With apologies to Boston (and Jacques the piñata)

It’s been such a long time
Guess I should be smokin’
Chickens won’t wait for me
They keep on croakin’

I can’t believe I spent all that time on the new UDS only to use it once and then keep it covered up for the entire winter. At least it held up well under a grill cover, despite tons of snow.

I woke up on Saturday with the window open and the distinct smell of charcoal and hickory wafting in. Someone was barbecuing, and it wasn’t me. After taking the dog for a walk, the additional exposure sealed it. I had to make something post haste.

Given my lack of preplanning, it was going to have to be something quick. I ran to the store for a bag of Kingsford Blue and a few packages of chicken leg quarters. I threw them in a brine that was 10% salt, 5% sugar, and a few bay leaves, garlic cloves, a halved lemon, and some rosemary. (This was around 11:00 a.m., hence the high concentration for a quick brine.)

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Dried them off after the brine and added salt, pepper, dark chili powder, and paprika. Fired up the smoker with a chimney of lit coals, a few unlit coals, and a chunk of hickory.

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(My latest non-barbecue food obsession has been sous vide, for which a blowtorch is invaluable. It doesn’t hurt here either. I’m waiting anxiously for the release of the Searzall and the new Anova cooker. The September release will bring the circulator count in this house up to three; told you it was an obsession.)

And then another classic rock song came to mind:

Ooh, the storm is threatenin'

Ooh, the storm is threatening’
My very [meal] today

It starting raining, but not hard enough to call the whole thing off. Just hard enough that the ledge over our patio didn’t protect the smoker quite enough.

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Had trouble getting up to the temp I wanted, around 350 (to finally beat the rubbery-skinned smoked chicken phenomenon). Ended up around 275; left them in for about 45 minutes, then transferred to a 450 degree oven to finish off. Didn’t turn out half bad:

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Had enough leftover Dr Pepper Kansas City-style BBQ sauce (left over from a dutch oven-cooked pork shoulder; I wouldn’t dare call that barbecue) to please the folks who helped me eat it, but I found with the brine and spice-rubbed skin, it didn’t need it. (Sauce recipe based on this one, but with Dr Pepper subbed in for some of the liquid and cooked down more.)

And then this happened later, but that’s another story altogether:



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