Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

How To Hunker Down: Bacon Cheddar Onion Buds and Grilled Chicken Breasts

As the winter tempest barrels across this mighty country, I stoke the coals in the grill, banking them to the side of the old kettle. Plumes of heat bellow forth and feel good on my face, and my old wool smoking jacket feels “just right” as I place a small piece of hickory on the fire, which dutifully ignites, as if on queue to a higher calling. Hands to my pockets, I pause momentarily, to fancy the fire some, and to consider the day. To inhale that cool winter air, and declare that the moment is well here at the pit. It’s only like 30 degrees, which compared to what it has been, well, I may as well be grilling on the white sand beaches of Waikiki. Balmy! But a wall of snow approaches steadfastly from the East, as it sweeps across the northern states, leaving a wreckage of automobiles marooned in it’s wake. There are times when it is good to leave the house, and times when it is not. Times to build a fire and hunker down, as they say. We Patrons of the Pit, we know just what to do. It is our second nature. Thus, on the grill tonight: Bone-in Chicken Breasts, and some Bacon Cheese Onion Buds. As my fellow patron is fond of saying, “Bam!”


Start with the onion first, one of them big onions bout the size of an ostrich head, as it needs about an hour on the grill. Slice it like a blooming onion, or in a checker board pattern, going almost, but not quite all the way through. You want the onion, like so many rock bands we’ve grown to love, to just stay together. Next order of business is to dash it with a smattering of your favorite seasoning. I used some Cajun flavors I had laying about, but you can use what ever. Then lay two or three strips of bacon on top, because bacon is good, and should never be considered otherwise. Gently set the onion monument on the grill, over in-direct heat of course. Rotate once or twice in the next hour, at the discretion of your pit master instincts and beverage levels. The bacon will of course baste your onion as only bacon can.


Twenty minutes into the cook, put on the chicken breasts. I used the succulent bone-in sort, which renders the meat with more flavor I believe. The rub this time around was of the home-made variety, a sweet and salty concoction with just enough heat to make it interesting. Anyways, I thus dusted the breasts liberally and then seared them first over direct heat,  to crisp them up, and then tucked them back by the onion for the rest of the cook. Lid on, dampers cracked nicely, and a light blue smoke, patron to smoldering hickory, wafting into a gray, Minnesota sky, with blizzards, and white-out looming distinctly on the horizon. It don’t get much more pleasant than that.

20130209_181956_edit0 (1)

The last step, after about of hour, is to chop up the bacon and sprinkle it back over the onion with a whole lot of cheddar cheese! Glory! And pass the cardiologist!


Hickory Smoked Chicken Breasts and Bacon Cheddar Onion Buds hot off the grill.

No finer way to hunker down for a winter storm than that. Bam!

31 responses

  1. The onion, I learned how to cook an onion similar back in high school. Awesomeness. I put a hunk of butter and seasoning salt on mine.

    Completely agree on the bone-in chicken breast. The toughest meat to grill, in my opinion, is boneless chicken breast. This looks delicious.

    And you added bacon! Best meat ever invented/discovered.

    February 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

  2. Wow Hickory Smoked Chicken with Bacon Cheddar Onion Buds looks amazing!! Way to hunker down!

    February 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    • Thanks. It was tasty! Tho my breath was, shall we say, rather not well for a while. Oh well.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:53 pm

  3. drool….

    February 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm

  4. mdprincing

    I just wet myself I’m so happy. Never thought of the onion thing, looks great and must for the weekend, I have just he onion in mind, a few cold heine’s in the fridge for inspiration and a juicy rib eye that has been giving me the look from the fridge…

    February 11, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    • Hot dang, sounds like you have everything in place, for a quintessential manly moment this weekend. I wish you good cheer, and may you smell like smoke for days after. Amen.

      February 11, 2013 at 5:24 pm

  5. When I moved to Ecuador I had to leave behind my smoker and my big grill. One of the first things we bought here was a small charcoal grill which has done a good job, but seeing your beautiful creations makes me determined to buy a larger barrel grill that I can use for smoke and indirect heating.

    I used to live in Burnsville, MN and feel for you in the Minnesota winters. God bless you and keep grilling!

    February 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    • Wow, small world some days, isn’t it. We hang our shingles in the northern burbs, but we love winter. This one has been particularly lovely!

      Yes, I believe you said you were on the hunt for a smoker. The big barrel types will give you the versatility you’re looking for. Or a larger kettle grill. I can only assuming grilling in Ecuador is paradisaical, if that’s a word. Have fun down there! Just a little jealous!

      February 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      • No need to be jealous, I loved Minnesota – winters and all. Just gets harder to take the cold as one gets older and living is so much more affordable here in the land of eternal spring. Thenks for the advise on the grill/smoker.

        February 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm

  6. Good heavens man, I has to pop a simvistatin just looking at the pictures. Well executed. I do believe a similar onion is in my future shortly. After all, man does need his… vegetables.

    February 11, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    • I know, it’s not an onion to dabble in often, but when you do… man!

      February 11, 2013 at 7:26 pm

  7. southernexpressionsblog

    Literally drooling currently. Thank you for the yummy recipe instructions–I cannot wait to try! I love onions!

    February 11, 2013 at 10:46 pm

  8. I was wondering how y’all were doing up there. I see that you’re jussssst fine. 🙂 Nice way to hunker!

    February 11, 2013 at 11:36 pm

  9. Gorgeous photos!

    February 12, 2013 at 7:01 am

  10. Wow that onion looks down right ridishulous!!! (new word I just invented right here, right now to describe how ridiculously delicious that onion looks… ridishulous!)

    February 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    • I like it! Good word-smithing there. Ridishulous! Yeah, I like it.

      Thanks for the re-blog too, and calling us fine folk. If only you knew!

      February 12, 2013 at 7:19 pm

  11. Pingback: How To Hunker Down: Bacon Cheddar Onion Buds and Grilled Chicken Breasts | WinnipEGGHeads

  12. Reblogged this on WinnipEGGHeads and commented:

    The fine folks over at Patrons of the Pit posted a blog entry the other day that was so awesome looking that I just invented a new word to describe it… ridishulous!!!!

    Redishulous is an adjective to describe something as so over the top delicious… that it is beyond ridiculous, it’s Ridishulous!!!!

    So check out their blog!!!

    Happy Egging!!!

    February 12, 2013 at 6:40 pm

  13. Nice! Is it ok to use turkey bacon? Also pls do share what the chicken rub was

    February 13, 2013 at 1:00 am

    • Well I guess it’s OK to use turkey bacon, surely healthier that way. As to the rub, I wish I could tell you, but it’s one of those mystery rubs I concocted on the spur of the moment, and I’ve long since forgotten much of what I put into it. I do remember it had generous amounts of brown sugar in it, some garlic salt, and some chili powder. But then there were other things I can’t remember. So the rub has been filed under mystery rubs, less I learn how to reverse engineer it. My bride suggests to keep a rub journal, to document what I put in to the rubs we make, so that then at least if it turns out worthy, I can duplicate it again. As usual, she is right.

      February 13, 2013 at 9:20 am

  14. Now I have got to try those Bacon cheddar onion Buds!! Oh MY!

    March 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm

  15. mdprincing

    I’m doing the onion today with planked grouper I brought back from Florida and piped grilled mashed taters, can’t wait

    March 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm

  16. I have been creeping your blog for an hour. You now have a new groupie, er, I mean, fan.

    August 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm

  17. Pingback: How To Hunker Down: Bacon Cheddar Onion Buds and Grilled Chicken Breasts | My Meals are on Wheels

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s