We Got Ourselves a Smoker!

My husband had been angling to get a smoker the past couple years, but we had yet to find one that was in our price range, while sill being fairly quality.  We managed to find one last week, and put it into use on Saturday.  We have a beef brisket on order to do next weekend, but for our first venture, we went with chicken.  We served it with a country-style potato salad and some Swiss chard from our garden.

Smoked chicken with potato salad and Swiss chard from our garden.

For the chicken, there really is nothing to it.  For prepping, I removed the backbone from each chicken and then flatten it  out.  I seasoned the outside with salt and pepper, put it on the smoker, and let it go for about 4.5 hours.  Next time, I’ll work to try to season the chicken under the skin because I think that would give the bird more flavor, and I’ll probably pull it off the smoker after 4 hours.

Chickens cooking in the smoker.

Country-Style Potato Salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow/gold baby potatoes, sliced
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 3 eggs, hard boiled and roughly chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons home-made mayo, recipe below
  • 1/4 cup cornichons, chopped

Cook potatoes in pot with salted water until just cooked through, about 12 minutes.   Bring them first to a boil, and then reduce heat down to medium-ish to cook them.  Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until cooked and browned.  Drain off grease and add bacon to potatoes.

Mix mayo with cornichons and some salt and pepper.  Add mayo along with green onions to potatoes and mix thoroughly.  Add eggs and  gently mix in.  Taste to see if any more salt or pepper is needed.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

Homemade Mayo (or Aioli)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Put eggs, vinegar, and mustard in blender.  Blend up.  Remove inner lid from blender top, and slowly start pouring vegetable oil to egg mixture.  Start adding oil very slowly, just a few drops at a time.  As mixture starts to thicken and actually start resembling mayo, you can start adding the oil a little faster.  Keep going until you have used all the oil. Once all of the oil has been added, your mixture should be pretty thick.  Mix in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

A couple notes on the mayo/aioli.  Most ones include minced garlic, but I did not want the overwhelming garlic flavor in my potato salad, so I opted out.  Also, finishing the aioli with olive oil is very common, but I just chose not to because I did not feel like olive oil had the right flavors for my salad.  However, there are so many ways to “jazz up” an aioli to use as an accompaniment to many dinners – rosemary, roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, herbs- its endless really, and add it to a sandwich, steaks, fish, fried foods, you name it. It should keep in the fridge for about a week.


7 responses to “We Got Ourselves a Smoker!

  1. I’m so happy for you I could almost cry. Or is that just the smoke in my eyes. Oh the things you’ll cook. My wife got me a smoker when we moved into our house, about six year ago. Best present ever.

  2. It is now pretty much all my husband talks about!

  3. Cool! I’ve definitely been thinking about this myself if only so I can make my own pastrami but oh so many other things as well. Congrats!

  4. Lucky!! My husband really wants one!

  5. Gosh I just love your blog, I see so many things that I’ve tried or wanted to try already. We just got a Big Green Egg last year before that I had a big offset smoker that I played around with its addicting and so much fun. I have done Brisket a couple times first time sucked but the second time turned out great. I’ve made Gnocchi but not not Gnudi but I really would love to. I made a Sweet Potato Gnocchi for thanksgiving two years ago and a smoked turkey and it was everyones favorite ever they request it every year. I have perfected smoked chicken and any kind of chicken but I’m still trying to master ribs the last couple times I did them I still haven’t got it all right but they were still edible. I’d love to do a food blog but haven’t taken the plunge too many other irons in the fire I guess but I love reading other people’s food blogs and yours is really interesting and alot of things I would do or would love to do.

    • I’m jealous of your Big Green Egg! I’d love to have one someday. And how funny – I was just talking about making sweet potato gnocchi this weekend! Got to take the plunge soon and just do it!

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