I had the pleasure a couple weeks ago to meet the President/CEO of Masterbuilt, a company that makes fryers, smokers and grills. John McLemore was here in Dallas making a stop on his DADGUM, That’s Good! book tour. I remember seeing the email invitation thinking I’m not sure I even know how to pronounce “dadgum” but what the heck it sound like a good break from family and work for a couple hours. Besides, being able to properly say “dadgum” might come in handy in the south.
John was a great host as we shared some BBQ at Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse. We chatted about his family’s business, social media, cooking, and yes even gas station tacos. It was a fun evening and in full disclosure I did get a free copy of the cookbook and dinner.
After a couple busy weeks of work, I finally had some time today to try a recipe. Seeing how I don’t own a smoker – I know I really should. Nor do I own a deep fryer – my wife has killed that idea many a times. I went with the grill recipes and one particularly caught my interest since I had a cut up whole chicken from Windy Meadows Family Farm waiting to be used.
If you don’t know about Windy Meadows Family Farm, you should. It’s a local farm that raises pasture chickens with no antibiotics, hormones, and no chemical dips when processing. They do all of their own processing too and are out of Campbell, Texas just east of Dallas.
The recipes in Dadgum, That’s Good! are pretty simple. This one required only a few ingredients and required some time marinating.
Guys will feel comfortable making any of the 125 recipes, just note that the book is divided into styles of cooking so if you don’t have a deep fryer, the recipes there may not be so useful though you could easily adapt and pan fry some of the dishes. Fortunately, I may have found a way to get a fryer into the house. I had no idea but they work for doing what’s called “low country boil” which is basically a form of steaming.
Fortunately, most people have a grill and you can use gas or charcoal.
Lemon Pepper Chicken
1 (3 1/2 lb) whole chicken
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium lemons cut into wedges
4 tablespoons of melted butter
Using poultry shears, butterfly the chicken, open it flat and place the breast side up in a large baking dish or pan.
Coarsely crush peppercorns, fennel and cinnamon in a blender. Mix with the crushed garlic and rub over the entire chicken, inside and out. Cut the lemons into wedges and squeeze juice over the chicken. Scatter the lemon pieces under and over the chicken. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight in a baking dish or resealable plastic bag.
Preheat grill to 350 degrees. Pour melted butter over chicken. Now place the chicken on the grill. With grill lid closed, grill chicken for 15 minutes, then turn and grill an additional 15 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil and let the chicken stand for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
The recipe turned out great. It was easy and reminded me again how I should cook more than boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The flavor is far greater with bone and skin on, plus I have enough leftovers to do some really amazing chicken salad and maybe enough to also make some chicken soup.
For more recipes and to order John’s book, click here.