Holy Smoke(r)!

We are known for celebrating things late. We once enjoyed a rockin' "Seis de Mayo" with tequila and hot wings at Hooters (no comment...) with one of Chris's friends. It was the best Cinco de Mayo I never had. This year, we're having a Fifth of July cookout with our neighbors D and J. It started with good intentions...a new smoker, some marinated chicken, you know, normal plans...until we realized (around 4 p.m. on the 4th of July) the smoker needed to be cured before we could cook with it. Which takes 3 hours on top of the 4 hours needed for smoking the actual dinner. Which meant dinner would be around midnight, and D and J have jobs that, unfortunately, make them not free all summer long (unlike us).

And so today, being a brand new day, brought similar plans (and the wonderful scent!) of applewood smoked jerk chicken along with a couple of intriguing side dishes, in our one-day-late-celebration of our nation's Independence Day.

First, the chicken. We marinated several chicken pieces in a store-bought jerk seasoning. We set up the smoker with applewood chips and allowed the chicken to smoke for four hours. Without even lifting the lid (which was a huge temptation to resist, btw!)!!!
Second, the rice. We almost always make our rice (except our risotto) in a rice cooker because it comes out perfectly cooked and fluffy, the way rice should be. Tonight, we used basmati rice, but instead of plain old water, we substituted coconut water for a little bit of cool tropical flavor.

Finally, to round out the meal, Chris chopped up a whole pineapple and tossed it with fresh lavender and some vanilla sugar for a tasty side dish.

So,tonight's meal is: Applewood-Smoked Jerk Chicken with Coconut Rice and Pineapple-Lavender Salad. It may not be as patriotic as burgers and dogs, but it works for us.

Now, we don't really have any "recipes," for this meal, but to recap: we used Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning to marinate the chicken, substituted coconut water for water to cook our rice, and tossed chopped pineapple with some lavender and sugar infused with vanilla bean. D did a fabulous job grilling up corn on the cob too. If you have specific questions, don't hesitate to email us! And Happy 5th of July!!!