Monday, July 09, 2007


For a summer Sunday, I fired up the smoker and put in a salt & peppered chicken. One of the happy features of this house is a huge maple tree in back, which shades the patio and drops small dead branches in storms, so there's always a nice supply of dry maple kindling to add to the apple wood in the firebox. After about an hour, I put on a few of Fleisher's brats to smoke as well, and they were a revelation: instead of tightening up like they do over direct heat, they stayed soft and kept all their juice while getting a good smoky flavor too. I also cooked a big bunch of kale kraut style- slowly with onion and cider vinegar- made radicchio mash, and red potato salad with cornichons and herbs like my aunt Martha's recipe (the key being to toss the still-hot potatoes in copious vinegar so they soak it up, then add the oil.) Given my Grandfather's mastery of chicken-smoking, this meal is one I easily could have had 20 years ago (although without the mash.) We drank our very last Siduri pinot, a 2003 Sonatera.


Jo said...

That looks so amazing I am licking my lips imagining what the skin tasted like.
I really need to break my smoker out of the shed and have a weekend slag with it. Now I wish I never through out my grape vines!

peter barrett said...

Hi Jo-

Yeah, the skin was pretty insane. We have some pretty fat old grape vines around that at some point I'm going to chop up for the smoker. If you have any orchards near you, they might be happy to give you their prunings or logs from old trees they're replacing.