Friday, March 29, 2013

My Smoked Chicken Recipe


  • 1 - 4# or so, whole chicken
  • 2 - whole cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 1 - 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 - bunch of fresh herbs, any combo of Parsley, Basil, Sage, Rosemary, or Thyme that you want...
  • 1 or 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • Directions:

    Take your bird, and after rinsing it out and patting it dry, place it on a 1/2 sheet pan. Take half the lemon and squeeze it as you rub it all over the chicken, and then cram it up inside the bird, the skin side towards the neck opening. Hold the chicken open end up. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Take your garlic cloves, cut them in half, and throw one clove in. Cram in the fresh herb combo of your choice. Drop in the last of the garlic, and then place the other half of the lemon into the bird. It should form a sort of closure to the opening. Lay it down. Pour a little olive oil over the bird, and rub it all over the skin. Tie the legs together using butcher's twine, closing the opening over the end of the lemon. Tuck the wing tips behind the back of the bird. Sprinkle on some more salt & pepper. Let this sit out for up to 45 minutes while the grill gets hot.

    Prepare you charcoal grill. I use a Weber kettle. I also use a chimney starter to get my natural hardwood coals as hot as possible. Soak either apple wood or hickory chips in water until needed. I create a "snake" out of aluminum foil, and wrap it around the base of a shallow aluminum tray. (It's reusable. Mine is 6 years old! See how Alton Brown makes a similar one in Grillus Domesticus) Once your coals are hot, place the tray inside the foil rectangle. Distribute the hot coals all around the outside of the tray. Place the grill rack over top.

    The bird goes breast side down over the tray below. Cover the chicken with a deeper aluminum pan placed upside down. It'll form a sort of oven in your grill. Open the grill's grates on either side of the bird and sprinkle on half of your soaked wood chips. Close the grates, put on the lid with the vents all open.

    After 30 minutes flip the bird, add more chips, and cover with both the foil tray, and the lid. After another 30 minutes test the temperature using a probe thermometer in the deepest part of the thigh. If it's at, or near 170°F take it off the grill. Cover it with loose foil, and let it rest for 6 minutes before carving.

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    Cabin Fever February

    February 8th - 28th, 2013

    While I've been taking daily photos, I've not been writing much the past few weeks. February is typically when I get a major case of "cabin fever." I know I am not alone. I also got caught up in reading the last book in a story I've been following for 23 years. "The Wheel of Time" series is a collection of 14 books that I began reading in 1990. As each new book came out I'd reread the series. When this, the final book, came out, I decided to only reread the last three. To that end, I basically let things slide. While I am glad to finally completing the story, it still amazes me that there has been this constant winter time thread for literally half of my life.

    Anyway, that is basically why I haven't kept up with writing in this blog. I'm still playing catch up on everything, from photo processing, to house repairs. I have completed processing the photos from the 8th - 28th. Instead of an individual post for each one, I'll just post a bunch, and write about highlights.

    An experimental night shot of the backyard.

    We spent a lot of time indoors. It snowed a LOT in February. In fact, it's been years since I've seen snow on the ground for so long. All winter long our yard has been mostly covered. I can think of only a few days where it melted enough to actually see the winter thatch below. Of course, my reading so much meant a lot of my daily photos where of the kid, often around my easy chair...

    02-16-2013 02-21-2013
    02-19-2013 02-14-2013

    Of course, our new pet Merida helped relieve a lot of the boredom. Not to mention filling in for my absent interaction. I have to admit, I really set aside too much time in order to read those books. The plus side is how closely Freja and this cat have bonded. Another funny thing is how Merida has also bonded with Kitty, Freja's doll cat. She likes to suckle it, and sleeps with it.

    02-22-2013 02-18-2013 02-23-2013

    While we spent a lot of time at home we, did manage to get out occasionally. We went bowling with the family down the street, and we went to see another neighbor perform at a barn dance. Also a friend's son performed in a local play.

    02-09-2013 02-15-2013

    Occasionally friends would come over to play.


    A big difference between winters here, and back in PA, aside from the amount of snow, is how much more sunshine Wisconsin gets. Personally, I don't mind the snow as much if it's sunny out. While we didn't venture out as much a we'd have liked, we did get to spend time playing, and exploring.


    Another HUGE difference is that our house is full of little invaders. Boxelder bugs are a constant companion, all day, everyday. They migrated into the house to hibernate last fall. As time passes a few will "wake up." While they don't bite, if you smash them they can leave a red stain. Teri and I have taken to simply ignoring them, vacuuming up the dead bodies when we do chores. Freja, on the other hand, has decided they're not a collection of different bugs, but ONE bug in particular. She's named it "Howard." Howard is her friend, and we're not allowed to kill him.

    Meet Howard.

    02-11-2013Boxelder bug

    Now, to catch up on processing March's photos...