Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Dual Patron Cook Out: Chicken Thighs and Beans!

Chickadees lit amid the Alders, chirping and rejoicing, as shafts of brilliant, warm, sun slanted through the stands of Spruce with aplomb. The smell of apple wood smoke tinted the air, as snow melt dribbled from the roof like, cold,  glacial run off, reminiscent of the icy ramparts of the Mountain West.  Like a seasoned man’s hairline, the snow piles around the pit had receded some in recent days, exposing for the first time in a long time, a few sickly looking, tendrils of grass, bent over from a winter’s hiatus. A good life choice I suppose, if you’re a blade of grass in Minnesota. Take the winter season off, and re-group come springtime. A mindset of no such value however, to we patrons of the pit, who have been grilling hard all the winter long. Keepers of the flame, and chickadees alike,  know no such luxury as hibernation. Nor at the end of the day, I wager,  would we want to. It’s a beautiful Saturday. The inaugural first smoke of the spring. The tweety birds are singing. And my fellow patron has come over to share it with me, like any good BBQ crony would.


Every once in while, if the stars and the orbits of our lives align, my fellow patron and I like to get together to ply our craft. The likely recipients of our exploits, for better or for worse, being our beloved wives.  Sweet girls who have put up with their fair share of experimental BBQ over the years. They have been there for the very best of it, delighting in our victories, and they have been there amid our fool blunders too, politely eating it anyways. Lovely souls, who just so happen today, to be out on the town together, doing what ever it is ladies do when their out together. My fellow patron and I henceforth found ourselves doing what only came naturally, hunkered over my pit, procuring some rather tasty vittles for our women, whilst at the same time entertaining the notion of keeping digital tabs on our credit card accounts. Anyways, on the pit tonight, smoked chicken thighs and peach baked beans. Grab yourself a lovely beverage, and let us get after it.

Whilst the big WSM was coming up to speed, being the efficient creatures that we were, we split up the duties. Divide and conqueror tactics if you will. John took the chicken thighs, and I took the beans. The chicken was amazing, seasoned in a blend of home-crushed spices, and I’ll tell you more about that in a bit, but first let’s get after these peach baked beans. And don’t curl your nose, I think you’ll like them. They humbly are not of our brain thrust, but of Pit Master Myron Mixon, who was at one time at least, the Tiger Woods of competitive BBQ. Say what you will about the man, but he can smoke. And these beans I figured, were at least worth a shot. Here’s how you do it.


Peach Baked Beans

  • 1 can baked beans
  • 1 can sliced peaches or peach pie filling
  • 1 diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped bacon

Into your grilling pot, empty the contents of your favorite can of baked beans. Then dump yourself in a can of sliced peaches. A little of the peach juice is a good idea, but you may want to refrain from dumping the whole thing like I did, less you fancy a soupier baked bean. Or a better bet is to use a can of peach pie filling, which is what you’re really supposed to use, but I didn’t have any on hand. Next thing is to dice up a red bell pepper and toss that in there too. Finally, and to every meat lovers fancy, add a good handful of chopped up bacon chunks. If you really want to do it right, you’ll do up the bacon on the grill first, and impart a liberal dosage of smoke upon it, because its bacon after all, and bacon is worthy of our highest flattery. So mix all these wonderful ingredients together, and if you have a hankering, sprinkling in a little of your chosen spices of the day, is hardly ever a move soon regretted, and compliments the main course with a quiet, but favorable elegance. Proceed then to let the flavors mingle and stew for two hours out on your pit, stirring on occasion to circulate a little more smokey goodness into your bean pot of glory. Man! Now let’s see how John did up those thighs.


First order, he removed the flaps of skin common to inhabit chicken thighs, and then rubbed them down in olive oil. This to properly receive his freshly ground melody of spices which include, but are not limited to: Coriander, brown sugar, pink Himalayan salt, pepper corn, onion powder, smoked paprika and ground rosemary. By freshly ground, we’re talking an hour before the cook, in his mortar and pestle. Glory!  It don’t get no better than that folks. Then he sprinkled some over the thighs. A little of this stuff goes a very long ways, he said, so he made work of it with a light hand. Delicately allotting the spices equally over the meat. He was quite proud of his creation, often bellowing in acute joy over how pretty it looked.  The spice he has since coined, Rolling Stone Rub, its namesake inspired in the heady wages of the recent kidney stone he recently passed. A token beam of brilliance wrought from a most miserable circumstance.  Anyways, then he gently placed the thighs out on the smoker, where upon an apple wood fire had already stabilized into a light, easy-going smoke.  There they would stay for the next couple hours, next to the pot of beans. Oh buddy!

So it was, meat and beans on the pit, a light apple wood smoke wafting amid the patio, sunbeams melting in through the windows,  and we menfolk at last taking up the proper BBQ posture, in our man chairs, beverages in hand, and a couple of hours of premium loitering ahead of us. Nothing quite so fine as that, after a hectic week whirling about in the cog of society. And we chew the fat some, as men do when they are waiting for meat, frequently gazing out to the pit, appreciating the curling smoke there. We kick our feet up and get a trifle more comfortable, click on the TV, and settle in for the high rigors of the BBQ life. Somebody has to do it.


Apple smoked chicken thighs and peach baked beans. If there’s a better way to usher in the spring, I can’t think of any.

*Bean recipe was ultra simplified here, but of you want to see the original recipe, in it’s uncut form as Myron Mixon intended it, let us refer you to the following link:

18 responses

  1. Your dinner looks wonderful and I quite enjoy your writing style – looking forward to more of each!

    March 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm

  2. I am enthralled by the utter deliciousness. Chicken. Peaches. Beans. Bacon. What could be more splendiferous? Thanks for making me salivate.

    Srsly, dude. Thou hast it happening.

    March 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm

  3. Liz

    Can practically smell the chicken. Swooning here…

    March 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    • Some day blogging technology will let folks share smells too. Wouldn’t that be nice. Then again, maybe not.

      March 29, 2013 at 9:32 am

  4. The chicken looks great but I love the idea for the baked beans! YUM!!

    March 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm

  5. debbeedoodles

    If I liked peaches, then those beans would be really good. However the chicken sounds and looks wonderful. 😉

    March 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    • I don’t know how any one can not like peaches, but fair enough.
      The chicken was excellent. Freshly ground spices are a good thing!

      March 29, 2013 at 9:35 am

      • debbeedoodles

        Can’t wait to start my herb garden. Come on spring!

        March 29, 2013 at 10:38 am

  6. Awesome work Patrons, those beans look the business and the rub for the chicken sounds perfectly balanced.

    March 29, 2013 at 6:37 am

  7. Chicken thighs are always great and those look good, but the peach baked beans are blowing my mind. That sounds nuts, but also like it would be really good!

    March 29, 2013 at 8:39 am

    • Well I’ll tell you about those beans. Our ladies we’re skeptical, thinking they were being subjected to more experimental BBQ, but we knew their minds had changed when they were coming back for 2nd’s and even 3rd’s. Peaches work in beans. Don’t know why, but they do.

      March 29, 2013 at 9:09 am

  8. A seasoned man? An awesome way to describe myself with respect to my hairline. Must remember that. Love the peach filling idea with the beans. Might even try that in one of the many incarnations of my sauce swapping it for an equal part of ketchup… Now you got me thinking.

    March 29, 2013 at 6:55 pm

  9. Adam

    As ever, top work guys. Nice twist with the peaches.

    March 30, 2013 at 5:41 am

  10. My hubby’s favorite part of the chicken and he loves baked beans with them. Thank you for the recipes

    March 30, 2013 at 10:39 am

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