Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

How To Please Your Duck: BBQ Chicken, Potatoes & Grilled Green Beans

Whilst the charcoal chimney came up to speed, with soft belches of white, aromatic smoke,  I leaned back in my BBQ chair, settling in for a wee bit of 20130728_181534_edit0grilling in the evening sun. There was leisure in the air, as often becomes the pit. Tweety birds on high, cavorting amid the Cottonwood leaves.  Geese milling about on a weedy pond. And I especially liked seeing the produce growing in the pit-side garden. It made me feel good, like food growing on your patio ought to I guess. I took a sip of my lovely beverage, set it carefully to rest, and grabbed the hose laying at my side, and promptly doused my beloved banana peppers and cucumbers and squash and beans. Sending a cool, yet artificial rain, glistening in the evening sun, down upon them.

Long about then two ducks, of the Mallard variety, wobbled up through the steely grass to make my acquaintanceship. Two handsome little dudes, who I must say,  looked rather at home around my pit. Probably because it was their home, well a few yards away it was I suppose. And while I admired their ability to strut about so confidently like that, as if they owned the place, I may have succumbed to my innate tendencies of being a man, and did what any red-blooded man would do when confronted by a couple, cute little ducks. I shot them with my garden hose.  Ah yes, I hosed them down liberally, to which their counter was not entirely a surprise. They straightened up tall, the both of them, spreading out their wings as if to bathe, nay to glory, in this wondrous, cool, liquid delight raining down upon them, whilst snapping their bills into thin air, in hopes, it appeared, of slurping up any wayward drops of water before they hit the grass, and disappeared there. What did I expect. They’re ducks! And I admired them even more.


Anyways, on the grill tonight, a very simple affair. No, it’s not duck. But a few red potatoes, some chicken leg quarters, and some green beans, plucked fresh from the garden’s bounty. So grab yourself a cold beverage, and let me tell you more about it, all waterfowl aside.


Potatoes went on first. Spuds are a wonderful thing to grill. And there is a cornucopia of ways to do it. Tonight we did it about as simple as you can get. Two red potatoes simply halved, and there upon rubbed in olive oil, and seasoned in Lipton onion soup mix. That’s it. Then placed over direct heat to do their thing. Flipping occasionally through-out the cook for to soften both sides in equal fashion. Whilst the potatoes waged onward, next we plunked a couple of chicken leg quarters down in-direct, seasoned liberally in famous Dave’s Rib Rub. It says on the bottle to use it on everything, so we did. Now because we don’t so much fancy a smokey-flavored potato at the end of the day, no smoke wood was added here. The subtle, smokey flavors imparted by the charcoal are well enough for our ilk.  Lid on – all that’s left to do now is sidle back into your BBQ chair, muckle onto your pit beverage of choice, and hence engage in the waning hours of another day at the pit. Moments privy to poetry, lest we’re too far gone to notice them. But this is half the reason we cook outside in the first place, to re-acquaint with the splendor there. And to revel in it.

Like the way the evening sunbeams melt like gold through the fragrant Spruce. And how the rolling clouds kick their shadows along the ground, and how the hot-blooded creatures below rally for them. The Great Blue Heron beneath the willow yonder, how he stalks the shallows there with no less patience than a pit master mid-way through a twelve-hour brisket. And the banana peppers at your left, residing on bended stems, oh how they ripen before thine eyes as if they had nothing else in the world to do, and to this end,  to do it for just you.

Near the end of the cook, gussy up the chicken with some of your favorite BBQ sauce, and put a handful of those fresh green beans directly on the grill, perpendicular to the grate of course, lest we lose some of these green tendrils of goodness to the fiery depths below. That would suck. And the potatoes, if you’ve done them right, will be fluffy on the inside, and a tad crispy on the outside. Just like most of us.


BBQ chicken, grilled red potatoes, and grilled green beans. Yum about sums it up!  Just another day at the pit.  Hosing of resident ducks optional. Amen.

23 responses

  1. Nick Trandahl

    This sounds and appears most delicious. I must admit that my favorite prose contained within this post was prior to the grilling. Those wily and prideful mallards sound most welcome and most amusing. Great read!

    August 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    • Thanks Nick. I enjoyed that part too. If we all just lived our lives with the easy-going nature of a duck, we might be better off.

      August 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm

  2. Liz

    do you blanch the beans first? Love the idea of just tossing them on the grill. No muss no fuss! Your garden sounds fantastico. Banana peppers (hot or mild?) are my faves. We grew chocolate bells this summer and they were fun, too. And you know how I swoon over your grilled chicken. Need to get some of that going over here, too. Seems to hot to grill lately. 😦 (not for you, I’d bet)

    I will send any and all ducks I see your way as you seem a good waterfowl host 🙂

    And p.s. You had me at “whilst.” Why don’t people use that word more often? It’s a beauty.

    August 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    • Nope, no blanching. Just tossed them on. As primitive as can be, really. And pretty effective too. It works, minus the ones that fall through the grate. I bet you could plank green beans, come to think of it. Hmmm. And the peppers were of a mild variety. No harm done to my Swedish palate. But yes, it is a joy having a little garden growing next to the pit. Many a time I’ll just pluck something fresh there, and plop it over the coals. Good times.

      I love the word “Whilst” too. Something I often think of, whilst doing this blogging thing. Its just a good word!

      Thanks Liz!

      August 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm

  3. debbeedoodles

    Well at least the ducks don’t eat everything in sight like the goats did at our house 😉

    August 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    • This is true! Naw, I like my ducks. Good little dudes for the most part.

      August 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      • debbeedoodles


        August 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm

  4. Duck is the one thing I have never cooked so far- it is not that easily available in South Africa. And if I look at Masterchef, it looks complicated- overcook it and it is rubber… But chicken we do a lot of in the Weber….

    August 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    • We have done a thing called a turducken before. If you haven’t had the pleasure, it is a duck shoved inside a chicken, and then this is all shoved into a turkey. Hence, turducken. Three birds in one. And its good!

      Thanks kindly for the comment. We absolutely love your blog over there. You’re doing good stuff!


      August 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      • Thanks, I only have one problem with your blog though… each time I am leaving very hungry…
        Saw the Turducken at some of our upmarket grocers around Christmas, but you could buy a Harley for their price… 🙂

        August 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm

  5. Love what’s on the grill but really LOVE your mallards. What fun, wish we had something as ethereal and beautiful here in Brooklyn. alas best I can do is a rat or a raccoon. Great post as always!

    August 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    • A rat or a raccoon you say? Hmm, guess I’ll take the coon! Good to know there is raccoons in Brooklyn. I never knew! You should have a plethora of pigeons I would think.

      Thanks puginthekitchen!

      August 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm

  6. Chicken on the pit is a fave around here. Effing love it!

    August 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm

  7. Liberty of Thinking

    “To the POTP:
    We, the ducks you deliberately hosed, are informing you that our deep penetration espionage manoeuvering was successful, once again proving you have a habit of relentlessly consuming our sharp beaked kin.
    While reminding you that our noisier kin saved Rome, you will come to taste our revenge, when while thinking you are eating chicken eggs, you will be eating our own eggs, laid secretly in your egg containers at times unknown to you, of course. Also of course we hearby warn you to use eggs only in the dark!
    The Intelligence committee of the Liberated Duck Maternal Fraternity.
    PS: the chap writing you this, is in our custody, and for reasons unknown to us, he keeps licking all computer screens displaying your blog?!?”
    😀 😀 😀

    August 30, 2013 at 5:00 am

    • International Duck Protocol suggests that if said ducks ever perpetrate tom foolery in my egg container, I am here by allowed to harvest and consume said ducks at my leisure, dipping sauce optional.

      As for the chap licking your screens, never mind him. He’ll lick any thing not locked down. He doesn’t get out much, obviously, and you would benefit from changing his medications.

      This has been a most odd correspondence.

      Be well

      August 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      • Liberty of Thinking

        Excellent reply! Love your sense of humour! Keep up the good work!
        Strange dream I had about some ducks changing my medication…
        Screens don’t taste as before…

        August 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm

  8. laurie27wsmith

    Great blog guys, I’m a little sick so just making an appearance to say hi.

    August 30, 2013 at 6:36 am

    • Aw thanks man! Hope you’re feeling better soon.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:56 am

      • laurie27wsmith

        Me too!

        August 30, 2013 at 11:48 am

  9. so glad you weren’t serving your friendly ducky neighbors 🙂 Mary

    August 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

  10. Yummy!

    September 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm

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