Smoky grilled chicken

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I really do like a good yard bird.

This is a good yardbird type experience.

A smoking hot bronzed bird splayed out in front of you… so moist and ready for the taking… it’s good times.

Euphemisms aside, if they should really ever be put aside, this is some damn tasty bird.

If you can split a whole bird down the backbone you can win this one, because the rest of it is keeping a few coals glowing and you can do that, right? Right?

This isn’t even so much a recipe as it is a little anecdote about what I made for dinner. I feel the time I am spending typing right now would be better spent explaining to you how to butterfly (spatchcock) a bird or even how to make a good chicken stock for the chicken gravy… but you know what? Yeah you know what. You know I am not going to do that because quite frankly, that is just not my style. No, I’m more of a don’t-really-care-about-what-you-reckon, unkept face hair and trucker cap kinda of guy, with maybe a bit of an air of a slight acquired brain injury from one too many stacks on my skateboard when I was younger… or was it from when attempted to form myself into a human snowball while snowboarding last month? Who knows, maybe I’m one of the lucky ones and I scored myself two ABIs… Lucky guy indeed.

Season the bird, inside and out, with your favourite bird seasoning type BBQ rub. I mix a few things together and call it “Big Red Rub”. There is a recipe for it right here. It works for me.

Let the bird hang out in the seasoning for half an hour or so while you get your BBQ fired up.

Get some coals going in your BBQ (pro Q or Weber are the sort of thing you’ll need for this job, or a grill plate over a fire with an old wok over the chicken to keep a little heat in will even do the job. I’m not even joking) exactly like you would normally get some coals going in your BBQ, and get it up to 150C (300F) ish.

Place the chicken skin side up over indirect heat and cover for 1 hour. The chicken should be looking pretty good at this stage… hopefully… I don’t know how I’m going to help you if it isn’t…

Brush the skin of the chicken with a little melted butter or olive oil and then, using two sets of tongs, carefully turn the chicken over, your goal now being to crisp up the skin a little.

The chicken can handle a little direct heat now, but it may need some turning so it doesn’t get “extra crispy” (AKA burnt), so get your comfy chair out, crack another tinny and keep a closer eye on it from here on in. Cook for another 15-20 minutes or until chicken is sexy as and juices from the leg run clear.

Carve it up and drizzle (yes, I know I would normally punch myself in the face for using the word “drizzle”, but I feel it has a place here) with smoked honey to gild the lily. Gilding the lily. Heck yeah, kid!

We served it with roasted carrot and sweet potato, braised kale, cornbread and homemade chicken gravy and I must say, it was damn well delicious.

Tasty assed grilled chicken with gochujang and smoked honey

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grilled chicken recipe
This was another one of those happen-to-have-a-really-good-looking-chook-on-hand-and-I’m-pretty-keen-to-put-something-on-the-bbq type situations. You know those ones, right?

I also had in my possession a bottle of gochujang – the fermented chilli (red pepper) paste of Korean origins that I had been hearing so much about lately cos I am a fricking ear-to-the-ground kinda guy.

Also in my possession was a flagon of rum. But both you and I know that was going to be used to get those carnies dancing as the evening went on…

Back to that really damn good chicken.

The chicken was bathed in a very simple marinade, containing, if my time learning mathematics at school serves me correctly, no more than 5 or possibly 6 ingredients. You know what that means? Less prep time. You know what that means? Less time in the kitchen. You know what that means? More time enjoying a refreshing beverages and watching those drunken carnies dance… oh, how I love to watch them dance…

I ate chicken… I was left smiling – a big red sticky mess… and this time it couldn’t all be blamed on the beard…

The chicken looked like this at the start but it was so pretty and sticky and red by the end of the cook

The chicken looked like this at the start but it was so pretty and sticky and red by the end of the cook

Just grillin' some really tasty chicken... really tasty chicken

Just grillin’ some really tasty chicken… really tasty chicken


REALLY GOOD GRILLED CHICKEN WITH GOCHUJANG & SMOKED HONEY MARINADE

(Serves however many people you serve with a roast chicken. You could also sub in 2kg of chicken wings for a quicker result and a really fucking tasty little snack during a long night of watching the drunken carnie dancing or even a game of actual sport if that’s what you’re into)

1 whole chook, butterflied or cut into 4. I’m pretty sure your butcher will do that for you
½ cup gochujang
½ cup butter, softened (a little sun shine or 10 seconds in the microwave should look after that for you)
2 tablespoons smoked honey* (straight up honey will also do a very good job here)
1 teaspoon salt
Sliced shallots (scallions) and toasted sesame seeds to serve
Napkins. You defo need napkins for this stuff

• Mix gochujang, butter, honey and salt. Pour the mix over the chicken and let it marinate for an hour or so.
• Whack it on the grill over some gentle coals for approximately one hour, depending on how well you tend your BBQ. Check and turn and baste with the extra saucy goodness every 15 minutes.
• (45minutes in a 180-200C oven will also do the job of cooking your chook)
• Once cooked allow to rest for 10 minutes.
• Serve with extra gochujang if you love that, shallots and sesame seeds

*I found some nice peeps who make smoked honey called Blend Smoked Honey. You can find them right here. It’s well worth a hit. PS I certainly do not get paid for my under-thought opinions… although with this sort of entertainment value I probably should ay… I gotta work on that.

A pretty average pic of a really tasty dish

A pretty average pic of a really tasty dish

Winner winner, smoked chicken burgers for dinner

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smoked pulled chicken burgers
This week my eldest son Seba, informed me that he thought it was about time he got the hang of smoking.

I could’ve have been concerned and demanded that he stopped hanging out with that tough crowd down the street because they were obviously leading him astray, but I was pretty confident that wasn’t the type of smoking he was talking about. You see, around foodisthebestshitever HQ the main type of smoking we talk about is the smoking of meat.

Once again I could understand how this could be misconstrued, but believe me when I say there is nothing biblical nor quick-cash-earning about this type of smoking of the meat. Also, you should just get your filthy mind out of the gutter, this is my kid we’re talking about here…

So at this point, this 10 year old product of coital union between myself (I think) and my dear wife Jennee almost has me in tears. The lad wanting to follow in the foot steps of his old man, manning the pit and feeding the hoards who desired the smoky goodness. I was damn well impressed. This was definitely a proud dad moment for me.

After a little light reading of a few of my favourite BBQ books Seba declared he thought he would like to spatchcock a bird (his words not mine) and smoke it for a few hours.

Sound idea… except the butcher was sans whole birds today, so I suggested we may need to settle for some chicken breast, possibly pulled and sauced and made into burgers.

Seba was agreeable, so we purchased said breasts and the rest, as they say, is history.

Big Red Rub, butter and breasts... sounds like my kind of party

Big Red Rub, butter and breasts… sounds like my kind of party

Smoker, Fiskars X25 block splitter, beer brewed by the Coopers family and a full watering can just because safety doesn't take a holiday

Smoker, Fiskars X25 block splitter, beer brewed by the Coopers family and a full watering can just because safety doesn’t take a holiday

Seba get's that chicken in the smoker. The task seemed pretty easy for him...

Seba get’s that chicken in the smoker. The task seemed pretty easy for him…

Seba rolling those boobies through the red butter

Seba rolling those boobies through the red butter

Starting to turn into some really sexy breasts

Starting to turn into some really sexy breasts

Loaded as fuck

Loaded as fuck


SMOKED & PULLED CHICKEN BURGERS

(serves 4)

3x 200g chicken breast (free range, yeah. Give the little chooky a half decent life at least)
1 tablespoon Big Red Rub
1 tablespoon butter
BBQ sauce
4 burger buns (I like a slightly sweet milk bun, but I’m sure what ever you choose will be fine)
Lettuce leaves, tomato, cheese, mayonnaise and sliced jalapeno to served

• Rub chicken boobs with butter and then Big Red Seasoning
• Set aside in the fridge to marinated for an hour or so
• Get your weber or upright smoker or whatever it is you use to smoke things ready to go. Somewhere around the 110-120C is the temp I like for this sort of thing
• Smoke chicken on a tray for approximately 2 hours or until cooked through. Turn the chicken and baste with juices every 30 minutes
• Rest chicken for 10 minutes
• Shred it, pull it, do your thing
• Check seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if necessary
• Moisten chicken with 2-3 tablespoons of BBQ sauce and pile onto burger buns layered with the other ingredients. I shouldn’t need to hold your hand through this one by now, but if I do… well… I’m just not going to. Here is a picture of my 10 year old son sorting it out all by himself. That’s all

Honestly. This is Seba just rocking the "I got this pops"

Honestly. This is Seba just rocking the “I got this pops”

This was seriously one of the fucking best

This was seriously one of the fucking best

Porkies Barbque, Bayswater, FTW

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porkies barbque bayswater
There’s bound to be a bit of spam coming your way after my recent trip to the grand old sheep station (state) of my birth, Western Australia, but first I need to take a moment to tell you about a little place called Porkies Barbque… and secondly I need some sleep. I really need some sleep. Booking flights back home and forgetting about the three hour time difference resulting in us actually arriving home at ridiculous o’clock, like actually almost the next day, like actually almost just drive straight from the airport to work and just cross a day off the calendar type shit is a very rookie error. Young players, eh.

Yeah, I’m tired. Cut a negro some slack would ya.

I could go on about my pain forever, but this folks is mostly about Porkies Barbque.

So much good shit to choose from

So much good shit to choose from


This place is a little jewel in the crown of the appeal of a trip back to Dubya (WA) and dare I say a shining light in the local barbecue scene. A scene that appears to be booming more than the mining explosion (now that was a pretty fucking worthy pun right there) of the last ten years, more than the high fibre, pre-biotic, legume heavy, dieters’ trouser trumpet, and possibly even more booming than the voice James Earl Jones. Yeah right?

Or maybe it isn’t booming at all and I am once again spoon feeding you ill-informed rubbish from the mystic void that is my brain. Mystic void… shit’s getting creepy now…

The viking banquette hall

The viking banquette hall


Walking into Porkies was like walking into a new age version of a Viking banquette hall… and me likey modern Viking banquette hall very much. Even though there was a very limited supply of drunken wenches to take advantage of, and even more limited tolerance of raping and pillaging in 2016, I found the many options of barbecued goodness and other good things to be a suitable consolation prize. Also, the place was a lot cleaner than a Viking’s banquette hall so there would be no need for a tetanus booster today.

Something I noticed really quickly was the rolls of paper towel on the tables, which believe me was more than a little surprising considering the dodginess of my vision on this day. I was not in good shape, feeling more than just a little bit ill. I blamed a less-than-fresh seafood pasta I had eaten the previous day, Jennee claimed she had not seen be consume any pasta dish on the previous day and instead pointed the finger of blame at the ridiculous amount of alcohol I consumed the night before. I reckoned whatever, I was still very impressed by the rolls of paper towel – this meant there was a good chance things were going to get messy.

No words

No words


And messy they did get. Not quite “giving birth messy”, but messy none-the-less.

We ordered the Sampler for 2 ($59.50) topped up with ½ kg Buffalo Wings ($13.80) FTW*. This platter came with a lot of things you might expect plus more; smoked brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, chicken breast, jalapeño bread, corn slaw and three sides of your choosing. FYI we chose crispy mac n cheese, baked beans and a mini salad.

Where shall I begin? (This is where I engage my point form skills)

Still no words

Still no words


• The smoked ribs, pulled pork and chicken were amazing. Truly effing amazing. That smoky meaty goodness definitely made my life better that day. The brisket was a little dry and not heaps smoky but still good once lathered in one of the sauces on the table
• About those sauces on the table; bloody fantastic! Sweet barbecue, mustard sauce and hot sauce for your face to get excited about
• The buffalo wings were fucking amazing, crispy little tasty flying things with a touch of spice
• The salads were a little under seasoned, as I’ve decided is often the case with barbecue meat joints (but lets face it, we were there for the meat… it’s not like you go to a brothel and critique the bedside decore is it?), but they had a big assed shaker of seasoning salt on the table so that was easily rectified
• The fried mac ‘n’ cheese was awesome. You can probably make it yourself if you take a look at this recipe from Paul’s Caul right here
• The baked beans were constituted of 4 parts porky goodness to 1 part beans. I see nothing wrong with that
• It came with jalapeno bread, which is quite possibly one of the most genius things ever. I want this stuff in my life. I will make this into my life. It was like I had finally met my long lost child. I will love this bread like it was one of my own… I realise I’m starting to sound a little desperate but I want this bread
• The place even has bottomless soft drink refills and iced tea to wash everything down, but if you like a more alcoholic version of something wet to have with your barbecue, you’ll need to pack that yourself

There you go. Porkies Barbque. Get on it!

The writing was on the wall

The writing was on the wall

*Is FTW an acronym for “for the win”? I asked a young person and they said it was but now I’m not really sure… I’m using it anyway. If it means something different in your world let’s just pretend you know it means “for the win” in mine

JR’s Smokehouse Barbecue – more than just a smokehouse barbecue… actually, it is totally just a smokehouse barbecue and a damn fine one at that

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jrs smokehouse barbecue coolangatta
This has been a long anticipated date for me.

I have been very excited since hearing that Gold Coast to Byron Bay caterer, JRs Smokehouse Barbecue, had moved into their own little shop front in Coolangatta, just an hour up the road from us.

The menu looks a little bit like this

The menu looks a little bit like this


Initially we ventured up here on the wrong days (this place being closed Sunday and Monday) but then we remembered we can actually find out everything we need to know about this place on the world wide interweb which, much like the climax of the female of the species, was no further than a well trained flick of the finger away. We looked at a thing called a web-site, which in turn told us when this holy church of wood smoked goodness would be open, and in turn when barbecue Jesus (AKA Joel) would be turn his body into smoky, smoky brisket, ribs, pulled pork and hot links, and of course his blood into Coopers ale.
All of the good shit plus a little pulled pork

All of the good shit plus a little pulled pork


So, the aforementioned web-site told us that this holy place would be open for lunch on Saturday and the opportunity quickly presented itself so we got our asses and the asses of our children and even enlisted the asses of Jennee’s brother, Queenie, and his family for this evangelical smoky awakening.
My dinner plus beer and home made condiments... you know I love home made condiments

My dinner plus beer and home made condiments… you know I love home made condiments

That chicken... I ate some of that

That chicken… I ate some of that

There's the volcano nachos on the right... I think I ate some of them too

There’s the volcano nachos on the right… I think I ate some of them too


I have point-formed the heck out of my meaty experience just to make this whole thing manageable for myself…

• The brisket was so soft it was melting in my mouth and out of my face and dripping down onto my boobies… well I don’t have boobies but I do have some strange assed fantasies that’s for sure. I am pretty sure I was dribbling a little when I ate the brisket. This was hands down, ripped of and fricking replanted, the best piece of brisket I have ever eaten. Better than mine, better than yours, just damn good.
• The ribs made me feel a little special on the inside.
• The pulled pork with mustard sauce was moist and melty and a little awesomely tangy from the mustard sauce. Mustard sauce and my family are two things I truly love about this world.
• The house recipe hotlink with jalapeno and cheddar was fricking amazing. This was seriously one of the best snags I have put in my face in a long while; popping in my mouth, spurting its cheesy goodness, with just a hint of jalapeno and a whole heap of smokiness. I’m pretty sure that sentence had words in it that are not allowed to go together.
• The chicken tasted like chicken but better because it was covered with smokiness and still moist and delicious on the inside.
• The beans were smoky and had a suspiciously porky looking product in them so they were born to win.
• I was looking for more dressing on the salads, but it would also be true to say that I was certainly not there for the salads. The pickles and home made condiments more than made up for any issues I had there.

This is a place that you should make an effort to get to if you are even remotely into barbecued goodness and with-in range… and when I say “remotely into barbecued goodness” I mean you have a mouth and are any kind of omnivore/carnivore, and “with-in range” is clearly referring to someone who has a mouth and is any kind of omnivore/carnivore (that’s not a typo). Maybe just call ahead or check the interweb for opening hours. Yeah, do that.

JR’s Smokehouse Barbecue, 39-41 McLean St, Coolangatta, QLD

Smoky fire roasted tumeric chicken for Troppo…

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As part of my new segment, “Easy shit for Troppo to cook”.

My mate Troppo is a man of simple pleasures. A nice girl, something to eat, snow and some good tunes are a fine beginning to a smiling Troppo.

When venturing into that belly-filling hub of any home, the kitchen, Troppo likes to cook things that are easy and hopefully have a bit of room for error. And if the whole meal can be cooked in one pan even better… If it can be baked in the oven the guy is going to be pretty pleased with himself… And if it contains 5 ingredients or less and still tastes anywhere between OK and good, Troppo is going to be wearing his winning smile… And if there is a naked carnie to eat it off, even better… And then maybe he finds five bucks.

Troppo is also very tall. I mean, I am tall but Troppo is one of those really tall guys who I have to look up to. Relevance to this story? Nil. My care factor? Nil also.

So, as a favour to a jolly stirling old chap and a true friend, I shall see if I can’t use my chef’s brains to conjure up a few decent recipes constructed of five ingredients, or there abouts. And maybe I’ll even share a few gripping tales about my mate Troppo.

On a very relevant note, troppo has been quoted in various highly esteemed society publications as saying “fire is the start of something good” (This is reason alone that I would love this man like a brother), so it was agreed that fire would be the source of heat for the caramelisation of meats that would inevitably become part of our quest for satiation on this fine evening. The “Maillard Reaction” would be our friend tonight!

IMG_4463

All you need for chooky success. The tumeric is the one marked “tumeric”

IMG_4467

Troppo slaps the chicken

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Chicken meets smoky goodness

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Troppo and Jennee. To cool for this shit…

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Looking good ladies

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Chopped up and ready to roll

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You remember how to eat, yeah?

Smoky chooks with tumeric and a couple of other things

With this sort of cooking you are going to have a hard time producing a shit product if you listen to your favourite pirate Uncle (me) and follow a couple of simple rules. 1) Use the best meat your back pocket will allow, and 2) wait until your fire has calmed down a bit and keep your meat to the side so it can hang out for a while a get all smoky and fantastic. Sounds easy? It is!

If you don’t have a fire pit, as I understand a lot of people don’t, don’t be scared to use a BBQ or a medium-high oven.

Almost five ingredients
2 free-range chickens… maybe 1 if you’re not feeding a hoard, butterflied
2 tablespoons tumeric powder, unless it’s been sitting in the back of the cupboard for a year in which case it probably tastes all musty and shitty
5 cloves garlic
1 long red chilli
5 kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon palm sugar
• Blitz all ingredients together
• Rub down that bird like the naughty little girl it is. Maybe slap it once or twice too. Now do the same to the other one
• Season with a good splash of fish sauce
• Now grill the chooks on the side of your fire pit for an hour, or two if time is your friend. Cover with banana leaves if you really want to catch that smoky flavour
• We ate these with Asian slaw, nam jim, pickled cucumber salad and a pile of good company

You’re welcome!