I finally had a Sunday off of work so with the extra time I decided I would smoke a chicken for dinner using my Weber Kettle BBQ.
First thing I did was dry brine the chicken. About three hours before I started the cooking I rubbed the chicken inside the cavity and under the skin with my CK (Almost Famous) BBQ Rub.
Using my chimney charcoal starter I added about a third of hardwood charcoal, a third of apple wood and another third of Cherrywood. The fruity woods are perfect when cooking poultry. They add smoothness to the flavor along with a beautiful color.
For our side dish I grilled some zucchini and orange pepper from my fridge that I tossed in Grapeseed oil with a little salt and a small amount of dried oregano. Grapeseed oil has a very neutral flavor. It can be expensive at the regular grocery store but can be purchased at Costco at a very low price.
When the grilled veggies were done I cut them into bite size pieces and combined them with frozen corn that I had cooked separately in the microwave and dusted them with a little McCormick Chile Powder. This side dish was easy to make and truly delicious.
We have the craziest weather here in Texas. We are told this is unusual but it has been crazy since we got here nearly 2 years ago! Amazing Thunderstorms in the morning and sunny and warm by the afternoon. A couple of days of beautiful weather so we plan to grill and all of a sudden another amazing thunderstorm. I have found that if I want rain all I have to do is water the lawn! I have to say, it is lush green everywhere for 3 seasons. Only in winter do the trees lose their leaves and the lawn goes dormant.
It has truly been an adventure living here. We have the local farms where we purchase our organic produce ~ we even have a local winery! We have seen and done many things since arriving. More to come!
So….this week is another week of clean eating. I am really enjoying eating this way. We followed recipes originally and now are able to create new recipes on our own.
Kathie found a way to cook chicken that keeps the meat moist and can keep its moisture when reheated. Slow and low she says. She seasons the chicken then cooks it at 250 degrees for 90 minutes. Then the pieces she plans to serve she puts under the broiler to crisp the skin. She has been doing this in the toaster oven so our house isn’t heated by the oven. A chicken thigh and a simple salad with greens, avocado and cherry tomatoes makes a meal.
In making a turkey burger the recipe called just for seasonings. I have found that ground turkey really has no flavor. To get flavor into the meat you add the seasonings to the meat while cooking so the meat can soak up that flavor.
In keeping with that thought Kathie roasted carrots and asparagus the day before to use in her salads. When she decided to make turkey burgers she decided to add the roasted carrots and asparagus to the meat, along with CK (Almost) Famous BBQ Rub. She formed the patties and cooked them in a pan. The one pound of ground turkey made 4 burgers! She and I had one each and she had them for lunch the next two days. Very flavorful and juicy. I didn’t even complain there was no bun!
Again, with a simple side salad it was a complete meal.
I have used our dehydrator for making jerky primarily. A dehydrator will also preserve produce. This week it was rainbow carrots. Makes a great snack with a “crunch.”
You can also use your oven to dehydrate fruits and vegetables. Set the temperature at 170 degrees and dehydrate to your desired doneness. Dehydrated fresh fruits and vegetables are great for snacks.
The recipes I chose for this week’s newsletter are: “Healthy Bite Recipe a Toddler Can Make” and “French Bread Pizza” for the older kids. Be sure to go to http://www.cookingwithchris.com and click on Kids’ Corner for the recipes.