I used to smoke more often, chicken was a regular protein found in our smoker. I'm a white meat/breast man. the "beer-can chicken" or "bung-hole chicken" always delivered moist and delicious white meat.
the first step is a good brine. I used a heavy duty trash bag to hold a brine with tons of flavors thrown in, garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, cayene pepper etc. the brine should taste almost as salty as sea water with just a hint of sweetness (I used sea salt and brown sugar). I force all the air out of the bag and seal it tight so I know the bird is getting a good soak. the chicken bathed in this brine over night in the meat drawer of the fridge.
the next trick to this process is beer.... MMMM beeeer! take a couple hits of the beer so it's not too full. I insert a whole clove of garlic and maybe a slice of lemon into the beer. then I insert that beer can into the chicken cavity. as the bird cooks, the beer steams the bird from inside, moistening the otherwise dry bits.
carefully stand the chickens in the smoker or in your grill but avoid direct heat. I accomplish this with the big pot of water that now has the brine and some lemon slices. I use real hardwood lump charcoal, some hickory chips and a big piece of oak I harvested from the yard. I soaked the oak first so it wouldn't burn up real quick, it gave us plenty of smoke. I used four chunks of oak in all, once an hour.
I let the smoker get up to about 350 then I slow it down to around 200-250 for another 3-4 hours. the process can be shortened to 2 hours but you may want to cook it faster (hotter) and that would yield less smoke flavor. you can see the front bird has a special beer-can-chicken stand. the back bird had nothing but the can of modelo to stand it up.
we also enjoyed another round of home grown tomatoes. trucked in corporate grown tomatoes don't compare to the real thing.
I have never had breast meat so moist that it's dripping juices. the brining process also flavors it just enough that no additional seasoning is necessary. eat the chunks soon as they are liberated.
sunday lunch with menudo and a michelada. went to Rosita's Al Pastor on riverside. their michelada was good, but different from most places, they use no ice. still good and spicy!
the name of the place is Al Pastor, of course we had to go try their tacos al pastor. they were good, but not as good as la gloria's in san antonio. I loved the crunchy bits, they got that right. but the marinade was not as good and I sort of missed the bits of fresh pineapple. we didn't let these minor details get in the way of tacos al pastor enjoyment.
a high of 105: how to beat the heat
with no heat relief scheduled in the near future, and we can't even remember what rain is like, we made another trip down the street to red bud island. the water was so cool and refreshing.
we found a private shaded spot to just soak and enjoy the setting. unfortunately we also found that some people were being towed as they have changed the parking rules, AGAIN. I spoke to some people who found their car towed. they pouted by the curb where their car had been left. our car was just a few spaces from theirs. "why didn't YOUR car get towed?" they asked. "just rucky I guess" I offered. for a minute there I thought they were gonna choke me, the conversation soft of stopped right there. I gave a friend a ride home as his car had also been relocated.
MISC HOUSE PROJECTS:
went down to the wimberley off-grid cabins to finish up some trim work and haul/mix/pour five bags of concrete for a path to the bathroom cabin.
we went to ikea to buy frames, hoping to save a bit from my usual frame supply internet store. we found and purchased frames. yes, they are in odd sizes but I cut my own mats so that was not a big deal. the frustration started when I found the frame backs refused to accept the extra thickness of just one piece of mat board. took some real wrestling to get this one done and I have several other pieces yet to frame.
our new art (on the left above) is by Solongo Monkhooroi. Whenever possible, I like to buy art directly from the artist. I used to take art home from my travels as a souvenier, back when I could travel. Extra points if I can find an artist selling his craft on a street corner. now, I travel via information highway, I first found solongo from theselvedgeyard; one of those internet locations where you can easily lose a full day admiring wonderful pics and reading anecdotes about the past.
Solongo's store is linked here I love the recurring theme of the sexy heroine expressing dominance over beasts. I selected the crocodiledess godess but it was not an easy choice.
#2 son likes to sing "back in black, I hit the sack" as #1 son practices the song on guitar. he posed for a few shots then told me "no more pictures! OK!"
kay-so has turned out to be a good fit for our family. we adopted her in a moment of spontaniety. her humans had a cardboard box of kittens at the front of the costco in santa cruz. it was cold and rainy when my family asked me if we could take one home. I usually say no, but I agreed although we knew we were about to move half way across the country. I selected a kitten from the litter and the daughter of the family trying to unload them started to cry, this was her favorite. her tears were proof I picked the best one. not every cat could live side by side with a boston terrier and a boxer. The three of them get along so well. if dogs and cats can do it, why can't people?