Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

I realize that my original intention for this blog was to post my experiences on my Big Green Egg, but I've decided to expand its scope. Here is my dad's recipe for chicken and sausage gumbo. I realize purists may give me grief about not making my own roux. The store bought is significantly easier and I already know how to make a roux so cheating is OK.

Ingredients List

I package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (Usually several pounds)

2 - 2.5 pounds of smoked sausage (whatever you like, andouille is best)

5-6 ribs of celery

2 bell peppers (pick the color you like)

2-3 onions

2 tablespoons of garlic

Dark roux (I usually use a store bought jar of roux)


Chop all the vegetables and put in a large bowl.

In a large pot, brown the chicken, then brown the sausage (cut into slices). I season the chicken heavily with Tony Chachere's. Once browned, cut the chicken into bite sized chunks and set aside. (This step is not necessary, but adds significant flavor) (Medium high heat)
In the same spot you browned the chicken and sausage; cook the vegetables (except garlic). Make sure and scrape the bottom of the pot so that all of the charred bits are removed and add flavor to the veggies. After veggies are cooked down, add garlic. (Medium high heat)

Add several tablespoons of the roux (I usually use at least 3-4) and stir until the roux softens and is fairly well blended with the veggies. Make sure it does not burn. (Medium heat)

Add as much water as you would like gumbo (I don’t measure, but make sure and leave room for when you add meat back to pot). If you really want it to be flavorful substitute chicken stock for the water. I almost never have chicken stock so I use bouillon cubes instead. It works the same.

Add meat back to pot, stir to mix.

Turn heat to high till it comes to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and simmer uncovered for at least 30 min to 1 hour depending how hungry you are.
Serve over rice and enjoy.

Quick Method: If you are in a hurry and don’t want to brown the chicken and sausage:
Boil the chicken thighs in a separate pot while you cook the vegetables. If the chicken was frozen it will take around 20 minutes of boiling to cook it. Once it is ready just put it in at the stage you normally would and use the liquid as stock.

Browning Chicken Thighs

I used this sausage this time. I normally use Rouse's brand. use whatever you like. Andouille works very well.

Cooking the veggies.

The browned chicken after being cut into smaller pieces.

Garlic added to the nearly cooked vegetables
This is the roux I used

After adding the roux

Nearly done

Serve with potato salad if you want a true Cajun experience

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Grilled Squash and Zuchini-Not on the Big Green Egg

My Big Green Egg is my cooker of choice, but sometimes I need to cook different items at different temperatures. On times like these, I use my gas grill. Here is my experience cooking some squash and zucchini on my gas grill.




Preheat your gas grill for ten minutes. Once preheated, drop the burners to medium heat.

Wash the vegetables to ensure there is no dirt other funk on the outside.

Slice the vegetables into strips

Place the strips into a ziploc bag, pour in olive oil, salt and pepper, then shake to coat evenly.

Place the strips on the grill, close the lid, and turn every two or three minutes until tender. This cook took about ten or so minutes. Enjoy!


In the bag with olive oil, salt and pepper.

On the grill


Smoked Chicken Breasts/Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

I normally cook chicken breasts over direct heat, but this time I decided to try something different.


Boneless, skinless split chicken breasts
Cajun Injector creole butter injectable marinade
McCormick's Montreal chicken rub


Set your Big Green Egg for indirect cooking (I use the platesetter) at 350 degrees. Use several chunks of your favorite smoking wood. I used hickory.

Pour some of the marinade into a glass. You wont use an entire jar, and you don't want to double dip into the main jar once you've injected.

Inject several syringe fulls into each breast. Use caution as it can shoot all over the place if you're not careful.

Cover liberally with the dry rub.

Cook until 165 degrees internal temperature. I suggest a remote polder thermometer.

Once done, slice and place on bun. Dress your bun however you like, but make sure and coat the chicken with Frank's red hot buffalo sauce and your choice of blue cheese or ranch dressing. Enjoy!

Note: The injectible marinade keeps the chicken juicy. On my most recent cook, these took close to an hour. They were juicy and very smokey.

Chicken injected and rubbed

Hickory chunks ready to go in the egg
Smoking on the way to 350 degrees



More smoke

As you can tell, I am fascinated by the smoke
Fresh off the egg

Sliced and on the bun

Coated in Frank's red hot buffalo sauce and blue cheese

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Spicy Garlic Shrimp

I love Louisiana shrimp. I am fortunate enough to live in South Louisiana where we have a reasonably steady supply of this amazing ingredient. This dish makes a great appetizer, great snack during a Saints game or as an entree. These shrimp are also great in a salad.


1-2 pounds of Louisiana shrimp (peeled and de-veined by your assistant)
Enough Olive Oil to cover the shrimp
Tony Chachere's creole seasoning (to taste)
Minced Garlic (to taste)
Tabasco (to taste)
400 degree Big Green Egg set up for indirect cooking (I use the BGE plate setter)


1. Have your assistant peel and de-vein the shrimp. I buy them with the heads and shell on because they are cheaper. If you don't have an assistant, get one. Peeling shrimp is no fun.

2. Mix the marinade. Add olive oil to a level that will cover the shrimp. Stir in several teaspoons of minced garlic (from a jar is fine), add Tony's and a splash of Tabasco. If you don't like spice, use a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir these ingredients together and add the shrimp.

3. Let the shrimp marinate for 15-30 minutes. Skewer the shrimp using two skewers so they are easier to flip. Once skewered, pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp.

4. Cook the shrimp till done. This part is tricky when using indirect heat. This time the shrimp took about eight minutes. I cooked them three minutes per side, flipped then finished them an extra minute on each side. The shrimp should be firm and not squishy. You'll know it when you squeeze one.

5. Enjoy!

I usually figure 3/4 to one pound of shrimp per person if used as an appetizer. Adjust the recipe accordingly. Now for the pictures.

Shrimp marinating. I used a pyrex bowl.

Shrimp on the skewers

Shrimp on skewers - close up

Shrimp on the BGE. I couldn't get a non-blurry picture due to the rising heat, but you can see the plate setter.

Finished product

Here is a close up. Make note of the fine china.

Friday, December 30, 2011


I really wanted to try and make a brisket for Christmas day. I realize that you should never make something you've never tried when guests are coming, but I decided to gamble. 

I started with a whole "packer brisket" from the local Sam's Club. My local grocer sells this variety on occasion, but Sam's is much more reasonable. The brisket I picked was 12.45 pounds.

I could have marinated or brined it prior to using a dry rub, but I didnt have the time. Here is how I did it:

I removed the brisket from the plastic and coated liberally with dry rub. The recipe is:

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground cumin
While the brisket was coming to room temperature with the rub, I completely cleaned out the Big Green Egg. This meant removing the fire ring and fire box. I wanted to make sure that there was nothing restricting the airflow. To build the fire, I started with larger pieces of lump and kept adding pieces by hand till the lump was at the top of the fire box. I placed a few handfuls of lump in the chimney starter (half full) and fired it up. After about 15 minutes the chimney starter was ready and i dumped the burning lump in a circular pattern. The goal was to hav ethe fire burn slowly and continuosly. I added the plate setter, drip pan and grate and stabilized the temperature at 250 degrees.

I inserted my wireless thermometer and put the brisket on the grill. Since we were planning on eating the next day around noon, I put the brisket on at 8:15 at night. The egg seemed stable so i set an alarm on the thermometer and went to bed around midnight. Unfortunately for me, the wireless thermometer couldn't reach the bedroom and was having technical difficulties. Since I didn't have a plan B, I set an alarm for every 1.5 - 2 hours to wake up and check the fire. I hate waking up like that so that was the most difficult part of the cook. Sometime in the middle of the night, it started to rain. I was worried the egg would have issue, but it stayed on temperature like a champ. i had to adjust the vents slightly, but I was impressed by how well it maintained temperature.

After about 14.5 hours, the brisket was 195 degrees. I took it off, let it rest over an hour (guests weren't here yet), then sliced it. I may have messed up the whole against the grain cutting, but I loved it. This is by far the best brisket I have ever made.

I love my Big Green Egg. Here are the pictures:

Whole packer cut brisket

Rub added and waiting to go on the egg

After 14.5 hours, it is finally done

Ready for slicing


It was tender and tasted great

Food Porn

Sometimes I forget to fully document the items i cook on my BGE. Here are some random pictures of items I have made:



Garlic shrimp and bacon wrapped shrimp - before

Shrimp - After
Sausage stuffed jalapenos - before




Saturday, October 8, 2011

Steaks on the Big Green Egg

The versatility of the Big Green Egg is one of the best things about this cooker. I can sear steaks at nearly 800 degrees, or cook pulled pork at 250 degrees for 20 hours. This post will focus on the amazing steaks that I have cooked using my egg.

Regardless of what type of steak you pick, this method should work. I am partial to ribeyes, but use whatever you like.

You need to get the fire as hot as possible for this cooking method.

1. Top the firebox with fresh lump.

2. Open the bottom vent, light a fire starter and walk away (leave the top open).

3. After about 10-15 minutes, you should have some of the lump ready. Close the top, make sure the top vent is completely open (no daisy wheel, just open) and walk away.

4. This is the tough part. Your egg may heat up incredible quickly, or take 30 minutes depending on various things. 750-800 degrees is what you're looking for.


1. I use a fork or other item to pierce holes on the top and bottom of my steaks. This may seem like sacrilege, but I like it. I think it helps some of the flavoring to get into the meat.

2. Once the meat is thoroughly poked, I add liquid smoke, worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning. I coat both sides and rub the seasoning into the meat with a fork.

3. Allow the steaks to come to room temperature while your egg is heating.

4. When the egg is 750-800 degrees you need to use an abundance of caution when opening the lid. High temperature gloves are a must. Make sure and "burp" the grill prior to opening to avoid backdrafts.

5. Put the steaks on the grill and shut the lid. After 1.5-2 minutes (depending on thickness), open the egg (use caution) and flip the steaks.

6. After another 1.5-2 minutes, open the egg (use caution) and flip again. Shut the bottom vent and the top vent (use the rain cover) and allow the steaks to cook for an additional 1-1.5 minutes (depending on thickness).

7. Here's where it gets interesting. Do not just open the egg. You will experience hair removal from any exposed limbs. Open the bottom vent all the way, remove the rain cover and listen. You should hear what sounds like a jet engine starting. After that, burp the grill and the steaks are done.

8. Allow your steaks to rest at least 10 minutes.

9. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I should mention that my method for cooking steaks is based on the T-Rex method as learned from the Naked Whiz Blog.

Here is the perfect steak cooking temerature

Prime ribeye prior to cooking
Prime ribeyes after cooking. These may have been the best steaks i ever cooked

Bone in ribeyes

Seasoned prior to cooking

After cooking