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Early Spring Cook-out

Brined & Smoked Chicken;

I love cooking out and trying different techniques and recipes so it should be no surprise that yesterday, while still chilly it was sunny and dry. A great day to fire up the ol' Weber kettle and do a little yard clean-up.

It just so happened that I pulled a 7,75 lb. roasting chicken out of the freezer last weekend and threw it into the fridge to thaw. I knew the missus would be off and I usually like to cook a decent meal for her days off.

Brine: 1/2 tsp. Thyme

2 tsp. cayenne

2 Tblsp chopped dehydrated garlic

1Tblsp. dehydrated onion

1 Tblsp. black pepper

1/4 cup salt

1/2 cup sugar

Add all the above to

2 quarts Water.

This recipe makes 8 cups of brine I cut the recipe in half a couple weeks ago and used half on some pork chops and stuck the remaining 2 cups in the fridge.

In a large stainless steel bowl that held the bird nicely I added the the brine almost covering the chicken.

Marinade the backside of the bird for 2 hours and then rolled it over and marinaded the breast side for 2 hours.

While my chicken was marinating I made,

Dirty Rice:

This isn't the actual recipe you'll find looking in a cook book or on line. One of our kitties was feeling poorly so I was making some bland rice and ground beef for her and figured "what the hell!" Make enough so I can spice some up and have it as a side with the chicken.

1 lb. ground beef

1 and 1/2 cup long grain white rice

3 cups water

Cooked on low flame 20 min. till the water is absorbed.

I ended up with about 6-8 cups of cooked rice and beef. Of that I used about 3 cups In a sauce pan I put;

1 Tblsp. bacon grease

1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup diced celery

1/4 cup diced green pepper

Saute the vegetables and when translucent add

3 cups cooked rice and beef

1 Tblsp. Cajun seasoning

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste.

Bring back up to temp and serve.

Back to the chicken

I used 36 briquettes total 18 at a time and soaked a hand full of apple wood smoking chips.

I fired up the charcoal and added the wet wood chips to create a wonderful smoke.

Total cook time was about 2 hours. At the half way point I threw some carrot planks on and refreshed the coals. I pulled the chicken off the grill when internal temp was 160°

I have made and used this brine several times and it never disappoints. The chicken came out tender, moist and flavorful with a slight smokiness.

Till next time,... Eat well and live large.

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