Life is always crazy around our house. Even during the pandemic, life for me did not slow down. I just became busy in other ways, new ways that others needed help so I changed my direction and went where I could help. We are still a homeschooling family, but with a sophomore and an 8th grader...well they are not into the cutesy hands-on projects anymore. It's sad...I am still grieving as I see all the pictures of projects we have done through the years. So I have come to the mind set that we will embrace and head in a new direction.
Cooking like for many others during this time, took a few different directions. I have severe allergies/sensitivities. So eating can be a challenge for me. Lydia has opted to go gluten free because she was having some intestinal issues. Joey got very sick in April, and it appears he developed a gluten/dairy allergy. Just to add to the mix, Caty is following a gluten/dairy free diet due to her PCOS. I am very used to making adjustments to recipes that I do not mind, but for the kids...a whole other story. So my brain is in overdrive every time they want something, how can I make this differently.
So I'm going to be adding our adventures in re-creating the more typical recipes into allergen friendly for our house. Today was an adventure in smoking.
I first hollowed out two watermelons. We use seedless. Obviously enjoying a few days worth of watermelon in the process.
Then I rinsed two whole chickens. I created my own rub for the chicken:
My Chicken Rub:
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt (we always use pink salt)
2 tsp sage
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp rosemary
In the meantime, we started the smoker and set it for 250 degrees. The recipes we found on the web poured beer inside the chicken. But that brings up a gluten allergy. So I chose Angry Orchard since it's considered gluten free.
So pour the alcohol of your choice into the watermelon shell. Be careful. You do not want it overflowing.
Then I covered the chicken and alcohol up with the other half of the watermelon. Put on the smoker for 5 hours, or until it reaches the internal temp of 165 F. In the last hour I pull the top half off of the watermelon. This last hour will then allow the chicken skin to brown/crisp up.
This recipe is so moist. The chicken will literally fall off the bone.
Be very careful about rind. Make sure that you use a spatula to remove the watermelon. You will also need to pour out the alcohol. I found that setting the watermelon on the counter inside of a casserole dish is helpful. Lift the chicken out onto a separate large plate
Everyone loved the flavor!!
Another note.....using a metal pan to hold the watermelon does make it much easier to remove from the smoker when it is done.
Enjoy....happy smoking! I'll be back next week with more cooking fun.