Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jerk Chicken

Someone else posted this at the WKC as a way to move past the cold weather. I picked up 7 lb of chicken leg quarters (on sale 59¢/lb!) and had everything else needed. Tonight I prepared the marinade using "Phrasty's REAL Jerk recipe. (Copied here.)

1°F, sunny and wind moderate at 10 mph. I'm using our new recyclable bin as a wind block.

For the rub I made a double recipe and made some substitutions.
8 green onions and a medium yellow onion. (Should have been 12 green onions.)
4 tsp allspice berries
2 tbsp fresh thyme (or as much as I dared trim from the plant on the window sill.)
4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp grated nutmeg (~1/2 whole nutmeg grated.)
2 tsp brown sugar
3 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 C half and half rice vinegar and white vinegar (didn't have 1/4 cup malt vinegar.)
2 tbsp peanut oil
juice of two limes

I put the wet rub on the leg quarters about 10:00 PM the night before the cook. Total marinade time is about 17 hours. The plan is to cook indirect until nearly done and then crisp the skin over the coals.

I'll do this in the 26 kettle so I can spread the chicken parts out. Better to have more space than not enough. A couple fire brick ob edge will provide for indirect cooking. Stubb's briquettes will be providing fire. The fire is started - a chimney full - about 2:10 PM. I grabbed a couple chunks of what I believe to be apple for smoke flavor.

timetemp comment
2:35 PM°Poured lit briquettes out of the chimney and added the apple chunks. Temp went up pretty fast to about 350°F on the cooker. I'll let it settle a few minutes before putting the chicken parts on.
2:55425°Meat on! And no extra space on the grate. Good thing I went with the 26.
3:40450°Flipped the pieces over. They seem to be cooking pretty evenly across the the grate.
4:25325°Chicken probing at 150° and more. Time to add more briquettes and crisp the skin!
4:40350°Spread lit charcoal out and put chicken on it skin side down.
Meat off!

Results: chicken was delicious! I'll be doing this one again.

What to do differently next time. The only weak spot was that the skin still was not crispy. Tasty, but not crispy.

Monday, January 13, 2014

And now for something completely different

That's the theme of the most recent throwdown at BBQ Brethren. I've got some goat meat I picked up on sale that has been in the freezer for a while so I decided it was different. I cast about for recipes and finally decided that Mole Goat would be good. Having recently learned that the mole paste in the refrigerator is actually Adobo paste. Duh! I'd use that to season the goat.

Weather is right balmy with Temperature at 39°F and a bit of wind reported at 15 mph. Sky is presumed to be a bit cloudy (but the sun is down) and no rain is predicted.

The goat was sliced into 3/4" slabs after freezing and sold that way. I think it might be a goat leg. I thawed and drained it. The Adobo paste is pretty stiff so I mixed several tablespoons with enough water to make a loose paste that I then marinated the goat in for about two hours. My plan is to do the goat in the 14 WSM until it is well done and then put it in the smallest Dutch oven with some more adobo sauce to braise until it falls apart. Here I'm thinking of the treatment of Pepper Stout Beef.

As noted, this is going on the 14 WSM. To do something different, I put about a quart of hot water in the bowl. For charcoal I used some left over lump and briquettes with some fresh Stubbs briquettes in the small chimney to light things off. I had some hickory that hadn't completely burned away in my last cook and added a couple pieces of oak to that. Temperature is measured using the Maverick ET-732 (cooker probe only) and the lid thermometer. After closing up the cooker, I left one bottom vent open. At my first temperature check, I opened a second vent since temperature seemed to be lagging.

timetemp comment
6:20 PM
Meat on! (cooker still coming up to temperature.)
6:40191°/150°Opened a second bottom vent.
7:35225°/185°Meat probes about 150°.
8:16236°/195°Meat probed at 150-165°. the surface no longer holds puddles of meat juices so I put the meat in the Dutch oven.
9:45262°/210°DO lid temps at 210° and meat over 200°. Not yet falling apart so I'll let it go a little longer.

Results: The goat was tasty - reminded me of lamb but stronger flavor. It was just a little on the dry side and not terribly tender but not tough either. It made tasty tacos.

What to do differently next time: Not sure. I might look for a different recipe to try.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Stuff It!

Stuff it is the theme I chose for a BBQ Brethren throwdown. You win one and you get to choose the following theme. I won "That's a Wrap" and chose this. I decided to realize this theme with a stuffed tenderloin when I found whole tenderloins on sale for $1.99/lb.

The stuffing will be made from wild rice and mushrooms.

Weather was chilly at about 20°F with snow coming down. Wind was light.

I trimmed and split the meat.

I pounded it as flat as I could get it which was not very much.

The stuffing was made with rosemary, sage, cumin, pepper and crushed garlic. I added some bread crumbs (processed commercial stuffing) and a handful of dried cherries (which actually include cranberries and currants as well.) I mixed in a couple eggs to hold it together and some milk so it wasn't too dry. I didn't want it pulling moisture from the meat.

After spreading the stuffing on the meat, I rolled the whole assembly in parchment paper and stuck it in the car trunk (where it would be safe from neighborhood canines) to firm up for a couple hours. Then the task was to tie it up. On the outside I had to decide between a bacon wrap and a rub. I decided on a wet rub with crushed garlic, cumin, sage, black pepper and a little crushed red pepper in a peanut oil slurry.

The cook was done on the 26" kettle to handle the length of the roll. I used an indirect fire held back by a couple fire bricks. Fire was using some Royal Oak and Stubbs briquettes. I dropped a hickory stick on the lit coals to add some additional smoke flavor. The bottom vent was closed to about 1/3 open and the top to about 2/3. Part way through the cook the top was opened fully. This resulted in a temperature on the lid thermometer of about 350° measured half way between the fire and lid vent. (In other words, the lid vent was positioned opposite the coals when I remembered to do so.) I also wrapped a couple spuds in foil and put them over the coals until done. Here it is ready to come off.

timetemp comment
4:30°Closed up the cooker
4:40350° (lid)Meat on!
5:17400° (right over charcoal)Meat probes at about 70°.
6:00320° (opposite charcoal)Meat probes about 110°.
6:30350°/130° (lid/meat)
7:10350°/153°Meat off!

The meat and stuffing had good flavor. I could have used a few more cherries and a little less cumin. The pork was neither dry nor overly moist.

What to do differently next time: I can think of several things. First, I could slice the meat thinner doing a spiral butterfly rather than just one cut. I might also take it to a lower temperature. With the middle at 153° the pork was well past the required 140°. I could also cut the tenderloin in half and do two different treatments, trying out different fillings and/or bacon vs. wet rub.