Home Cooking-Smoked Pesto Chicken

19 Oct

My dad checking on the chicken

Home cooking. We all look forward to it when we visit our parents. It makes us feel like kids again to have our parents cook for us. When I visit my parents I feel about 10 years younger (except that I can drink wine and talk about adult topics, lol). I count myself lucky that hometown is just about 3 hours away, so if I need a break from the city I can jump in my car for a weekend getaway in the country. I count myself extra lucky that I know my parents will be cooking something up for me! My parents are amazing cooks. I grew up with home cooked meals most nights, including pasta and bread made from scratch. I guess you can guess where my love of food came from. Granted I wasn’t always the best eater (Cheerios anyone?), but a love of food was instilled in me and my siblings from the very beginning. This may be the first post about my parents’ cooking, but it certainly won’t be the last.

The chicken at the beginning of the smoking process

Smoked Pesto Chicken. It just makes your mouth water thinking about it! My dad got a smoker over the summer and I finally got to taste the results. Smoking takes time. It’s not the same as BBQ, but in the same family. I am no expert on smoking so I patiently watched my dad do the smoking. I do know that you have to light wood (my dad uses special wood pellets for his smoker) and keep the heat up above 200 degrees. It’s the smoke and heat that cooks the meat. He rubbed it with a homemade pesto sauce before placing it in the smoker. Our chicken took about 4 hours to cook. But boy was it worth the wait! It fell off the bone it was so juicy and tender!

The final result, before we devoured it for lunch.

Beef jerky drying in the oven.

While dad was smoking chicken, mom decided to make beef jerky and her own Thai chili salsa. Yummm! While the chili sauce was hot enough to bring tears to my eyes, the beef jerky had just enough heat to satisfy any jerky lover. My mom has been growing her own Thai chilis in the backyard and then drying them. She took about a dozen and ground them up along a few other ingredients. I admit I wasn’t present when the sauce was made, only to taste the result! Mmmmmm!!!!

I owe a lot to my parents, as we all do, but I feel like the love of food and cooking they have instilled in me is definitely in my Top 5 (you know, behind giving me life and a roof over my head). I always get nervous the first time I make one of their recipes (still haven’t tried my dad’s famous cheesecake or my mom’s baklava), but I always get excited when they try something new or cook up one of my favorites. Food. It makes the world go round!

Dried Thai chilis and the resulting sauce

6 Responses to “Home Cooking-Smoked Pesto Chicken”

  1. Mrs. H October 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Mouth-watering moments with your special parents……but, no mention of COOKIES????

    • The old curmudgeon's other half... October 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      You go girl!!! We r proud of you!!
      Great photos! SMoKER now has a thermostat and pull down shelf.

    • The old curmudgeon's other half... October 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      Cookies? How would Sarah know about cookies???? Hmmmm. Peanut butter mud puddles anyone?!! He he he

  2. Sally Pace October 20, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    This was great!! You are sooooo lucky to have such great parents.

    I wanted to comment on the bottom of the blog but it said I needed a password – no clue what password.

    Your mom and Spike came to Career Day yesterday! I wish you could have come.

    I hope to see you soon.

  3. actinglikeachef October 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    @Sally, your post showed up. I’ll have to look into the password thing, that’s odd.

    @Mrs. H-nope, no cookies!!! can you believe that?! 🙂


  1. Dinner By Dad « Acting Like A Chef - November 7, 2012

    […] when I went home and my dad smoked chicken and my mom made beef jerky? (Here’s the post just in case you missed it!) Well I was lucky enough to head home for a second weekend, this time […]

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