Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken Frying Videos

YouTube = a busy (or lazy) blogger's best friend.

The first video includes a tour of the Lodge plant in South Pittsburgh Tennessee. 


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday's Roast Chicken & Dinner Rolls - Camp Dutch Oven Style

In a classic case of "monkey see, monkey do" I was inspired to haul out some of my black pots by the videos featured in a recent post.  Before doing this the tub I use as a windblock had to be freed from the icy clutches of winter. This was last weekend and I've got a lot more snow now.

3 Chicken halves easily fit in the big honking Lodge #16 Camp Oven.

 A batch of dinner rolls have risen in the Lodge #12. I used this recipe found on

You may have heard of the "+3/-3 rule" for Camp Oven cooking. For the #16 you see above this rule means 16 + 3 = 19 coals on top and 16 - 3 = 13 coals under the bottom. This gets you close to 350 degrees inside the oven. I have some spare charcoals burning in the tub to cover the next oven.

The dinner rolls are placed over the chicken. Stacking the ovens lets you capture the heat of the charcoals in a more efficient manner.

After the rolls baked for 20-22 minutes I peeked. They looked like they were almost done but I wanted them to brown more so the #12 was pulled off the stack and all the coals were placed on top. This is like slipping something under the broiler to brown.

I'm going to point out that this was the last of my Kingsford charcoal and I don't plan to buy any more. It produces lots of thick ash that clings to the briquette. I finally found a good source of Royal Oak and I'll stick to it unless they mess up their formula too.

The rolls next to my size 13 boot for size perspective.

The rolls slipped right out of the overturned pot. The daylight is almost gone...

I had to use the flash for the chicken but as you can see, it is simply roast chicken. It was good too. I slipped butter with lime juice, cilantro and garlic under the skin before it went into the #16. Cooking in a Camp Oven produces very tender meat and one of the chicken halves just fell apart as lifted it with tongs.

Cleanup for the oven used to cook the bread was as easy as wiping it out with a dish towel. The big # 16 barely fits in my 2 sided sink. Cleaning it outdoors or in a bathtub may be a better option.

I plan to do more Camp Oven related posts this year. Hopefully some people will be prodded into trying it themselves as it is a rather fun way to cook. Ive included some links below to sites that feature plenty of Camp/Dutch Oven material.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Carne de Puerco en Salsa Verde

I was looking for something to do with the last bits of the pig we won at a benefit auction. I really liked that pig, we'll call him Melvin.
Melvin was a fine pig and the 4 shoulder steaks seemed to be crying out for a gentle repose in a tomatillo and chile bath errr sauce. I was happy to oblige these emanations coming from the after world.

The vegetables were roasted in a dry skillet on top of the stove until softened and nicely charred.

The shoulder steaks were seasoned and cooked in the same skillet as the vegetables.

The vegetables hit the food processor with 1 cup of water and then were poured into the empty (and defatted) skillet to fry.

In Mexican cooking, quickly frying the sauce is a common step. It deglazed the skillet nicely.

Melvin and the sauce got acquainted in a non reactive pot and simmered there until everything was tender and delicious.  ( 45 minutes? check with a fork) A more perfect ending for a fine pig cannot be imagined.

4 pork shoulder steaks or 2 lbs country style ribs
1 tsp salt
1 TBsp. olive oil
8-10 fresh medium tomatillos - husked and rinsed
2-10 jalapenos - depending on how hot you want it
1 small onion
1 banana peppers
4 large garlic cloves
¾ cup packed cilantro leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water

I forgot to add the cilantro to the sauce, merely using it as a garnish. If you do add it to the sauce you will get a much brighter green color.

Variations - Add a little Crema or Sour Cream when serving. Cotija cheese would be excellent crumbled over the top.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lucky Number 13 - Habanero Hot Sauce

I really like hot sauce. After draining my 46 bezillionth bottle last weekend I decided to make some myself. I've made various kinds before but this time I decided to quit dicking around and make some serious ass habanero hot sauce.

One of my favorite brands that combines heat and flavor is Melinda's. Melinda's is a Costa Rican concoction that comes in various heat levels and has a rather simple ingredient list.

I already had everything I needed except a real recipe and the habaneros. Much searching on the Interweb thingy provided some fundamentals. Figuring every recipe found was written by some Volvo driving Nancy boy who sits down to pee, I bumped up the habanero count.

  • 13 Habaneros, stemmed but not seeded.
  • 1 average carrot, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/2 white onion cut into chunks
  • 8 cloves of roasted garlic
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • juice of one lime
  • salt to taste
Put the chiles, carrot and onion in a stainless steel saucepan along with the vinegar and water and simmer until the carrots are fairly soft. Let cool a bit.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the lime juice) to a blender and then add the contents of the saucepan. Blend until smooth and add cold water to achieve the viscosity you'd like. Finish the sauce with the lime juice.

As you can see, you get quite a lot of hot (and I do mean hot) sauce out of this recipe. The taste is in the neighborhood of Melinda's XXXtra Reserve but it is considerably hotter.

I'm in my happy place with this sauce and a black bean and cheese quesadilla. You only get one life, don't go through it being a pansy.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Introduction to Camp Dutch Oven Cooking Videos

Texas Parks and Wildlife has uploaded some great introductory videos about outdoor Camp Dutch Oven cooking.

Enjoy the videos and if you haven't tried doing this yet, get started. I recommend Lodge Camp Dutch Ovens over any other.


Here are a few of the Camp Oven posts I've done here:
Pork Chops with Cornbread Stuffing
Chicken and Andouille Gumbo + Cornbread
Apple Pie