Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

How To Keep Elvis In The Building: BBQ Chicken!

We outdoor folk notice the rhythm of the sun. As the winter season ebbs ever so slowly across the calendar, we notice. When the weather man says there are two extra minutes of day light, we are out there, slurping up every last photon of it. We notice these things. Kindling a fire the other evening in the faithful, old kettle, I noticed the waning strokes of dusk were still of newspaper viewing quality, even at 5:30, and let me tell you, its been a while since I could say that. And as I ponder the snowbanks surrounding my outdoor kitchen, and as much as I enjoy the fruits of the winter grilling season, even so, I am smitten for the sun. We all are this time of year, we northerners who have scant tasted a sunbeam it seems since the heady days of preseason football. We miss the light. We tingle and pine in the darkness, waiting for the erupting sun. The hope that it will one day rise again, and my BBQ may cast long-enduring shadows because of it, is a notion that I hold dear.  Our readers down there in Ecuador are no doubt smiling to themselves, happy-go-lucky, surrounded by their lush tropical foliage and bottomless buckets of sun tan lotion. Aw well, some day. If we were to just wait around for the “perfect” grilling weather, well, we would be waiting half the year away, and that is not acceptable. Thus tonight, it’s smoked chicken leg quarters on the grill. Come with me won’t you, it’s time to light up! And I suppose I should tell you also what any of this has to do with Elvis.

elvis and his chicken

You see, it was one of those days where upon and for the better part of it, I had that deep inside sort of hankering for some BBQ chicken. The kind that renders you a sloppy mess whence you’ve had your way with it, with BBQ sauce strewn and adhering to the varied contours of your face, up your nose, and all over your belly. That’s what I was looking for. The real deal. The kind of BBQ chicken that would stop Elvis Presley mid-concert for to pull up a chair, if only to have a bite. Elvis rather adored good BBQ chicken, but then, who doesn’t.  So here is how to make it for yourself.


Emboldened with the crave, and whilst the coals where tuning up, I liberally dashed these beautiful quarters with a whole matter of things. I guess I was like a woman in a shoe store on discount day, as I never could quite make up my mind. I used Louisiana Grill Sweet Heat on one, my own special rub on another, and Grill Mates Chicken Rub on the rest. Dust them over pretty good, to add another distinct layer in the flavor profile.


As usual, seared the chicken to start over very hot flames. Then tucked them back in-direct for the rest of the journey. Tossed in a bit of hickory for good measure, put the lid on, and went about the very important business of procuring a lovely beverage from the refrigerator. This is always a favorite segment of any cook, that precious span of minutes where the grill is doing all the work, yet you maintain the illusion that you’re accomplishing something important too. And you kind of are. Guilt-free man chair time, with feet propped up, and a suitable beverage in hand.  Game on the big screen, whilst you survey with partial glances the condition of the pit, and the disturbing curvature of your belly.  With any luck,  you drift off into a dream like trance of smoke and meat, awoken in an ideal world, by the aromas of perfectly executed BBQ. Ah these are the bits we remember, the chosen morsels of victory as we stand firm, or rather sit, against the forces of haste. For BBQ is at once our twinkle in a world gone mad with urgency, and instant gratification. Let us then, if we know what is good for us, turn the dampers down on our grills, and cook slowly there, just because, and patron the scenic path. Indeed, to extend the moment for the moment’s sake, and to be well with it.


These fine chicken leg quarters took about 45 minutes on the grill, the last 15 of which were lovingly finished with some Sweet Baby Rays Original Sauce, and then promptly polished off by yours truly, and the little lady. Yum! Elvis, if he was in the building,  surely would have stayed there, like a fat bug stuck to fly paper,  splattering up a nice display of BBQ stains over his sweaty white jump suit. And if he belched, it would be OK. “Thank you very much.”


30 responses

  1. Looks delicious, but i have to admit, I follow only partly because of the food, and partly because of your writing! Beautiful prose, good sir!

    February 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm

  2. Quarters and wings are the finest of all grilling chicken meats. Those look stout!

    February 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    • Oh yes, you speak the truth. Man they hit the spot too. Have you done any grilling write ups yet? Your humor would baste such a thing nicely. Consider it!

      February 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      • I have done a few, I know I have one on pulled pork. I think there is maybe a couple more. I have written as a guest for Rantings of An Amateur Chef.
        I have been wanting to have some more stuff about smoking, grilling.
        thats the only grilling post I have, whch is a shame, because I cook so much. You follow me on twitter now, you will see a lot from there.

        February 15, 2013 at 6:22 am

  3. I’m salivating!

    February 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm

  4. Hmm! A very interesting blog! i’m sure this requires very dedicated efforts…. very impressed. But i noticed you guys hvn’t done anything with any kind of mince meat!!

    Have you tried any kind of kebabs on the grill ?…its simple …quick to cook ..and melts in your mouth… you can check out the recipe on my blog …and you’re welcome to make adaptations to are but experts!!

    February 15, 2013 at 2:58 am

    • Oh yes, we’ve done kebabs many times. Good stuff! Never posted any thing on it yet tho. Your kebab recipe looks very good. Thank you. As to mince meat, nope, that meat eludes us. Willing to try tho!

      February 15, 2013 at 9:41 am

  5. POP – Great post! I am suddenly in the mood for some BBQ pollo muslo y pierna (Chicken thighs and legs to your Northerners), but I will have to wait for the sun to move across the patio to provide some shade. I do not want to get a sunburn in my steady 85 degree Ecuadorian sun!

    Just rubbing it in! I got a kick out of the reference to the longer days. Here the days are essentially the same length year round. But, I remember the boys and I playing catch in the twilight trying to stretch the MN days out for all they were worth. Stay warm and keep grilling! John

    February 16, 2013 at 6:47 am

    • Glad you liked it, as that reference was completely for you!


      February 16, 2013 at 8:14 am

  6. Pingback: News from around the BBQ Blogsphere | The Arrogant Swine

  7. Elvis and chicken… two of my favorites! 😉
    This puts me in the mood for spring and the grill.

    February 18, 2013 at 10:14 am

    • No doubt. The King and Wings could be a restaurant!

      February 18, 2013 at 10:39 am

      • Lol. I love it.

        February 18, 2013 at 10:42 am

  8. Killer, I need to study under the masters. My chicken never turns out so well.

    February 18, 2013 at 7:05 pm

  9. you all have any pdf plans or know a good website with instruction on how to build a BBQ from a 55 gallon drum? Propane is what i want, so i can do this awesome stuff to…

    February 20, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    • Nope, don’t have any PDFs, but we can steer you in the right direction. Check out this video for some ideas. It’s a pretty slick set up.

      Also, many folks build ugly drum smokers, UDS, and are quite happy with them. Tho they run off of charcoal. Here is a link to learn more about those cookers.

      February 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      • thanks guys much appreciated.

        February 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm

  10. Hey, I have chicken quarters in fridge! I was just going to stick them in the oven tomorrow. Now they’re getting grilled outside thanks to you guys getting me all watered up. My honey will be thanking you.

    And I thank you for visiting my blog – 1950 Suburban Adventures. It’s brand new and YOU were my first guinea pig, I mean visitor.

    March 28, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    • It is an honor to be your guinea pig. A mile stone to be proud of. Thank you likewise for your readership!

      March 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm

  11. Yummy! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for stopping my my blog, , and liking my GF Flatbreads post!

    I’m new to this blogging business and reading your writing is inspiring and energizing! Not to mention hunger-inducing!

    August 23, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    • Well thank you kindly. You’re doing good stuff over there, yourself!

      The best blogging advice we might give, is to write about something you’re passionate about. You hear that all the time probably, but that’s cause it’s true. Because if you’re not excited for what your blogging about, you’re not all that likely to keep up with it.

      Take care!

      August 24, 2013 at 10:14 am

  12. I need you to cook up some of my zombie chickens. We need to eat them before they eat us! You can find them in my post ‘Chickens Never Forget’. Your assistance will be much appreciated.

    August 24, 2013 at 10:31 am

  13. I now realise that my new e-book (HM4MEN – A Manual of Household Management for Men) has a serious gap. There’s nothing on BBQs! But perhaps I just need a link to your site. John Standingford (aka stroppyGit)

    June 15, 2016 at 8:20 am

    • Your book then is missing out, good sir! Feel free to link the site, if you wish. Looks like you’ve got a good book there. Just needs BBQ’s is all!

      Take care, Stroppy Git! (what kind of name is that!)

      June 15, 2016 at 8:34 am

  14. SmokieButGoodie

    Ahaha you got me rollin’ with this line, “…and the disturbing curvature of your belly.” Awesome, couldn’t have described it better myself. Unfortunately I know EXACTLY what you mean…and maybe that’s why it’s so funny to me! Err…or actually maybe it’s not so funny after all…

    July 26, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    • So you’re saying you’re fat! Yes it is both funny and sad simultaneously I’m afraid. What can you do…

      July 26, 2016 at 9:37 pm

  15. SmokieButGoodie

    Haha um, no? It’s just that as a kid when I was being told to expand my horizons, I guess my brain was fast asleep but my belly was wide awake!

    July 27, 2016 at 9:07 pm

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