Last Sunday I cooked one of our large chickens on the smoker. I know that I can always count on our pasture raised chicken to deliver fantastic flavor, but preparing it in the smoker really takes it to the next level. It looks a little dry in the picture, but that is far from the truth! I brine the chicken for 24-28 hours ahead of smoking it, and end up with crispy skin encasing juicy, delicious meat.
That evening we enjoyed smoked chicken and baked potatoes, but even better was putting the leftovers to use throughout the week!
First up was a chef salad. Chunks of smoked chicken breast, along with hard boiled eggs made a simple salad into a satisfying meal.
Saturday evening, I baked chicken pesto pizza’s on naan crusts on the grill. Starting with precooked meat when I grill pizzas make it easier not to burn my crusts. I spread a layer of premade pesto onto a piece of naan bread and topped it with chunks of smoked chicken and fresh mozzarella, then I sprinkled on ground black pepper. It was easy and delicious.
Finally, I took the bones from the chicken and simmered up a small batch of chicken stock. Since I had some extra tomato sauce that Jody had made, I put all the jars into the pressure canner together. Those will become the backbone of future soups or sauces.
I love getting multiple meals out of one cooking project and it fits wonderfully into my philosophy of ‘less meat, better meat’. As much as my family loves meat as a main dish I’m always looking for ways to enjoy the flavor while making the most of my budget.