Monday, July 20, 2015

Crabby Sunday - Oven Smoked Chicken Lollipops and Bacon Wrapped Corn on the Cob

I sat and watched and waited and hoped the little lizard would turn magenta like my bougainvillea, but no such luck. For sure, he's not getting that job with Valspar.

Just so you know, I've got a headache and an attitude.  There, got that out of the way.

Soak 'em if you got 'em

Look, if you don't have a container of this chicken spice rub in one of your cabinets, your life is much poorer for it.  Mix this up and put it aside - we're smoking lollipops later today.

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon McCormick's dark chili powder
1/2 tablespoon Badia chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

I post a lot about so-called "invisible diseases" both here and on Facebook because it sucks to have people think you are faking your aching because you don't show traditional marks and scars. Sometimes, it seems that I am one of those people who has trouble  believing that I am always in pain.  I think this is what my cousin Sheryl meant when she said she had fibromyalgia, but she was in denial.

I guess I've been in denial for a few truly precious days, but all good things come to an end.  My back pain has become really awful.  Crippling, you might say. But I am used to that; that's why God created Advil,  The scary thing of late is the pain in my legs and the resulting difficulty in climbing stairs.  The bedrooms and family bathroom are upstairs, naturally.

I'm crabby and I'm agitated and my medication is taking its sweet ass time becoming fully effective.  I finally gave up on being patient with my kitchen sink, and I start cooking.  Handwashing took place in the office bathroom, so I guess I did my exercise walking in the house.  Today was about smoked chicken lollipops and bacon wrapped corn on the cob. I'm still working on timing and temperature, which is annoying me.

Still no Sloppy Josephine. Tomorrow, God willing. And biscuits, I love my biscuits.

Chicken Ood? Ask a Whovian.

Oven-Smoked Chicken Lollipops

These were AWESOME. And adorable.  Having said that, I confused myself on the timing, shuttling back and forth between convection to conventional oven, bottom heat to top only heat sources and changing temperature willy-nilly.  The hardest part of this recipe is creating the lollipop, but it's not that bad, and gets easier as you keep working on them.  This is the page I referred to for general instructions, but you can certainly look elsewhere.  No matter what, you've got to have a very sharp boning knife and heavy duty kitchen shears.

12 chicken legs, frenched (creates the lollipops)
Spice rub, above
Apple wood chips, soaked in water for at least an hour
Top quality barbecue sauce
Wildflower honey

Season the chicken all over with the spice rub.  Cover with foil and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. When you are ready to start smoking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Add the drained wood chips to the bottom of a 9 by 13 aluminum baking dish.

Set the chicken lollipops into an aluminum veggie grill pan (perforated) and then place it on top of the wood chips.

Cover this with an upside-down aluminum pan, and use a very large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil to wrap and enclose everything so that the smoke will remain inside with the chicken.  Set this inside the preheated oven (the heat source has to be on the bottom).

Now here's where things get dicey because I was experimenting with time and temperature.  But what I should have done at this point is to leave the oven on this high heat for 30 to 45 minutes, and then without opening the oven door, lowering the temperature to between 235 and 250 degrees and let the chicken continue to cook another few hours, checked the internal temperature after the first 2 hours, then letting the chicken cook till finished with an internal temperature of about 170 degrees.  I did the whole thing backwards and never really got the smoke production I was hoping for.  In spite of that, the smoke was light and very pleasant.  Next time, hopefully a little more smoke.

To finish these lovely lollipops, remove the foil and top pan, and raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees. While the oven is preheating, brush the chicken with barbecue sauce (I used Jimmy Bear's) and then drizzle with the honey.  Place back in the oven, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes, just enough time to develop a glaze.

In the Oven Bacon-Wrapped Corn on the Cob

This is easy but aggravating, because I left the husk on the cob, like I would if I was preparing it on the gas grill.  That confused my timing, so I have nothing definitive to pass on to you, except for my "next time."

Next time, I may or may not soak the corn in water and sugar, after removing the husk and of course, the silk. Then I will wrap each ear of corn with 2 pieces of bacon and sprinkle with my favorite seasoning-of-the-moment.  Next I will cook the corn under the broiler, turning so that the bacon cooks on all sides. When done, I will brush each ear of corn with a little melted butter on all sides, and sprinkle on a bit more seasoning (I used Emeril's Essence) and sugar.

I would suggest you google various methods for cooking this in the oven, but this gives you a basic idea.

(Don't even ask what I did, as I overcomplicated what should be a simple but really tasty side dish.)

This popped up on Facebook just as I was finishing up today's post. Timing, eh?

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