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Author Topic: Christmas Gifts
Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Christmas Gifts
on: January 2, 2019, 11:45
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Santa, by way of Sam's Club, brought my wife an Instant Pot, Viva for Christmas. This is a combination pressure cooker, slow cooker, Dutch oven, etc, which one can program for all sorts of different foods. A friend told my wife that her daughter has cooked shrimp in it. My wife has already made a very good black-eyed pea dish for New Year's day as well as a beef rib dish for lunch today.

According to my wife, this pot is a very useful piece of hardware. She told me it cooks things very quickly and easily. I know that the end product is good as I eat it. I can also say that the pot is easy to clean as I washed it yesterday.

Viva 6 Quart

I have the feeling that the Instant Pot Viva will get even more use than the smoker Santa brought me.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Christmas Gifts
on: January 2, 2019, 12:09
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My sister gave me a $60 gift card at Amazon for Christmas. I'll be waiting till Elizabeth gets here to share the bounty with her. The nursing home also gave out gifts, including (in my case) a pair of David Weber books extending his Safehold series. I'm reading the first of them, [i]How Like a Mighty Army[i]. They also gave out personal supplies like 2 toothbrushes, 3 bottles of body lotion (I could probably use them given my history of dry, itchy skin, but Elizabeth might want some as well), and 2 boxes of tissues (which Elizabeth could definitely use).

Of course I can't get anyone anything here, other than sharing these with Elizabeth. We may see if we can find something to get for my sister.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Christmas Gifts
on: January 2, 2019, 15:31
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A most excellent bounty, Timothy. I really love the idea of gift cards. What you can definitely share with us is any short or long review of any books you buy with that gift card that you think are significantly beyond average and worthy of mention in The Diogenes Club.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Christmas Gifts
on: January 2, 2019, 16:33
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I've already started a list. I'll be checking the book reviews and book recommendations here, of course.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Christmas Gifts
on: January 18, 2019, 11:20
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Since Christmas, I have smoked sausages and a rib roast in my new electric smoker. Each time the product was excellent.

Yesterday, I decided to try smoking a chicken.

My wife bought a 6 pound chicken and prepped it for the smoker. She rubbed it with a thin layer of Crisco. She then spread a mixture of cumin, salt, pepper, coriander and sage over the bird. I placed the chicken over a can of beer and stood it on one of those specialty devices for cooking "beer-can" chicken.

I heated up the smoker to 275 F. Before starting the cook, I inserted an electric thermometer into the middle of the chicken breast, set for 165 degrees. I also slid in a tray of dry apple wood chips and fresh rosemary twigs. Into the box went the chicken cum beer (Rolling Rock.)

I let the chicken cook at 275 for about 10 minutes, but because the temp. was rising so fast, I reduced the temperature to 245. I only opened the smoker once to see how the skin was doing. After 2 hours, the thermometer read 165 degrees so I removed the chicken from the smoker and took it inside to let it rest for about 10 minutes.

While the breast was cooked perfectly, the juices around the drumstick, thigh and wings was still red. So my wife put the chicken into a 400 degree over for about 30 minutes to make sure it was totally cooked.

We had the chicken last night for supper and the breast meat was very moist. The skin was pretty good before my wife put it into the over for another 30 minutes. After that it was excellent.

On reflection, I believe I will do several things differently the next time I smoke a chicken.

1. Use a smaller chicken

2. Use a plain vegetable oil instead of Crisco to coat chicken.

3. Cook chicken at 275 degrees for the total amount of time it is being smoked.

4. Brine the chicken in beer but do not put a can of beer in the chicken while smoking the bird.

5. Use a bit more salt and add a little paprika in the rub.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Christmas Gifts
on: January 18, 2019, 12:18
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Well, those sound like good corrections. I was wondering where you got a 6-pound chicken. I know I've had a half chicken at Mike Linnig's, and those must have been smaller (though much larger than cornish hens, of course). No way I had 3 pounds, even minus the bones. But then, you live in Texas, where everything's big.

Of course, as a teetotaler (as is Elizabeth), I wouldn't be doing step 4 there, but I think your suggested is a better one.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Christmas Gifts
on: January 18, 2019, 12:37
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I believe my wife bought the 6 lb chicken at Tom Thumb Supermarket. She also bought a second chicken which is 5.5lbs there. She is going to make Hainanese Chicken Rice with that one.

As to the beer brine, I can confirm that one doesn't taste the beer at all and any alcohol is burned off while cooking. But it does keep the chicken very moist. In fact, it makes for the most moist chicken we have ever cooked. The actual brine combines water, beer and salt. You can add pepper if you like.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Christmas Gifts
on: January 18, 2019, 12:54
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Is that Hainan or Hunan chicken rice? I've never heard of any sort of cooking tradition associated with the island of Hainan. I think it was once in the French sphere of influence, being so close to the Gulf of Tonkin, so perhaps their cooking has some French aspects. A chicken in the pot every Sunday and all that.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Christmas Gifts
on: January 18, 2019, 13:26
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Sorry, I meant to include a link for Hainan Chicken Rice. Thanks for reminding me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainanese_chicken_rice

I love this dish which is very popular in Singapore. Local newspapers would compare which restaurants made the best. When you go down to "Variations" in the wiki article, you will see on the right side of the page, a photo of chicken rice as sold at the Chatterbox Restaurant in the Meritus Mandarin. Although the presentation looks different from my time there, this is where I probably ate the most chicken rice in Singapore.

I had something like it in Hainan once, but it was not nearly as good as that in Singapore.

My wife's chicken rice is as good as any I have ever eaten. Lucky me and my son.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Christmas Gifts
on: January 18, 2019, 13:33
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Well, now I see why I never heard of it before. Not exactly a traditional Chinese dish, but the same is true of many so-called Chinese dishes. I read long ago that chow mein and chop suey are actually Chinatown dishes, and this seems to be much the same thing.

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