First, I separated the drumsticks from the thighs and packed all 12 drumsticks together for a dinner (with planned leftovers). I will probably either fry them or baste them in BBQ sauce and grill them. YUM! For now, they are in the freezer. I then peeled the skin off the thighs and removed some of the large fat pockets. I put 6 thighs each into 2 gallon sized freezer bags and one went right into the freezer. The other bag was bathed in a marinade using these ingredients below and THIS Robin Miller recipe as a starting point. Of course, I changed it. I don't think that I have ever followed a recipe to the letter.
The original recipe called for orange marmalade which makes me want to gag so, I substituted peach preserves. I doubled the amount of soy sauce and added a teaspoon of ground ginger. I mixed all 4 ingredients in a bowl until smooth and then poured it all over the chicken thighs in the bag. Don't they look happy in their sticky bath? I bet they will be delicious tomorrow after church when we eat them for lunch! Right now, they are marinating in the refrigerator overnight and tomorrow I will bake them for 35 minutes at 400 degrees just like the recipe says to.
On to the next cooking project of the day. These monstrous beauties are supposed to be pickling cucumbers. They are ginormous! They came from my mother's garden and she asked me to make pickles with them. They are far too fat to leave whole so I decided on sandwich slices. You may only need one slice to cover your whole burger with one of these pickles.
Here are the ingredients I use to make some awesome garlic dills very similar to Claussen Pickles. In case you can't read the labels in the picture (have I mentioned that my camera is dying?), there is minced garlic, salt, vinegar, dill seed (not weed), and Mixed peppercorns (pink, green, white and black).
The cucumbers were so big that each one filled its own quart sized Mason Jar. I even had to gently fold the larger rounds to get them in the mouth of the jars. So, I loaded each jar with cucumber slices, 1 Tbsp of dill seed, 1/2 Tbsp of Peppercorns and 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic. You could use 3 whole peeled cloves of garlic per jar but, I was out of fresh garlic so I used the jar stuff.
While I was filling the jars, the brine was coming to a boil on the stove top. The brine was 8 cups of water, 4 cups of vinegar and 1/2 cup of salt.
Once it was up to a rolling boil and all the salt had dissolved, I carefully topped each jar off with the brine. I then sealed the jars and let them sit on the counter until they reached room temperature. Then they went into the refrigerator to brine for at least a week but 2 weeks is better. If you can wait that long!!!
In unrelated news, these creatures decided to hang out on the glass sliding door last night. For at least 20 minutes, they didn't move. I thought for sure the frog was going to eat the moth but he never did. We all got bored and walked away.
In other unrelated news . . . this child is a GOOBER!!! He is wearing an undershirt (inside out I might add), goggles, a cowboy hat (backwards), dog tags and he is holding an Indiana Jones whip. He is just as adorable as can be but . . . I am not quite sure what this whole ensemble is all about. He went outside to dig in the red Carolina clay barefooted and dressed like this. Not the backyard . . . the front yard . . . so all the neighbors could see him and wonder what in the world goes on in our house. Strange but I love him!
Stay tuned for picture from our trips to the Creation Museum and the Smokey Mountains. I also have pictures from the above GOOBER'S graduation. I will do my best to get them all posted this coming week.