Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Florida Food Fest: BBQ Chicken, Chicken Tenders, and Chicken Dogs

The reason people say, "Try this, it tastes just like chicken" is because everything we eat IS chicken these days ... or at least it seems like it sometimes.

Chicken does seem like a gift with it's relatively healthiness (compared to other meats) and it's adaptability in the kitchen. It still boggles my mind when I look at restaurant menus and see how they take a fairly lean, low calorie meat like chicken and turn it into a mega calorie-high fat disaster on a plate.

I like the bird cooked without too much frufrunessity tossed into the recipe and please ... chicken and cheese were never meant to be together ... never. For any recipe that includes chicken and cheese, just add more cheese and drop the chicken, 'cause you ain't gonna taste the bird anyway. Why waste it?

(That was my colorful local dialect rant)

Last Sunday, feeling a bit nostalgic for the BBQ's of my Dad, Uncle Richard, and Mr. Buck, I barbecued a bunch of split chickens. When I was a kid, the three men mentioned above were the BBQ masters of our little corner of the world. We all lived next door to each other and our families put on some bodacious BBQ's.
Chicken was usually the star of these also ... not for health reasons back then, but because everybody loved it and those guys were raising a bunch of kids ... plus the relatives were coming, and chicken was a bargain.

Ya' gotta come hungry to a BBQ like that, because you're going to get a half a bird slapped on your plate and there was more on the grill if you were still hungry. It's messy, fun food and when I was finished with that plate last Sunday, I barely had room for the Key Lime pie that I had prepared before going out for a 3 hour stint at the BBQ grill.
Of course, I split firewood nearby while the chickens slowly cooked over oak coals so I was pretty hungry when it was all finally ready.

Last night's entree ... pretty fancy, don'cha think?

Like many men, I have a terrific weakness for fried chicken.
(Laura of Vitaminsea is smugly smiling somewhere)

In the traditional breaded form, fried chicken is loaded with extra fat and calories that I might need if I were going outside to plow 40 acres behind a mule.
That's not really the situation around here, so I limit my consumption of this culinary wonder.

One way around this problem is frying the chicken quick with no breading at all ... no skin either. These chicken tenders got a brief roll in some Cajun seasoning and then into a wok of hot peanut oil. They came out crispy and amazing.
Compared to traditional fried chicken, these have to be less fat with a much lower calorie count.

We dipped some in Texas Pete's Buffalo Wing Sauce and ate some as little poboys. It was all good.
I even made some potato chips in the wok just for fun. They came out great ... no pictures 'cause Junior ate them all.

Last, but not least in our Friday Florida Food discussion are chicken dogs ...

"Let's go dog surfing now, everybody's learning how ..."

When you think of chicken dogs, you might be visualizing pale, tubular sections of mystery chicken parts, but I'm talking about REAL chicken dogs ... like the one you see here.

If we had neighbors they would have thought I was insane yesterday evening as Feather and the two tame chicks did battle for a piece of bread on the front porch.
I could not stop laughing at their antics. It was all I could do to hold the camera still as the chickens alternately rode around on feather's back, climbed over her head to get to the bread, or flew up on to my shoulder like some kind of weird pirate parrot.

It was so wacky and there was no one around to see it but me.

If laughter is life extending, I gained a few extra minutes yesterday, thanks to a dog and some chickens.


Cathy S. said...

LOL! I just gained a few minutes as well. And isn't it amazing how a song can take you back in time.

Thunder Dave said...

What kind of crazy circus have you got goin' down there now?

lesle said...

Feather & Friend Framed

ArtfulSub said...

Maybe your best post ever. A little bit of everything. Kudos.

Can I steal the pick of Chicken Surfing on that uncaninely uncannily patient pooch?

robin andrea said...

I think reading about these fine, funny feather and chicken moments can be life-extending as well. What a fantastic clan you have there.

threecollie said...

Wonderful critters! Just wonderful! My life will be just a bit longer too and I thank you.

Dinner looks delightful too except for the hot part.

We got a hold of three HOMEGROWN chickens, (frozen and packaged) the other day (I simply hate store bought). They are so good I just can't describe them. Got three dinners for our crew (some of whom do almost plow behind mules) out of ONE chicken!! YUM

kathy a. said...

the chicken surfing is the funniest thing ever! now if you can just work the pig into the act....

leosatter said...

Maybe you can help me out with something…? I want to order all of my food online from now on because of various reasons, but I don’t know where to go for quality food. I have tried 2 companies so far, Fresh Dining, and and Celebrity Foods, but I wanna get others I can try out. Do you know of any? The main thing I’ve ordered so far is steak. I guess you can say, I’m a steak junkie. LOL!!! From what I have found out (from what I have ordered so far) I think I am able to regulate the quality of beef I buy. I hate going to a store and getting that crappy slab of beef that I have to cut down until there is like nothing left. Hahaha!!!! (its so true though) Anyhow, sorry that I made this comment so long. If you can help me out or point me in a direction where I might find more quality foods online, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a good day or night! (depending on when you read this) LOL!!!!

elpbulls said...

Thanks for reminding me that I eat in a cafeteria EVERY DAY!! I'm always afraid to read your blog on Friday's, can't wait to come home. Love ya!!

Sharon said...

I love chicken, any way I can get it. :) What an awesome dog, too.

Hurricane Teen said...

I wonder what the two LOTR chickens were thinking as you slapped those chicken halves on the barbecue!

Anonymous said...

Hurricane teen, I'll bet they were thinking "Isn't it our lucky day?"

Deb said...

The dog/chicken thing is hilarious! And my grill is currently snowed under, so I like your pictures of grilled chicken. I'll dig it out, someday. We grill in every month of the year.

Floridacracker said...

Cathy S,
Enjoy those extra minutes!
Hey, I saw those Boys at a concert in Jax a long time ago.

Gotta be a circus 'cause there's so many clowns.

That is TOO COOL! Thank you!

Really? Thank you.
Yes, feel free to use the Chicken Surfing shot ... people need to know chickens and dogs can work together.

I hope so.
It's a whacky clan we've got here.

Glad you got a chuckle out of these critters. Those homegrown chickens sound good ... and big.

Kathy A,
Working on pig surfing ... stay tuned. Glad you got a laugh out of these knuckleheads.

Welcome to Pure Florida! Sorry, but I'm not much help on the online food shopping. I just go to the grocery store. I think with a little searching you will find plenty of online sources tho.
Good luck!

We can't wait for you to come home either you rascal.
Love you bunches!

Me too ... mostly.
Awesome she is!

I think Wren answered you better than I could!

Right on! It's good to be a scrawny banty chicken around here.

It was too funny. I should have videotaped it ... hmmmm.
My BBQ grill doesn't rest much either.
I really like cooking over wood I grew myself ... very satisfying.

Larry said...

I just loved "weird pirate parrot". Great rambling post!

Anonymous said...

I'm not the "Dog Whisperer", but the look on that old gray muzzle says "If it weren't for the cataracts and the bad hip, chicken would be on my menu". :)

Cathy S. said...

Was there no post today because you all were in Gainesville awating the big annoucement? Congrats to Mrs. FC. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy either. He seems like a young man with a lot of character, and I mean that in a good way.

Anonymous said...

LOL, these pics reminded me of that old children's book by P.D. Eastman, "Are You My Mother?" LOL. Bet that's what the chickens were saying to Feather!

And how 'bout them Gator Heisman Trophy Winners!!!


Floridacracker said...

Thanks! Welcome to Pure Florida!

You pegged her exactly. The cataracts are obvious, but how did you know about her stiff hips?
Maybe you are a dog whisperer.

Cathy S,
An early busy morning taking the pig in for her Fair ear tagging/registration and my son's basketball game in Crystal River kept me from my addiction :)
We are very happy for Tim Tebow and his family of Gators.

I loved that book when I was a kid.These chicks think I'M their mother ... they have remained very tame.
And yes, "GO GATORS, GO TIM TEBOW!" was the mantra around here tonight.

Sharon said...

I love that book! Still have it actually :) we were thrilled about Tim Tebow tonight, it was awesome. Our church does an upwards basketball program and he came to speak at our awards ceremony last year. He's a really great guy. His parents are nice too, his Dad spoke at a women's event we had too. Real nice family.

Floridacracker said...

The apples don't usually fall too far from the tree.
Seems true in Tim's case.

kevin said...

I spent some quality time by the grill on Friday, too. A couple of buddies and I cooked for a retirement party. We cooked 36 split chickens and about 80 slabs of ribs. We cooked from 8am to about 5pm. I have to say it turned out good.

From a previous post, do you remember the names of the two fish markets on opposite sides of the river on King St? I miss them every time I go passed.

rick said...

How I remeber those cookouts,cooking on your Dads home made BBQ pit. Being there when the aluminum foil was opened with necks,gizzards and livers was an early taste of what was to come. WOW were those the good ole days. Then again we have some good ole days now too.

Floridacracker said...

Sounds delicious.
Salvadore's on the east bank and Fazio's on the west bank ... and of course, Shrimp Haven, the shrimper's bar.

So funny you'd mention the early treats. They are locked in my memory too and I almost put them in the post.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Pet chickens! I never saw the beat!

Good column, Bub.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks pal!

Paintsmh said...

you're trying to kill me with saliva aren't you? That food looks SO good!

kevin said...

I loved going in those places with my grandmother. I sure wish there some place like them now.

I have been in Shrimp Haven and lived to tell about it. Really, I don't think it was that exciting.

Floridacracker said...

Sorry to torture you!

Me too ... were we together? I remember just sort of a duck in and walk about to say I had been in.

kevin said...

Come to think of it, I think we were together. I know we didn't stay very long.