Bully sticks

Many years ago, I worked at a humane society. I loved working there, despite the side effects, which included: feelings of helplessness, deep depression, getting shat upon frequently, and developing a hot, blazing hatred for humankind. In the humane society, there was a small shop for scratching posts and dog treats and leashes and whatever else new adopters would need before taking home their kitten/puppy/domesticated weasel.

One of the most popular dog treats was the bully stick. It’s a long, brown chewy, not unlike a rawhide, but thinner. Also, unlike a rawhide, it is a bull’s penis. Dried into jerky. And big, stupid fraternity boys would come in to adopt whatever pit bull they could find, solely for the purpose of playing frisbee and feeding it Keystone Light. They would buy a leash, a collar, and usually a couple of bully sticks for the dog to chew. I took great pleasure in this. Like, “what are you going to be feeding your new dog, Mr. Popped Collar? Aside from big fat cock, I mean.”

Bull weiners are just funny. Partially because all the cattle we see are obviously females. They hide the bulls in the back of barns, bringing them out only to sex up the lady cows, then return them to the barns where they presumably watch Sports Center and fall asleep. But sometimes the lady cows are busy. They’re out being milked or giving birth to tiny cowlets or chewing cud or whatever lady cows do when they’re not being forcibly sexed up by bulls. Or sometimes the bull’s job isn’t to sex up the lady cows at all, but instead to be mounted by “cowpokes,” which looks an awful lot like men in absurd hats and very tight denim trying to sex up the bulls themselves. Whoa. Switcheroo.

I assume those bulls who don’t get to bow-chikka-bow on the lady cows still have to find ways to relieve all that pent up bull aggression and raw, beefy sexuality.

Which brings us to Russian cuisine (believe it or not, we’re still nowhere NEAR the point I’m trying to make). What do you call a bull masturbating?

Beef Stroganoff

HAR!

Favorite culinary joke of all time. Possibly second favorite. After all, it’d be neglectful not to mention “What’s the difference between roast beef and pea soup? It’s easier to roast beef” joke.

Chris doesn’t find any of these jokes amusing, especially after hearing them the second or forty-third time.

So I might want to switch things up a little. Perhaps venture away from beef altogether. Poultry, mayhaps?

What does a horny rooster do?

Jerk chicken.

AWWWW SNAP!

And it’s delicious, so maybe you should join him.

I feel like the expert on this subject, not because I have dreadlocks, not because I live in a brightly-painted cottage in downtown Ocho Rios, not because I had a Caribbean nanny growing up, but because I went to Jamaica on my honeymoon. And didn’t eat jerk chicken ONE TIME. But get off my balls about the details, alright?

Jerk chicken is delicious, easy, and I got to use a super-cool gadget to finish it, so let’s roll this out, shall we?

First, make your marinade:

In your blender, place
-the juice of one orange
-the juice of two limes
-.25 C dark rum
-.25 C soy sauce
-1 T dried thyme
-4 habanero or scotch bonnet peppers, stems removed
-.25 C agave nectar, honey, or sugar of some kind
-3 T kosher salt
-.25 t ground clove
-.5 t ceylon cinnamon (or 1 t regular cinnamon)
-3 T canola oil
-1 sweet onion, chopped to the point that your blender can handle the rest
-.5 t ground allspice
-.5 t freshly grated ginger

Now whir that blender until it’s made a delicious, spicy liquid marinade. It should feel like you’re the victim of a gas grenade on Tiananman square when you inhale near it. Habaneros and scotch bonnets are H.A.F. That’s code for HOT AS [email protected] I’m a lady. Remember that.

Now fabricate a free range chicken, cutting the breasts in half (so you have four breast pieces, two wings, two drumsticks, and two thighs). Save the other bits for stock. Or buy it precut, just make sure it’s free-range and that it’s got the skin and bones like the lord designed it.

Marinate your chicken in the jerk sauce for a minimum of two hours, a maximum of eight. The more you marinate, the spicier it’ll be and the deeper the flavor penetrates.

If you can’t handle spice, then don’t make jerk chicken. It’s one of the few that you can’t just decide to weak-sauce it up.

When you’re done marinating, bring the chicken to cool room temperature, in the marinade, for about an hour or so. Then remove each piece from the marinade, place on a sheet tray (leaving 2 inches between each piece of chicken), and roast at 375 F until the center reaches a temperature of about 155-160 F. I don’t overcook chicken. I keep it lower than the government recommendation. Chicken that gets roasted all the way to 170 or 180 tastes like those weird pink erasers that were always on your school supply lists, and I refuse to eat that texture of meat. If you have an immune disorder, are elderly, are feeding tiny children, or will sue me if you get salmonella, then cook it to 180 F. Otherwise, if you’re not litigious, stick with 160 F as a maximum chicken temperature.

P.S. Free range chickens are FAR less likely to have salmonella contamination than mass produced garbage chickens. keep that in mind.

Okay, so your chicken is all roasty and delicious. Serve it with peas and rice (recipe coming tomorrow or the next day), and you’ve got a tasty, cheap meal.

Also, keep in mind that building a spice cabinet can be very expensive. Recipes like this that call for lots of spices will cost a TON if you go buy the jars of spices specifically for this. In those cases, I recommend going to a hippie store like Whole Foods or something. They sell spices in bulk, so you can get just a half teaspoon of whatever you’re using for under 20 cents. When you start using a certain spice frequently, then you can invest in a whole jar. This keeps your spices fresh, AND saves you money.

Now the finale.

I got my brother a smoking gun for Christmas. He’s living in my basement, so I’m allowed to use it for experiments. Nice brother. Good brother. The smoking gun is a little device invented by PolyScience to infuse smoke flavor into foods without having to go to a lot of trouble, expense, or clean up. We finished our chicken with about 45 seconds of applewood smoke, using nothing but the smoke gun and two hotel pans (found for next to nothing at a restaurant supply store).

This is very similar to a bong. Actually, it’s more of an electric pipe than a bong. Regardless, I’ll be SHOCKED if this isn’t selling out of Williams-Sonoma solely for the purpose of getting wealthy high school kids high as kites.

Observe

Two hotel pans trap the hit…er…smoke

And the outcome was seriously SO delicious. Sweet and spicy and deep and smokey. It was like being back on the islands, only I had to wear a shirt and there was no swim up bar and I was eating jerk chicken instead of whatever french fries and mango I could locate on the buffet.

So go ahead! Jerk your chicken! It turns out, you won’t go blind after all. And get your dog a bully stick while you’re at it. Lady cows deserve some peace and quiet every once and a while. They get HEADACHES.

New Years Resolutions

Man, I don’t want to sound like, um, EVERY JERKFACE ON THE PLANET, but I’ve got a new years resolution. And this time? I’m keeping it. I didn’t even make it for myself. Instead, Chris and I agreed that we would each come up with a resolution for each other each year. It’s actually a flawless plan.

Rather than in August screaming at your significant other, “I swear, if you don’t start unrolling your filthy fucking socks before putting them in the hamper, I’m going to kill you by stuffing between 4 and 7 of them down your throat while you sleep” or “I don’t care if it’s the middle of December and all you’re wearing for the next 6 months is Ugg boots and leggings, if you don’t shave your legs on an every-other-day basis, I’m going to go to the supermarket, pretend I don’t know what a daikon radish is, and sleep with the first saddo housewife who tries to help me.”

Rather than either of those things, you just save up and say it on December 31st! After a shameful number of appletinis at the neighbor’s NYE party, you sit down, stare lovingly (wobblingly) into one another’s eyes, and say, “honey, this year your new years resolution is to be sexy, silky, smooth, even in winter.” Or “honey, this year your new years resolution is to help me help you by unrolling your socks before putting them in the hamper.” And then you go participate in the kind of slurred, passionate lovemaking that usually involves waking up the next morning, noticing you’re not wearing underpants, and then dry heaving in relief when you see that it’s your legally-attached spouse sleeping next to you. Phew. Dodged a bullet this year!

Anyway, my resolution is to devote an hour a day to the blog. I’ve neglected it since I fwooshed out a tiny human, and it’s inexcusable. After all, I have a large dog who can watch the baby, and my husband has promised to give me additional blog time each night. Some of that will be cooking, some photographing, some reading, some schilling for other blogs. I accept that. But a goodly portion will be actually WRITING blogs. For you. To read.

And I’ve already invested sums of money that I don’t even feel comfortable discussing with my therapist buying new, extremely cool equipment and cookbooks. Think Science. The kind with a capital S. I have liquid nitrogen on my desk right now, for example. Yep. A teeny dewar of it just hanging out near my laptop and glass of wine, waiting to explode my face off. At first I thought it was a blow torch, but then my husband informed me that he had brought me a present of explosive, dangerous chemical element because he luuuuuuurves me. Aren’t I lucky? I’m assuming he’s recently increased my life insurance policy.

But that’s for tomorrow. Tonight I’m the captain of the making it happen machine. Several recipes, several experiments, and a fair amount of boozing will take place tonight. Then tomorrow, I can post pictures of what’s happened, give you some pretty fantastic recipes, and tell you a story about what happens when a steer and his weiner fall in love. Yeah. Cliff-hanger, beeotches.