The other half was coated with Dizzy Pig Pineapple Head Rub (this stuff is the bomb) – this will be on another blog post late this week.
They were grilled for 1 hour at 275F (I prefer them crispy)
I then took 6 wings for each sample. I used 1/4 cup of jelly on each batch then returned them to the grill for 10 minutes to set.
The colors were incredible. Love how sticky they apply to wings.
SO how did they taste?????
The Cherry by far was my favorite. I love the lingering heat on all of them and the flavors are great. Surprisingly they are not overly sweet – certainly they have more depth to them than I expected. I have tried the peach and the apple on pork chops as well and they are delicious. The strawberry was ok- but not my favorite on wings. I think Ill have it on ice cream next as it was recommended to me.
My advice. You need to get some. Really. They are excellent. I can’t wait to try them on more items like ribs, a stuffed baked brie and more!
Thanks Craig. You made my wing day a blast. Awesome product. Keep up the great work and winning GC’s!!
This weekend its Carib fest here in my hometown of Barrie Ontario. To celebrate I thought it would be nice to have some jerk chicken.. I have a terrific recipe for homemade Jerk seasoning but it has quite a few steps. The best alternative ?? Open the cupboard and pullout my bottle of plowboys jerk seasoning. In our house we have little ones that are not fans of jerk seasoning so we did pineapple chicken two ways. One with just salt & pepper and the other with jerk seasoning.
To start we made stands for our chickens using 2 pineapples. Super easy to do – just cut the pineapple into a base for a chicken. The pineapple steams from within adding lots of moisture and a light flavoring of pineapple. For an additional pineapple boost grill off extra slices and serve along with the chicken.
Season the chicken and place on the pineapple throne. Cute presentation. This would be fun for a dinner party. I used hickory pellets on the traeger this weekend. The breast was 163F and the thigh was 178F when I pulled it off to rest for 10 minutes prior to carving.
This chicken is super moist and tasty. Great way to use up leftover pineapples.
Last weekend I attended the Good Food festival in Mississauga. I got the chance to visit a friend of mine- Frank Caputo. He is owner and pitmaster of Hank Daddy’s BBQ. I finally got to see his operation his catering trailer and to try all of his BBQ.
It smelled great from the outside as we walked up. It smelled even better when he opened the doors to temp his chicken wings. They were enormous. HUGE massive meaty wings plus butts were cooking. Delicious aromas of BBQ wafted everywhere. Even though we had just finished an excellent brunch (fried chicken waffles, sausage gravy biscuits and more!) at the Stockyards I was already salivating.
Inside the show they were all ready to feed the public. Hank Daddy’s was serving up lots of their famous pulled pork parfaits!! A delicious BBQ meal in a cup. Chock full of pulled pork mashed potatoes and sauce! Thats a whole lot of happiness.
Everywhere we went in the show people were eating BBQ. They were making a whole lot of people happy with their excellent food.
We tried their brisket, pulled pork and all their sauces. Top notch quality and great BBQ flavor!! Loved the sauces and their meat. They are very diverse and cover all regions of tastes. Original BBQ, Carolina Mustard BBQ, Hickory BBQ, Vinegar BBQ and they also have their original rub as well. I am uber impressed by how well balanced they all are. I am really looking forward to playing with his rub on some upcoming projects. All their items are available online.
One of the fun things about Hank Daddy’d is that they also have a fire wing challenge
Inspired by Adam Richman of Man vs Food , Hank Daddy has developed his own FireWing Challenge using his own Original Barbecue Sauce and some of the hottest peppers on earth. cChallengers must finish 15 FireWings in 15 minutes or less. If FireWings are eaten in less than 15 minutes, they must wait out the full 15 minutes with nothing to drink or wipe. Additional rules apply, and challengers must sign a waiver.
Successful challengers win a lifetime of bragging rights, a t-shirt a Survivor Certificate and are pictured here, on our Wall of Fame.
We had a great time with Frank and his family and I completely understand why they are so popular wherever they go. Good Food Great people and excellent BBQ
They are available for catering, festivals and events. Contact:
I am busy just like everyone else is these days. Never enough time between kids, husband work commitments meetings and a rather overwhelming obsession to all things BBQ .
Getting dinner to the table can be sometimes a bit of a chore. Its too expensive to eat out a lot & I don’t often like grabbing things through the drive thru either. So I tend to make a lot of quick meals Monday to Thursday. The super sammie is one of my go -to meals for just such a rushed evening.
I have lots of chicken in my freezer at all times. Chicken thighs, legs, whole chickens and chicken breasts. I am not a fan of chicken breasts unless they are grilled, slathered, smoked or stuffed. Whenever I grill chicken I fill up my whole grill. Its a good idea to maximize your space and to prep for future meals.
Tonights sammie used up some chicken that I had previously grilled.. A quick inventory of my fridge revealed something we always have on hand Ajvar. Now you may not heard of this but I will highly recommend you get some. Its a Macedonian spread that can be either hot or mild made from roasted red peppers eggplant garlic spices and oil. Its pretty darn tasty on a whole lot of things.
Slather that on a store bought foccacia – I am not Martha. I bake occasionally- I have made it from scratch but seriously its the middle of the week and I have laundry to do. However if you are into it and have the time here is a great vid on how to make it:
I also added some ricotta and some finely shredded basil. Toasting the bread under the broiler or on a grill is a great idea if you like a nice crunchy texture.
Load it up with some grilled chicken breasts (warmed in the microwave) that have been sliced, the ajvar, radicchio and/ or some other spring greens. Sprinkle on the juice of one lemon all over the chicken breasts. Drizzle the bread with garlic infused olive oil. Season with pepper. My foccacia had olives on it so I opted out of using more salt.
Super easy simple and a quick midweek dinner. Under 15 mins to the table.
- 1 store purchased foccaccia
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts grilled & sliced
- 1/4 cup good quality garlic infused olive oil
- 1 cup ajvar mild or hot
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 6 or 7 large leaves of basil finely shredded
- juice of 1 small lemon freshly squeezed
- spring greens – radicchio endive etc.
- salt & pepper to taste
Serves 6 very generously or a family of 5 with leftovers for lunch the following day.
Made a visit to Henry’s Smokehouse with a few friends while I was attending the NBBQA. This place has a great vibe to it. Great interior decor!
From their website:
What’s the secret about the best BBQ in town?
We used the best ingredients, the leanest butt in town. Our BBQ is cooked in the old fashioned Southern tradition. We place top choice meats in open BBQ pits with hickory logs and cook them to perfection at low temperatures. Henry’s cooks its pork butts for 12 hours and its ribs for over 8 hours.
If you have ever had meat cooked long and slow, and experienced the fall-off-the-bone tenderness and the distinctive hickory flavor, you begin to understand, why Henry’s Barbeque is becoming legendary.
Their menu has a lot of options and one of those items is their BBQ hash. This was something I have never had before. I love a good hash full of corned beef, taters and onions. Did I ever get an education. Hash in the South is a whole lot different than Hash in the North. Oh my good gracious. I ordered the hash & rice.
Let me tell you what arrived on our plate resembled something that … well… to put it bluntly the cat might have thrown up. I wish there was another way to put it. There isn’t anything pretty about it at all. I did notice however that there were many other folks who were enjoying it.
As I tried some of it I knew instantly that this was just not for me. I am more than willing to try anything once. For me I won’t say it was bad just really different (some very sour notes, mushy texture, indistinguishable meat). TO those folks enjoying it all the best to you but I think I’ll pass in the future. Just not my cup of tea.
We ordered a couple of sample plates from the restaurant.
I really liked their sweet potatoes and I enjoyed the pork with their spicy brown sauce. I ended up purchasing a couple of bottles before leaving for the next place. It was a great balance of sweet, spice and mustard.
After we had eaten we had an opportunity to meet some of their fun staff. Billy the buttmeister can be seen above prepping the pork for the day. Bo the butt chopper was funny as heck as we talked in the back. Outside we got to speak with Tiger their pitmaster that has been with them for the last 20 years.
They use strictly hickory wood for their BBQ’s. They also set up quite a lovely outdoor picnic for the folks on the NBBQA bus tour. Southern hospitality all around!
It was a really interesting place to go and I am glad I got to try BBQ that was completely different than anything I had experienced before. The people that work there really care about their food. I really believe that even though you may not like somebody’s BBQ you can certainly appreciate the time they take to make it the care and concern they put into it. Its all about learning more about the different styles of #BBQ all over North America. Glad we stopped in for sure.
*******Please note the WIFI in our SC hotel was horrible. Could not update the blog. My apologies for the delays in posting. Additionally in the upcoming weeks I will be changing servers. Thanks for your patience.****************
* Picture courtesy of Sean Moffat Red Valley BBQ
Team Diva Q- Lexi, Ella, Gabe, Vlado, Danielle Dimovski
So the family all 5 of us packed into the truck and cargo trailer with enough equipment and stuff for 3 competitions and we hit the road to Kansas City Missouri. We had the privilege of competing in both the invitational and the open portions of the contests.
We decided due to our little ones to do a large portion of the first leg of the drive at night. We made incredible time and arrived in Kansas about 6 hours ahead of our schedule….
The trip was really uneventful. We even breezed through customs. a first for us for the entire year. We usually allocate at least an hour or so to get through since we always seem to be getting inspected. We never have anything thats contraband but Homeland Security does their job faithfully. We did however get to have a really good donut on the road from a place called Casey’s General Store a chain of convenience stores that carries really darn good donuts. (* I have my BBQ BFF Angie Quaale to thank for my new obsession with donuts she can smell out a good donut from 100 miles away)
We had one issue on the way that caused us considerable pain. Our 6 year old daughter Ella is a Vegetarian with exceptions. Notable she loves bacon and ribs and then all things vegetable. We had picked up a 2 lb bag of green beans.
She decided to eat the entire bag. Lets just say the windows were down for many miles after her indulgence. Ack. Stinky!
One of the best parts of this trip was heading to our good friends Andy and Kim’s house from Smoke on Wheels. Our kids like hanging out with their kids and staying at their house was a whole lotta fun. Additionally Neil Big Mista Strawder and Shelly Hunt from Desperados BBQ were also hanging at their house. Just saying but a few adult beverages may have been consumed prior to this video.
Andy knows where to get everything you would ever need in the Kansas City area and arriving ahead of schedule we got to drop the trailer off early on Wednesday. Driving in was a thrill and sheesh is this place ever big. The you tube videos I had seen of it in the past in no way give you the magnitude of the location. It is awe inspiring. My backing up the trailer skills are poor on a good day so I can’t imagine having to do it in a field of other trailers already crammed in. Andy ended up backing it in anyways.
Oklahoma Joes had great food and a sammie called a Z Man Sandwich. Just abut everything was great but we found the pork a bit dry. We were there after the lunch rush though.
On another evening we attended a Pre Royal Party at Knuckleheads. It was once heck of an adventure to get to this place. Its is literally out in the middle of an industrial park directly next to a set of train tracks and one of the best places I have ever been to listen to some awesome music.
The musical guest for the evening was Tab Benoit. He rocked the house and everyone was up dancing carousing and having a great time. Many pops were consumed and we had a blast with many BBQ Brethren, the Smokin Scotsmen’ , Shelley Hunt from Desperados, the British BBQ team, Karen Walker, my BBQ BFF Angie & Dennis Quaale, and their fab kids Andrew and Kim and a bunch of other people. Here is a video I took the sound bites royally wish my BB had better video capability.
So much excitement and we had not even begun the competition yet. I loved coming in early!!
After Knuckleheads we headed back to Kim and Andy’s house. Andy helped me pick out the ribs from the selection I had that I would use for the next two competitions. I made a decision to use St. Louis spares for both competitions. It had been a while (with the exception of BBQ Pitmasters) since I had used them in competition. Then we all headed to bed and then got up early to head to the site.
Setting up was easy and we had the pleasure to have very nice neighbors on either side of us. #709 three Little Kettles (who provided our kids with an entire play table full of coloring books stickers and more!! they were incredibly kind!) and #705 Pop’s Blazin Smokers (they did gator on the Traeger!!)
I got everything prepped for the Invitational and we went and did some visiting. This was the hardest contest I have ever had to concentrate at. There are so many people you would like to get around to see and visit with and its always a race against the clock to get back in time.
One of our neighbors behind us was Mike & Debbie Davis from Lotta Bull. I tried shigging (at least I admit it) from him but he was too far away. Darn.
Another one of the highlights for me was getting to see my dear friends Roni & Kelly Wertz, Joey McManus, and Chris Jones. We missed Dave Raymond though in our Royal Experience.
So many great people to see……
I took a video walking around a bit.
I even went over to the dark side one night accompanied by a really big strong Texan and a guy from Illinois that can run really fast if needed
Those people on the dark side are certifiably insane. You could not pay me to BBQ on that side. Too many parties people throwing up and a whole lot of debauchery. Not my cup of tea really.
Since we had the kids with us we were really protective of our site space. Noting some previous experiences that friends of mine have also had at the Royal we purchased locks for all of our BBQ’s so they and the meats inside didn’t walk off. We also blocked off the front of our site and our neighbors put up fences so people would stop walking through our site. Once secured it made the experience a whole lot more pleasant.
I had some awesome visitors to our site Jim “Rhino” Reincke was just one of them. He is sooo funny. I don’t think there is enough net space to list just how much I appreciated each of our visitors. They were all terrific to see!!
We headed out to one of the pot lucks we had been invited to. Sadly you just can’t get around to everything you get invited to. It was the annual Wertz Royal Prime Rib dinner. It was awesome. We brought a peach cobbler and there was so much food and all of it was delicious.
The day of the Invitational dawned and we received a really nice present a box of donuts from our friends Sean and Adriane Moffat. God Bless them both for their kindness!! Sean also took pictures throughout the weekend. We really appreciate that as well. MMMM Red velvet donuts. Yummy!!
Everything for the invitational ran really smoothly until the rib category. The ribs were soft and mushy and I was ticked to say the least. I had been checking them so often I was shocked to see them go so soft so fast. We turned them in but I knew they would not do well. At least the box looked good. Overall in the other categories of brisket, pork, and chicken I was really happy with what we turned in. The brisket was especially good. We had 3 different briskets and all of them turned out the best we had made for the year.
Doing all of the side dishes wiped me right out. Beans, vegetable, dessert and potatoes. Its a lot of turnins for one cook to handle. We got them in just barely in some cases. Most notable the vegetable category which we had mixed up with the bean turn in time. We ended up grilling a vegetable sidedish and turning it in all within 8 minutes. Holy cow batman that was a close one for sure. Please note in future I will read the rules a little more carefully on turn in times.
Mike Mills stopped by and he hung out in our trailer while I was prepping our dessert, It was great to see him again. Such a legend of BBQ glad to be able to call him and Amy our friends. Didn’t even have time to get a picture with him LOL.
Much thanks to Sean Moffat for help with blocking when we were delivering our dessert there were so many people I don’t think we could have done it without him!!
Sean got a nice picture with him in front of our sign
We cleaned ourselves up grabbed a cocktail and headed to the awards.
It was a thrill to hear our team name called for a 6th place in brisket. It was AWESOME!!!!
I was so excited I thought I was going to pass out……
At the end of the awards ceremony we were thrilled to see the results of the pork 30th, chicken 26th, and brisket 6th for a 35th place overall.
I was horrified and embarrassed though to see out ribs had come 4th from last 127th UGH. I knew they were overcooked. Damn. That sucked so bad.
Congratulations to Smokers Wild on the GC and Tippy Canoe BBQ Crew for their RGC!!! Also congratulations to Smoky D’s BBQ for getting a perfect 180 in their pork.
Also congratulations to Mike & Beth Woziak from Quau who won the Kingsford Cup and a check for $25,000!!
Another cool thing I got to see was my friend Jenny Windsor from Black Cat BBQ getting a 6th in ribs then to see her brand spanking new Sisters In Smoke Tattoo!! That makes three of us that have them now!! To all the other ladies of Q you need to get one as well!!
Then you get to do it all over again. You are tired, the awards ceremony has been the thrill of the day and you need to keep focused and go back to the trailer and complete another competition. Its not easy. I only slept 1.25 hours that night, I was behind in prep, making parsley boxes and taking care of the meats. Anyone who thinks competitive BBQ is not a sport should try to do 2 competitions back to back.
Our kids also enjoyed the fireworks before heading off to bed. Sadly we had broken our tent pole when setting up so we had their bedroom set up in a 10×10 easy up with their inflatable couch and mattress. I think they had probably 10 blankets on top of their sleeping bags. They were sure comfy!
Even though I was behind I went for a little walk to clear my head and visit with a few folks as well. Figured that it would be a good think to relax just a bit before getting serious again.
Dawn came really early and we were all set.
I had to grill some of our Canadian bacon (sweet cured pork loin rolled in cornmeal) we had brought with us to hand out to our friends.
Plus I was in dire need of caffeine so I whipped up a batch of my legendary competition sludge a compilation of 5 shots instant espresso, and super strongly brewed Starbucks coffee with powdered whitener and sugar. It is guaranteed to get your butt in gear.
So much so that when I was walking about Phil from the Brethren made a comment that I could not stay still for a second. It gets you moving for sure….
Brisket was looking great again.
Chicken was looking great! Ribs were good and they had awesome color and texture!
Pork got turned in and we had a whole lot of rejected meat !
Once again it was time for the awards and we were wiped and excited all at the same time. My friends the Belly Brothers furnished me with a new favorite cocktail courtesy of team Jamaica its a combination of Appleton Estates Rum and Coconut water. Yummy stuff.
I loaded up my pockets with my good luck charms, an acorn from my daughter Ella, a poker chip with the Pellet Envy logo on it, a rubber chicken and a pig flash light. I was also wearing a cancer awareness Angel Ribbon Pin from Flower of the Flames on behalf of Karen Putnam.
Then we were all off to the awards again- this time over 500 teams were in attendance (participating teams 490)
It was again a thrill to hear our name called this time though it was for a 12th place in ribs. I had tears in my eyes accepting this one. I was standing behind Mike Davis and was joking with him -I really think he thought I was going to pass out as well.
I have to admit a few emails during the night and early morning got my confidence back up about ribs after the demoralizing finish in the Invitational. The person who sent them is a good friend and Ill keep their name to myself but you know who you are. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement it meant a lot to me. I took your advice, I went back to an old recipe I haven’t used in 2 years with one minor twist I added a new rub. Here is of the rubs I used..
Usually I would not mention what rub I used but this was really special since it was from a dear friend Chris Jones from Colins Creek Barbecue one of my all time favorite BBQ people on the planet.
We joked prior to the awards on how cool it would be if I got a call in ribs. The rub has not been out that long. It really is terrific. You all need to try it.
The awards ceremony was coming to a close and hearing friends names get calls was incredible. We also got a 6th place call in Potatoes. That cracked me right up..I had no idea what to do for the potato category. Our friends Kim and Andy were heading to a difference potluck from the night before and were making their dish Ho De Ho potatoes. Since they were not entering any of the sidedish categories I asked if I could use their recipe. I entered it thinking it was a good dish that everyone like to eat at potlucks. It worked LOL
When it came time for the overall standings I was busy chatting up with our friends. Then the shock of a lifetime came Diva Q came in 10th overall. Oh my flip. I think I blanked out for a minute. What a cool thing to happen.
The awards continued on and 3rd place went to Pelletheads.com
RGC went to Swine Assassins and the GC went to Lotta Bull for the 4th time!!!
I came away from the Royal with absolutely no prize money at all. I have never been happier….. The trip was expensive for us. It was time consuming exhausting it was a lot of planning and juggling of schedules and at times extremely stressful and fun all at the same time. Seeing our friends and BBQ family plus meeting folks I have only dreamed of meeting plus being with our own family was without a doubt one of the highlights of my BBQ career. I can never thank my friends and family enough for their support their love and unending belief in my obsession that is BBQ. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I can’t wait for next year.
More Pictures from the event can be found on our facebook Diva Q American Royal Album !
Figuring out what you need ahead of time and what tips and tricks you can use are a great time saver. Setting up your site is an important part of the whole process. Each of these sites has helped me a lot.
Here are some great tips and checklists to make your life easier:
Excellent resource for tips on all things competition and backyard BBQ.
*Excellent resource for competition and backyard BBQ.