Poultry Perfection: What Your Meat Needs
The temperature was a balmy 32 degrees. The aromas of pecan smoke were in curl. Long, tapering, plumes of it, wafting into a gorgeous February sky. The sounds of chicken flesh could be heard sizzling over a hot bed of coals, and for a while at least, you could almost, but not quite, feel the warm sun press gently against your face. Oh it was a nice afternoon at the pit, I don’t mind telling you. Very abiding. A real treat after several weeks of sub zero grilling. It’s odd, I know, that 32 degrees can feel balmy, but trust me when I say, a body adapts. A sort of biological antifreeze develops, and you just get used to the cold, I suppose. And when it gets up into the 30’s in February, well, it is with great restraint that you some how resist the nagging urge to slip into your designer swimming trunks, smear SPF 15 suntan lotion over your hairy belly, and sidle over the neighbor’s fence to inflate their pool noodle. And all the neighbors rejoice.
This is to say, in other words, it was nice out, and yours truly frolicked accordingly. And the Black Capped Chickadees where in abundance, too, all singing their praises for another day of cavorting amid the piney trees. Of all the tweety birds I observe in the backyard, and living on a pond there are aplenty, I think my favorite is still the humble chickadee. They are not large, showy birds, who demand to be seen, but rather tiny little things, and somehow still maintain the quality of being impressive. I think what impresses me is that they are just more gregarious than other birds. Friendly, you might say. Chickadees have been known to drop onto your outreached hands for some seeds. Up north, where Chickadees are truly themselves, they will even land on your hat while you walk in stride, iffin that is you put some bread crumbs up there. They’re just cool little birds. Chickadees are also of the proper stock that does not leave us for the southern states, when winter’s tangled tempest encroaches our shores. Nay, the Black Capped Chickadee stays the winter long, chin up, and somehow seems to thrive. Like I said, impressive little birds. And they are always my little fuzzy cohorts, and inspiration, for these winter grilling sessions. Speaking of, today on the pit we have some chicken wing appetizers. You know, the kind you get at sports bars and the like. Tho these are undoubtedly better what with being cooked in a nice haze of smoldering pecan wood. Yum!
I do rather fancy how the sunbeams rest on my meat at times. Indeed, just to lay there, feeling that glorious heat do its bidding, with no pretense nor shame. Reminds me of my brother in-law’s old bull dog. He used to favor a sunny patch of linoleum at the foot of the stairs, where the 4 O’clock sun beam would make it’s way through the window pane, casting a warm glow upon the shoes and stuff on the floor. And the bull dog would go lay down in that patch of sunlight, belly up and illuminated, and simply revel there, with the sun warm upon his meat. Yup, I know from what he aspires to there…What we we talking about again? It was chicken wings, I thought! Hmm. I don’t know anymore…
I suppose I should let you know that these wings were all done indirect, meaning opposite the hot bed of coals. I do 90% of all my grilling indirect like that. You run very little risk then of burning your plunder. Or drying it out. Indirect slows down the cook too, I believe, and gives a pit jockey more time for the important things in grilling, such as: watching cloud shadows, observing more chickadee flirtations, dashing inside for a manly beverage, investigate your trees, dashing back inside to the little pit boys room, grabbing more manly beverages, picking your nose, and general, tho not always practical, pit-side loitering. Yup, indirect, people. It’s the best way to go!
Our seasoning of choice today, like most days lately, was from the kindly folks at Miners Mix. They have a lovely gamut of flavors, for all your culinary needs, and today we needed something for chicken. So it was off to our Miners Mix private shelf for some Poultry Perfection. I’m not sure how they do it, but they are certifiable spice wizards those dudes. If it didn’t exist in 1850, it ain’t in there. That could be one clue to how they do it. They use real stuff! The don’t put a ton of salt in it either, which makes it not only healthier, but I think promotes more attention to the subtleties of flavor. All this is to say, they make some really good rubs. If you’d like to grab some for yourself, and see what we mean, this rub and many more are on amazon. Below is our affiliate link to get you there. It would help support companies like Miners Mix, and we would also get a wee kickback too, so that we could go buy more Miners Mix. Plus your food would taste better. It’s just a happy deal all-around!
Poultry Perfection Seasoning Rub for Turkey, Goose, Duck, Chicken, and Game
So it was, under glorious blue skies that our appetizer wings came to a most edible and succulent maturity. Then with a “new” paint brush from the garage, we glazed the spoils with a modest sheen of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce. The flavors merged together under the dome into a yard bird tome, sure to put any meat maestro on the brink of tears. I cannot divine an accurate way of conveying just how savory they smelled, tinted in pecan smoke and spice. Nor how flavor-packed and juicy they tasted. So I won’t. You’ll just have to make some yourself, and let the meat speak for itself. And if you’re a lucky bloke, you may even feel the sun smile on your face. Amen.
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Sounds quite yummy. Another great composition, painting a pretty picture of the northern realms. I made wings for the Super Bowl party, though I stayed indoors. I made two types, and, by far, the crowd favorite was the ko chu jang-based marinade. If you haven’t tried that bit of Korean culture, I recommend it. Ko chu jang is a thicker, more complex sriracha-like sauce/paste. It can be fiery, but I love it. Cheers.
February 11, 2017 at 9:39 am
Sounds fantastic. I’ll have to look up this Ko chu jang. I do like sriracha, so, I think it’ll be a good relationship, this Korean goodness and me. I like trying new flavors. and in my advancing years, I seem to be developing a better tolerance for heat, so, this will be good.
That was some Superbowl. I guess I predicted correctly, tho 98% of the game I thought I was wrong. These wings were for the Superbowl, come to think of it.
Anyways, good luck finding your scraper. Still got a couple more months!
February 11, 2017 at 9:48 am
Oh you Minnesotans! I do remember playing football with my boys on the south side lot (where the snow had blown away or melted) when it got into the high thirties and was sunny. We were true Minnesotans then and ran around in short-sleeved shirts feeling just fine. Last night I had to get up and turn the fan off because it had dropped below 70 degrees in the bedroom! My how I have changed.
The wings look great. I wish I could order some of that Miner’s Mix, but it would be impossible to get it delivered here. I will probably order some through your link to be delivered to our sister’s home in August when we come back for a visit. I may have to dedicate a suitcase just for mixes and rubs. Life is good!
February 11, 2017 at 10:27 am
Indeed, I remember you telling story of football with your boys before. It’s weird how a body adapts to it’s surroundings. That same 30 degrees, say, in September, would send folks rushing for their downy parkas and mittens! But here in February, it is point blank balmy. I think all your biological antifreeze has been evaporated out of you by that spoiling Ecuadorian sunshine. You may never be winter tough again!
February 11, 2017 at 11:58 am
And here I thought I was the only brainyyack who uses a cheap, 10 for a dollar, paint brush to cook/bake with 😎
A hui hou!
February 11, 2017 at 12:10 pm
Nope, looks like there’s two of us, Auntiedoni. Hey , they work !
February 11, 2017 at 2:49 pm
February 11, 2017 at 6:15 pm
For some reason BBQ tastes much better in the winter even here in Northern Ontario at -32 F or -32 C.
February 12, 2017 at 9:01 am
Ah my neighbor to the north! Good morning mate! Yes, if anybody can appreciate winter BBQ, it’s probably you. Got a couple pork butts on the pit right now in fact. Pulled pork for supper tonight.
Hope you’re able to smoke something up today.
February 12, 2017 at 9:05 am
No smoking or BBQ for me for 3 weeks in Moosonee, Ontario for work and no access. However I did bring a bag of pulled pork in the freezer!
February 12, 2017 at 9:06 am
You’re making do! Take care, man.
February 12, 2017 at 9:07 am
There are few greater things in life than a gentle rolling smoke, a sunny day, and properly seasoned meat.
February 13, 2017 at 6:48 am
Boy you said it Mr Dodd. And such days, as you know, are sweeter to the soul yet, after a long, hard, winter’s campaign. It was a good day, indeed.
February 13, 2017 at 8:44 am
Great read, really enjoyed it. Chicken wings look incredible!
February 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm
Why thanks mate! Appreciate you taking the time to chime in. Yeah they hit the spot in adequate fashion.
February 14, 2017 at 3:26 pm