Weekend Food Filler

We have these parties at the farm...they're called Branch Parties. (A branch is a body of water bigger than a creek and smaller than a river.) We generally cook the meat and beans, and people come with packed coolers and a side dish. We've had a lot of good food that way.

The packed coolers thing? The first time the family attorney was at a Branch Party, he took one look at the stacked cases of beer and said..."You're not buying the beer, are you?" At which point, we had everyone bring his own beverages. Lord knows WE'RE not going to invite you to the country and get you drunk.

So for the Fourth, we had a crowd. Keeping in mind it's a come-and-go type thing, there were 100 people there at any given time. Lots of kids. More kids. Mud. Four wheelers. Waterfalls. Kids.

And REALLY good food.

We did the beer butt chicken thing, which we have down to an art. I buy the chickens by the case, 16 whole chickens to a box. They're in a plastic bag in a waterproof cardboard box. We take them into the yard and empty them into a (clean) clothes hamper. Rinse out the plastic bag, rinse out the heavy box the bag was in, and then rinse each chicken. In the bag goes a bottle of olive oil, two bottles lemon/pepper seasoning and a bottle of garlic salt. You squush all that together and then put the chickens back in the bag. Tie it off with a rubber band and mush it around to get the seasoning oil all into the chickens. Put it back in the box and refrigerate it overnight.

When it's time to cook, we have one of those big-ass grills you pull behind a car but you don't need it. Fill a beer can with 1/3 can beer, a sprig of fresh rosemary and a smashed clove of fresh garlic. Let the chicken sit on the can, and grill/smoke it until it's happy.
When you're doing this for a crowd? If you have really good friends, they'll do you a favor and drink 11 cans of beer in ten minutes so that you'll have the empties you need. I love my friends.

The TRICK to this? Is in the sauce. Duh. White sauce. Used for dipping but when that chicken comes off the grill? Cut it in half and dunk it, steaming hot, into the white sauce. Wrap it in aluminum foil and let everyone make best friends and...this is as good as it gets. I promise.

White Sauce for Chicken

1 cup mayo (WalMart brand, go figure)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon pepper
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed.

Whisk mayo and vinegar until there are no lumps; whisk in remaining ingredients. Pour into a jar and refrigerate. SHAKE WELL before each use.

I quadrupled this recipe for the Fourth and had enough for 32 chickens.


I have NO IDEA what the hell is about this. Except that FOUR separate people...not knowing the others had asked...asked for this recipe. My cousin-by-marriage, Kim, brought it...turns out it's a great recipe to make with your kids. But I had people from all over the Southeast asking for the recipe for this and while I didn't taste it? (I'm not a sweet fan.) Everyone who did swore it was fantastic. So, here. Go figure.

Cracker Candy

In a 9x13 baking dish, layer saltines. Melt two sticks butter. Add one cup brown sugar and boil for three minutes. Pour over crackers. Bake at 400 degrees for four minutes. Sprinkle with two cups semi-sweet chocolate chips and spread. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Chill in the freezer until hard and break into pieces.

No lie.


The Peach Tart said…
Girl...I'm trying all these recipes....yummy
Alicia said…
i love that chicken picture!! that just made my night!!! man, can i come next year?
Nina said…
I wanna come too. Sounds like a helluva party!!
City Girl said…
My people - actually, the boss of the brother of my brother-in-law, who counts as "my people" b/c they're all cops and that's as close to family as you can get without being blood related - make cracker candy. I LICKED THE PLATE the last time they brought it to a party...and I'm not particularly big on sweets either.

Donna in AL said…
Cracker Candy? Sounds a little racist. Bwahahahhah
Just kidding! ;-)
MrsZeee said…
I love that photo of all of the chickens -- looks like they're all going potty.