Crispy 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.28.11 Wings & a Prayer

Just a month ago, I was waxing poetic to you about wings. If you still haven't made a batch, I want to urge you to give it a whirl. They're delightful as an hors d'oeuvre or snack, but they're also great as the centerpiece of a meal. I know my way is more involved than simply coating them in barbecue sauce and sticking them in the oven, but that doesn't begin to do them justice. To get the perfect combination of rich, silky meat and crisp, sticky skin, you really need to add in a couple more steps. You don't need to get all crazy like David Chang, who brines his wings, then poaches them in duck fat, then smokes them and then grills them. Although they're sublime. I'll let you skip the smoking step. But brining, poaching and grilling is the way to go. None of it requires much attention, but you'll snap to when you bite into your winged masterpiece.
Tagged — cabbage slaw
Bbq 790 xxx
photos by george billard

7.6.10 Up in Smoke

Low and slow, that's how we cook it. Our two 12-pound Boston butts from Dickson's, rubbed with a heady mix of chile powder, cumin, brown sugar, salt and cayenne, were on the smoker by 10am the morning of the 4th. G actually prefers smoking on the Weber, because it retains the heat much better, but ours is just not big enough to accommodate all that pig. Several hours of smoking over hickory and apple wood chips, a couple in the oven, an hour to rest and then G and Philip were up to their elbows chopping barbecue. I almost fell flat on my face in the kitchen, the floor was so slippery.

After they pulled and chopped the smoky, fatty pork, I doused it with an Eastern North Carolina hot sauce made from vinegar, Tabasco and red pepper flakes. It's an irresistible combination: salty, tangy, spicy, smoky richness. Then this gets piled on a cheap, soft potato roll, smothered in pickles (dill or bread-&-butter, your choice), with perhaps an extra dash of hot sauce, and you've got some authentic barbecue. A high-falutin' roll is not welcome; you need something that breaks down easily and sops up all that juice. And though we don't generally do white flour in our house, this is a worthy exception.
Tagged — cabbage slaw