It's time for Chef Troll's Culinary Throwdown Challenge and the theme for this challenge is Smoke/Fire.
I waited until the last minute for this one and not having much of an idea I enlisted the Island King for help. All we had to work with were chicken thighs and about a quarter of a bag of charcoal but we were sure that we could create something tasty.
I showed him this and told him that I'd been thinking about some kind of marinade.
"Liquid Smoke? We don't need no stinkin liquid smoke" he tells me.
He went outside, stood in front of the smoker scratching his chin, and had an idea.
Which is not always a good thing but I decided to go with it.
He put a little pile of charcoal in the fire box side of the smoker and then a little pile of charcoal in the grill side.
This is not even close to enough charcoal to cook the chicken and here's where the twist to our smoked chicken comes in.
"Boys, bring me a saw and drag that dead limb from the maple tree over here. And then go find all of the twigs and sticks you can find."
"You're building a campfire in the smoker?" I ask. "Aren't you supposed to smoke with good wood?"
"We don't have any good wood and you said you wanted to make something for this challenge so we're going to build a fire, smoke the chicken and see how it turns out."
I'm still thinking about the Liquid Smoke but decided to take a risk and see what happens.
I seasoned the chicken with Seasoning Salt, Garlic and Black Pepper
While the boys gathered wood.
The Youngest Island Boy told me he got the big piece from the yard trash pile in front of our neighbor's house. He said the man was standing outside so he asked if he could have it - and then told him we needed it to cook our dinner.
Our redneck status is reaffirmed on a daily basis.
Once the pile of yard debris had been gathered the Island King built a fire.
A big fire.
Wood smoked meat is normally very good but I have to tell you I was having some doubt about using yard trash instead of hickory or pecan wood.
But once the fire settled down a little we put the chicken on.
And then let it smoke for an hour and a half.
I present to you
Yardtrash Smoked Chicken
Looks good doesn't it?
I'm going to be honest and tell you that it has a slightly funky smell.
And I'm going to be very honest and tell you it was bad. Not spit it out immediately but really kind of wanting to bad.
I think the Island Girl summed it up best when she said that it "tastes like a campfire."
I can say that if you completely soak each bite in Ranch dressing it's tolerable - if you're real hungry.
In hindsight I see that I should have gone with a Liquid Smoke marinade and broiled the chicken but you know what they say about hindsight.
So here it is people. Now head over to Chef Troll's place and see some edible entries.
You don't want to do this.