Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Christmas Dinner 2012

Dec 23 2012

Last Thursday we had wind, 40 to 50mph, all afternoon and evening. Friday I wanted to start smoking some things for my Christmas dinner. I woke up to my covered smoke deck with a lot of snow inside. After getting it cleaned out I smoked a pound and a half of pistachios. I coated them with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkled on some Penzey’s sandwich sprinkle. It is a mix of salt, garlic, black pepper, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram. Love that stuff on about anything. I smoked them at 170 deg. for one and a half hours.

Friday evening I mixed up some Cajun and Korean crackers to set overnight. I added some grated parmesan cheese to the Cajun crackers this time. I will serve some of my smoked Gouda and provolone cheese with these.

Saturday I smoked the two batches of crackers. That evening I cut the backbone out of two chickens and got them in a brine for overnight. The brine was a half a gallon of water, 1/3 cup of kosher salt, ¼ cup of brown sugar and some dried garlic flakes.

The chickens were in the brine for 12 hours. This morning I rinsed them well and dried then in the fridge for a couple of hours to air dry. I got them on the smoker at 11:00 at 180 deg. after a half hour I eased the temp up to 275 deg. I knew the one on the right of my Traeger would be done first so I monitored it for breast temp of 170 deg. then I finished the second one. It took about 1 ½ hours for the one then another 15 minutes for the other one. I let them cool before pulling the meat.

While the chicken was cooling I put a frog mat on the smoker to do some bacon for my spinach salad. I did a pound and threw on a slice of my Butcher, Kah Meats, old fashioned bung bologna for a late lunch sandwich for the cook, Me! It hit the spot and I also saved the chicken skin and nuked it for some chichorones. I had some taste treats with today’s cook!

I am all done for today and cleaned up from the cooking. We are now waiting for our daughter to get here from Chicago area and our son and dil and grandson will be coming down for some carry ins tonight.

My Christmas dinner cook for tomorrow evening should be pretty easy. I just have to get the chicken in a Crockpot to warm up, make my spinach salad, bake my hash brown casserole, and heat up the Bush’s grillen beans.

I will follow up with some photos and recipes after Christmas. Happy Holidays and hope all has some great food!

Snow in my Smoking Deck

Fridays smoked pistachios

Smoked Korean Crackers from Saturdays cook

Pats of butter and Lawry's seasoned salt for under the breast skin

Chickens ready for the smoker

Chickens are done and cooling

Some chichorones, treats for the cook

Bacon and a bologna for the cook

Chicken pulled and ready for tomorrow

Christmas Dinner update:

A nice Christmas for us this year, it was almost like we had three family get togethers. Sunday evening our daughter got home from the Chicago area so our son, wife and grandson came down for carry ins for supper. We had pizza, deep fried pickles and mushrooms, some boneless bbq wings, and I had some tacos all from our favorite carry out. We had our Christmas dinner Christmas Eve then this morning I fixed breakfast for all before the son & family headed to Toledo to have Christmas with the wife’s family.

This was about the easiest Christmas dinner I have ever done. I had the chicken ready to heat up, After lunch I mixed up the spinach salad and mixed up the hash brown casserole except for the corn flakes and butter topping. My wife made up the veggie platter, and we had plenty of appetizers, Cajun and Korean smoked crackers, smoked cheese, smoked pistachios, salsa, and taco chips. Our daughter in law brought some pretty desserts, square pretzels with different candy toppings.

I heated up the chicken in a Crockpot, and hour on high and then on low for a half hour. I had some chicken broth to add if it was dried out but it stayed plenty moist. I had different toppings for the sandwiches. We all liked the hash brown casserole. The Ore Ida frozen hash browns has the recipe right on the package. I added a teaspoon of dried garlic and onion and used cream of celery soup instead of the cream of chicken, any creamed soup would work. I bought a box of crushed Corn Flakes for the topping but thought they were too fine. Next time I will buy the cereal and do my own for a little more crunch.

We all love the spinach salad, a family recipe from my wife’s cousin. I don’t know where she got it but we have been fixing it for at least 30 years. The beans are my secret recipe, out of the can Bush’s grillen beans!

Printable Spinach Salad Recipe

The appetizer counter

The smoked pulled chicken

Spinach salad mixed up

Hash brown casserole

My salad

My Plate

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