Tag Archives: chicken

Smoked Chicken with Alabama White Sauce and Pickles

Smoked Chicken with Alabama White Sauce

I first had smoked chicken with white sauce in Alabama about four years ago.  Of course I sneered at it.  Smoked? Chicken?  No no no, you smoke pork!  White barbecue sauce, a combination of vinegar and mayonnaise… how disgusting!  It never ever fails that when I have closed minded thoughts like these I’m proven all sorts of wrong.  It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.  I had a bit of the snob knocked right out of me when I ate in Alabama. 

To begin with, smoking poultry is magical.  The meat obviously becomes smoky and enticing, but it also resonates with the beautiful dry rub seasoning and becomes sweeter.  In fact, to this day, my favorite Thanksgiving turkey was a smoked turkey breast we bought from a local Alabama restaurant.  I replicated that this past Thanksgiving and will write that up at some point because I intend to do it again and again. But, what I’m trying to convey is that smoked poultry is fantastic. 

Furthermore, dunking your chicken in tangy peppery white sauce is perfection.  They’re made for each other and I now understand why it’s so famous.

The only “trick” to doing this is making sure you allow yourself enough time.  It’s a two day process because you first brine the chicken and then smoke it.   And while it’s altogether easy, the process can be intimidating the first time around. 

To smoke the chicken I turned my basic grill into a smoker.  I “snaked” charcoal briquettes along one side in three layers to create one side that will remain hot and allow for indirect heat (and smoke) to cook the chicken on the other side.  The briquettes are topped with soaked wood chips, hickory in my case.  You start 8-10 briquettes in a charcoal chimney, if you don’t have one you start them on the opposite side of the charcoal snake.  Once they’re smoldering you transfer them to one end of the “snake” so that they start those briquettes smoking and then it becomes a chain effect and the longer the “snake” the longer you’ll be able to smoke your chicken. 

Smoked Chicken

Adapted from Feeding the Fire

For the chicken

1 chicken (about 4 lbs)

1 pot full of water

1 cup dry rub

Dry Rub

3/4 cup packed dark sugar

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup espresso powder (ground espresso beans)

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar + 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoon brown mustard

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon grated horseradish

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Bring a stock pot of water up to a boil and add in the cup of dry rub to dissolve.  Once the brine is cool, transfer it if needed to a container that will fit in the refrigerator, and add in the chicken and let brine for 4-8 hours in the fridge.   After the chicken has brined, pat the chicken dry and let it sit in the fridge for 6 hours to dry out.  Discard the brine.

Using the snake technique described above, preheat the grill/smoker to 275-350 degrees.  Add the chicken to the grill and smoke covered for 3-5 hours.  Mine took 4. 

Mix all the ingredients for the white sauce together.  Stir well.  Adjust with more pepper or vinegar as you prefer, but remember you’re going for a bit of a bite.  Taste with the smoked chicken (if possible) before altering. 

This is great served with white bread or cornbread, coleslaw if you have it, pickles for sure, and salad fixings. 

Venetian Ghetto Taglietelle with Chicken, Raisins, and Pinenuts

Venetian Ghetto Tagliatelle With Chicken – Lovely Remnants of a Birthday Dinner

Venetian Ghetto Taglietelle with Chicken, Raisins, and Pinenuts

The other night I roasted two chickens for my birthday dinner with the idea to have lots of chicken for leftovers.  I normally stick extra chicken in a quesadilla or taco – a dinner I happily return to again and again.  Rarely do I put chicken and pasta together.  Most of the time, it reminds me of “family style” restaurants who’s food is always too…. much….too much cream, too much sodium, too much everything but taste.  It’s a lot of bland calories.

However, I was watching some “old” Nigella on TV, an episode where she tore apart a roast chicken with her bare fingers – and somehow made that look alluring and delicious.  When I tear apart a chicken, which I do often, it’s a bit more of a cavewoman going at a carcass.  But when Nigella does anything…. well you know.  She’s Nigella!  And she was talking about a Claudia Roden recipe she swears by called Tagliatelle Frisinal.  The ingredients are minimal; the dish is simple.  You do, however, need to roast your own chicken.  This is crucial because all those delicious succulent juices comprise the sauce.  Truly, the pasta dish is out of this world. Continue reading

Chicken Tinga Empanadas - At Dana's Table

Chicken Tinga Empanadas

Chicken Tinga Empanadas - At Dana's Table

Ya’ll, I told you I was on a pastry and Mexican food kick.  I wasn’t kidding.  It started back during Cinco de Mayo festivities, I had made some chicken tinga for the holiday and with leftovers I decided to wrap them in dough.  Chicken tinga is normally stuffed into a taco or onto a tostada and layered with some slaw, beans, cheese….. but pastry is my name and rolling dough is my game.  I blame my pastry loving husband.  He loves a good crust.  I even made him chicken pot pie for his birthday – more on that in a different post.  And once again I’m feeding that inner smokey chicken desire that represents a new phase in my food life.

This is a Pati Jinich recipe.  And I love her.  I don’t know why, she just tickles my funny bone and makes me want to get in the kitchen and stay there cooking up Mexican food delights.  She’s the type of person, where I’d love to pull up a stool in her kitchen and chat about food, share stores and a meal.  Hi Pati, in case you ever read this!

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Chicken Tacos With Crispy Chicken Skin And Hominy Salsa

Tonight I made tacos full of awesome things. Roasted chicken, hominy salsa, onions fried in chicken fat…..crisped up chicken skin! As I said, a taco full of goodness. Delightfully different, just slightly.  It has two extra ingredients that really make it special.  Crispy chicken skin and hominy salsa.

I first had tacos with crispy chicken skin on it in Maui when I had dinner with my cousin Katie and her new husband Scott. We were drinking some awesome margaritas [and they were awesome!] and eating great tacos. I’m not always a huge taco fan, but these were fantastic. These were fresh! Continue reading