On June 16th, for the 7th year in a row, Cuisine en Locale is hosting our annual tribute to all things grilled, ONCE BBQ. Dedicated locavore meat lovers will gather in a secret location in Cambridge to embark on a nose-to-tail grilled feast. As all our endeavors, ONCE BBQ is 100% locally sourced, and 100% delicious. We’ll fire up the grills and welcome guests at 3pm for a procession of grilled treats that won’t end until 7pm. This year ONCE BBQ will take place on Father’s Day, so if the dad in your life is a voracious meat eater, tickets to this grilling extravaganza are the perfect gift.
I’m particularly excited for ONCE BBQ because smell of wood smoke and the sound of friends and family gathering outside always reminds me of my childhood growing up in Austin, Texas. In Texas, barbeque is smoked overnight and served by the pound on a piece of brown butcher paper with a pile of pickles, raw onions, and a side of sauce (to be classified as “Texas BBQ” the meat must be smoked without sauce).
Barbeque is something I always associate with summertime and family. My great aunt lived in Elgin, Texas and there were two things we could count on when we visited her. The first is that we’d leave with fire ant bites on our ankles, and the second was that we’d eat smoked chicken at Crosstown BBQ. My first memory of barbeque is from the perspective of a 5-year-old girl at Crosstown BBQ. The exterior wall of the building looked as if it might collapse at any moment, the floors were coated in cedar and hickory dust, and the tables and chairs were covered in plastic with a faded checkered and floral pattern. Fine dining it was not, but the memory of that first bite of the drumstick at Crosstown BBQ has stuck with me 20 years later.
Needless to say, I can’t wait for ONCE BBQ! Get your tickets here.
Prep your taste buds for June 16th with this recipe for smoked chicken and potato salad; a nod to the no-frills goodness of my first barbeque memory.
Smoked Chicken with Spring Onion Potato Salad
Whole chickens, split in half
Course cracked black pepper (the strictly local approach can sub paprika)
Oil, sunflower oil is the local choice
Chunk of apple, hickory, or your favorite kind of wood
It’s great if you have a smoker, but if not you can achieve similar results by building a medium fire in your Weber Kettle with lump charcoal. Ideally you want the fire to be between 300-350 degrees.
- Bank the charcoal to one side to create a cooler side where you place the chicken
- Put your piece of wood on top of the pile to get some smoke going
- Place the lid on the grill so that it is not completely closed with the open side over the charcoal to allow more oxygen in and let the fire come up to temp and the wood chunks to burn in good while you prep the chicken
- Rise and dry the chicken halves and coating with oil and lots of pepper
- Position the chickens on the cool side of the grill with the thighs and legs towards the coals to prevent the white meat from drying out.
- Cook for 2-3 hours. Rotate (not flip) the pieces half way through
Spring Onion & Mustard Potato Salad
1 lb. potatoes
1 small bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
1 tbsp garlic, crushed and chopped
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp mustard
Salt & pepper
¼ cup chopped chives
- Mix together the mustard, oil and vinegar until the oil emulsifies – season well
- Add chopped garlic and sliced onions to the dressing
- Boil the potatoes in just enough salted water to cover them for 12-15 minutes, until tender. Once cooked, cut in half.
- While the potatoes are still warm, add the cooked potatoes to the dressing and onions and toss to coat (the warm potatoes soak up flavors better than cooled ones)
Sprinkle generously with chives and serve