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Another informative article from Texas BBQ Rub - Smoking and Grilling chicken


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Well here is another great article from TexasBBQ Rub.  As always I hope it helps someone.

 

All credit goes to Texas BBQ Rub:

 

http://www.texasbbqrub.com

 

 http://facebook.com/texasbbqrub

 

"Texas BBQ Rub's Guide to Kick Your
BBQ to the Next Level"



Article 7 (Part 1 of 2)

Smoking and Grilling Chicken


June 27, 2014


This is the 7th Article in the Series of Articles I have been
doing. I know many of you sent me emails about the last Article
and I numbered it wrong (guess that is what happens at 1:30 am).
The Article on the Beef Ribs was number 6 in the series sorry
about any confusion.

Since I got so many questions in our recent survey about smoking
and grilling chicken I have decided to split this discussion on
smoking and grilling chicken into 2 separate emails (Part 2 will
be sent out in a couple of days on Sunday).  Trying to get
everything into one email was just not going to work as I wanted
to cover the main questions concerning cooking chickens. So be
looking for Part 2 of smoking and grilling chicken on Sunday. I
am trying to get you all the information you will need for the
upcoming 4th of July long weekend which is only 1 week away.

Here are the main questions we received in the survey and when
they will be covered for you:

1.   How to get flavor deep inside of a piece of chicken?
(Today's email)
2.   How to keep my chicken from drying out during the smoking
process? (Today's email)
3.   Times and temperatures for smoking a chicken? (Both emails
will cover this)
4.   How to get crispy skin on the chickens I am smoking?
(Sunday's email)
5.   If I am grilling chicken breast what is the best method of
doing it so I don't dry out the chicken? (Sunday's email)
6.   Should I brine the chicken and for how long? (Both emails
will cover this)
7.   What is a good brine recipe? (Today's email)
8.   Should I add a BBQ sauce on the chicken and if so when do I
apply it and how much? (Both emails will cover this)


CHICKEN - The Yard Bird - The Secret Meat for the Smoker

Chicken has become one of the mainstays for all of us. The reason
is chicken are lower in fat and cholesterol than most other
meats. The fact is the marketing folks for the poultry industry
are doing one fantastic job promoting their products to us. And
we cook chicken in such a wide variety of ways, we can eat it all
of the time and always change the looks and taste of the chicken.
Chicken is really one meat that we can cook almost in any manner
and it comes out great. It can be smoked, grilled, fried, and
baked. It is great in salads and in casseroles.

Two kinds of meat - dark and light

Chicken is generally thought of as having two distinct kinds of
meat: dark and light. The dark meat comes from the leg and thigh
portions of the chicken. The dark meat contains more connective
tissues and fat and thus requires a longer cooking time. But the
dark meat of the chicken when cooked right is juicier due to the
fat content of the dark meat.

The light (white) meat comes from the breast and wing of the
chicken. The light meat contains less connective tissue and fat
and therefore cooks quicker than does the dark meat. But it is
easier to dry out the white meats much easier than the dark meats
of a chicken.

Chicken and Safety

Because chickens spoil easily, there are some serious safety
concerns that need to be noted.  Most of the things about
preparing chicken and cooking them are techniques we practice as
a rule of thumb; but it goes without saying every now and then we
need to be reminded.  Just about every article or cookbook will
have some mention of chicken safety issues.  That's okay, they
are written to help keep us and our guests from getting sick so
I've included a few chicken safety reminders.

"    When working with raw chickens, you need to constantly wash
your hands in order to prevent cross contamination. Also be sure
to clean any surface with soap and hot water or better yet with a
bacteria killing cleaner after you have prepared the bird.

"    When thawing chicken keep it in the refrigerator.  A whole
chicken will take approx. 12 hours to thaw depending on size.  If
you need a quick thaw use your microwave.

"    There is nothing in chicken recipes that call for Rare to
Medium Rare Chickens,  They need to be thoroughly cooked to the
bone.  There are various ways to tell when a chicken is done -
clear juices, joints that move easily and of course the use of a
meat / poultry thermometer.


Avoid "Burnt Cinder" Chicken - It is Easy to Avoid

Have you ever been to a barbecue and had what I call "burnt
cinder" chicken. "Burnt cinder" chicken is black, crusty, dried
out and taste terrible. It is the end product of high heat and
applying barbecue sauce to the meat during the entire cooking
process at the high hears... You are going to learn how to avoid
the "burnt cinder" chicken doldrums.

Most people tend to grill (temperatures of 450 to 600 degrees)
skinless chicken breasts. However, most people are drying out the
chicken breast in the process by overcooking the chicken in these
high heats.

Try slow smoking chicken using indirect heat. Lower the
temperature of the grill or pit to 225 to 250 degrees. And sit
back and get ready to enjoy the finest chicken you have ever sunk
your teeth into. We will talk about cooking a chicken at 300 to
325 degrees in the email on Sunday. This one will get you a
crispier skin.

The secret to grilling or smoking great tasting barbecued chicken
is to keep the temperature of the fire low and leave any barbecue
sauce you might be putting on the bird until the last few minutes
on the pit. As with all meats, cooking at lower temperatures will
produce tender, better tasting, and juicier meats. High heat will
cook the meat quicker all right, but it will dry out a piece of
chicken in a hurry. So lower the heat and have a couple of your
favorite beverages while the chicken cooks.

All of the flavor added to the chicken will come from the rub
that has been applied to the bird from the beginning of the cook
and from the smoke flavor of the fire. Both of these tastes will
penetrate the meat during cooking and add flavor to your chicken.

Smoked Chicken - This One is Hard to Beat and is Simple (no
brining for this recipe)

One of the most flavorful things you can smoke is chicken. Smoke
takes to chicken like a duck to water. The key to successful
smoking chicken is to cook low and slow, use a great rub, add a
little oil before the cook, add some wood flavor to the fire, and
leave the dang old chicken skin on the bird during smoking.

I know you are getting tired of me saying this, low and slow
cooking on the pit. Yes, even the dang old yard bird needs to be
cooked low and slow.

Use a great rub. Texas BBQ Rub (and any of our great rubs will
work) works great on chicken adding flavor and some sweetness to
the chicken.

Add a little oil to the chicken before cooking. I use Italian
dressing as a base before placing the chicken on the pit. First I
baste the chicken with Italian dressing and then apply Texas BBQ
Rub. This combination works fantastic and the Italian dressing
adds some flavor as well as some oil. Some folks use butter for
their oil and butter works well also. See the recipe below for
some tips on this.

Add some wood flavor to your fire. If you are cooking with
charcoal add some chunks of wood for the smoked wood flavor. The
two biggest things adding flavor to the chicken are the wood
flavor and the rub.

As I said, low and slow is the key to keeping the bird from
drying out. Cook at 225 to 250 degrees. Cooking time for 225 is
approximately 4 to 5 hours and cooking times for 250 degrees is
approximately 3 to 4 hours. Cook the chicken until the juices of
the chicken run clear, 165 to 170 degrees internal temperature.
If you are using an internal thermometer do not let it hit the
bone of the chicken, as you will get a false reading. Test the
temperature at the thickest part of the chicken thigh if you are
cooking a whole or a half chicken.

I prefer to use a whole chicken and cut it in half for cooking on
the pit. I like to lay the chicken down with the breast side up
on the pit and all you have to do is let it sit there and cook.
You can cook whole non split chickens if you like, but add a
little more time for cooking.

Money-saving TIP: One thing you can certainly use in smoking and
grilling are chicken quarters. This is simply the leg and thigh
cut of meat off of the chicken and you can find these at your
nearby Super Store or at many super markets, in 10 pound bags for
like 69 cents a pound. These are great to smoke or grill and they
can be smoked in about 2 hours at 250 degrees.

Smoked chicken will stay good in the refrigerator for 2 or 3
days. It is fantastic to make chicken salad with and it is great
in salads. Smoked chicken will freeze nicely if you have a vacuum
packer or you can wrap the chicken really good to protect it in
the freezer.

Below is my recipe for "Bill's Simple Chicken". Give it a try.
This little bird has won a few trophies.

RECIPE: BILL'S EASY SMOKED CHICKEN (the skin on this smoked bird
will not be real crisp, we will cover that method in a couple of
days)

What you will need:

1-Whole chicken ( I usually cut mine in half)
    or as an alternative you can use chicken breasts or cut up
whole chicken or the money saving chicken quarters
¼ cup of TEXAS BBQ RUB (reserve half of the rub for sprinkling on
the skin of the pit)
½ cup of Italian dressing (any brand will do but I like Zesty
Italian)


Take the Italian dressing and pour that into a glass dish. Add ½
of the rub and mix together. You will end up with a brownish
colored liquid that you are going to put under the skin of the
chicken using this important tip.

Very Important Tip: Use your finger and starting on the backbone
side of the chicken to create a cavity under the skin by moving
your finger around under the skin. Make sure you get up to the
leg. Now take liquid you just made and push some of it under the
skin. Get as much in there as it will hold. You can attach the
skin you pulled up with a toothpick if you wish or just let it
sit as it is. Now sprinkle the other ½ of Texas BBQ Rub on the
top of the chicken. Place the chicken on the pit with the breast
up and the bone side of the half chicken down on the cooking
grate.

Examples of your cooking times are as follows:

           225 degrees - about 4 to 5 hours
           250 degrees - about 3 to 4 hours

You really don't need to move the chicken once it is on the pit
as the juices will run out of the chicken. If you need to move
the chicken use a spatula and be careful not to spill too much of
the liquid that is under the skin.

Cook the chicken until the juices of the chicken run clear if you
punch a hole in the side of the chicken or to 165 degrees
internal temperature.

If you are adding a BBQ sauce to your chicken add it the last 15
minutes of the cooking time. You are going to need it on the
chicken long enough for it to set.

That is it. These chickens turn out to be moist and have a great
taste.

Tip: By the way, if you are new to smoking meats you can practice
your smoking techniques using chickens. The techniques are the
same and it is a much quicker cooking period and the costs for
chickens is less than other meats. Use chicken to learn a new pit
or practice with the taste of different woods.

RECIPE: BEER CAN CHICKEN (OR BEER BUTT CHICKEN)

What you will need:

"    A whole chicken.
"    One can of your favorite beer (or your favorite soda)
"    About ¼ cup of Texas BBQ Rub
"    About ¼ cup of Italian Dressing

All you need to do is simply:

Take a few sips of the beer or soda you are using. If you are
using a beer you can add about 1 tablespoon of Texas BBQ Rub to
the beer. Get the Italian dressing with Texas BBQ Rub mixed with
it under the skin of the bird. Stick the can up in the cavity of
the chicken and carefully balance the can on your pit. Cook for
approximately 4 to 5 hours at 225 degrees.

It's great!  By the way there have been concerns and studies
regarding whether or not there's any harmful emissions from the
beer can or it's labeling. To date there is no official
indication of a safety hazard.  This is because the heat is not
high enough to affect the characteristics of the metal can.

SMOKING SKINLESS/BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS

It seems we are all watching our weight because the doctor told
us to lose some weight. He also tells us to watch the amount of
fat that we are eating so we don't clog up our veins. I know that
I am always looking for something really good and tasty with that
spark of smoke flavor in it to add to the never ending blah
tasting foods that we have to eat while we are trying to lose a
few pounds. Most of us will turn to chicken and to be more exact
we turn to the good old boneless-skinless chicken breast because
it just does not have any fat in it to speak of. So this is the
perfect piece of meat and if it is cooked right it is good and
tasty and you can use it in salads, casseroles, to make a great
sandwich, or just eat along side of some great vegetables and you
have a nice meal that is low in carbs and fat. It does not get
much better than that in this diet world we live in.

So I am going to focus on this one particular piece of meat and
tell you a simple yet yummy way to fix it so it breaks up that
same old blah tasting chicken that we seem to get to often.

This piece of meat is actually great to brine and it will infuse
some flavor into the meat as well as help keep it moist during
cooking. So we are going to tell you a really simple brine recipe
that will work on this or any chicken you are going to be
cooking. But we are also going to cover how to cook this piece of
meat without brining it as well.


To Brine the Chicken - Brine Recipe and Method

OK let's start with the brine. Depends on how much chicken you
are going to be cooking so this is enough brine to do about 5
chicken breasts or 2 whole chickens:

1 quart of water
1/2 cup of Texas BBQ Rub Original Rub
½ cup of sea salt
½ cup of sugar
¼ cup of orange juice (or other juices your choice) (by the way
1-5oz jar of Texas Pepper Jelly works great as well


Heat the water to a boil. Add all of the other ingredients to
your pan and return to a slow boil. Then remove from stove and
let cool completely and this is very important. This does take
some time and it needs to cool all the way down before you add
the chicken to it. But the heating of the ingredients allows for
all of the flavors to blend together nicely. You can put this in
the refrigerator to cool down faster.

Next we will take our chicken and I like to use a gallon size zip
lock bag and place the chicken breasts in the bag and then add
the brine and seal. Make sure you cover the bird completely and
during the brining process you need to flip the bag over a couple
of times to ensure that all the meat is exposed. We are going to
brine the bird for 4 to 5 hours in the frig or in an ice chest.
Make sure the bird stays cold. If you are going to place the zip
lock bag in the frig I would put it in a bowl or pan just in case
it leaks out during the brining process. You can place the zip
lock in an aluminum pan but DO NOT brine in an aluminum pan.
Stainless is fine but preferably use the bag or Tupperware or
something like that. Remember to flip the bag over about every
one or two hours...

OK after 4 to 5 hours of the brining process remove the chicken
from the brine and rinse the chicken off completely in fresh
water and then pat each piece dry with a paper towel. Discard the
brine. IMPORTANT: You have to wash the bird off after it has been
in the brine or it will be too salty. And if you use regular
iodized salt cut the salt for the brine in half. Sea Salt is just
better for brining.

This smoked chicken is great the next day in a salad or on some
bread. So cook up several of these chicken breasts for the next
day.

If you need to order some Texas BBQ Rub you can go to
http://www.texasbbqrub.com/shopping.html




NO Brine Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breasts

If you don't want to do the brine thing on the chicken cause of
time limits then just take your chicken breasts and follow the
simple method below.

What you will need:

1/2 cup of Italian dressing (If you are worried about fats and
carbs then use a fat free Italian dressing)
¼ cup of Texas BBQ Rub Original Rub (or try the Grand Champion
Rub)

TIP: To ensure a nice even cook of the chicken breast it is great
to butterfly the breast and have two equally thick pieces of meat
to cook. Just take a good sharp knife and cut the breast into 2
pieces that will be about ½ to ¾ of an inch thick.

Mix the two ingredients in a bowl. You will see the Italian
dressing turn a brownish color when you add the rub. Just place
each chicken breast in the Italian dressing solution and then
place on your BBQ pit or smoker. (If you want to marinate them
for a couple of hours that is great too). Sprinkle the top of the
chicken breast with just a little Texas BBQ Rub and smoke until
the internal temp is 160 degrees. I like to cook this unbrined
version of the chicken breast at 225 degrees for about 1 to 1½
hours. No need to turn it over or anything just let it cook.

What are you waiting for; this is simple and good eating.

In the next couple of days you will get another email that will
teach you how to smoke or grill a chicken at a higher temperature
so that you will get a crispier skin.



Get out there and cook some chicken.

Bill

PS: The 4th of July is only 7 short days away and since you are
going be cooking some great BBQ for your family and friends get
yourself some Texas BBQ Rub. I guarantee you will love it and so
will everyone else that eats your barbecue. Do it right now
before you forget! We are going to mailing rub today and Saturday
so you will have it in plenty of time for the long 4th of July
weekend.
Here is the link to get you some
http://www.texasbbqrub.com/shopping.html


PPS: You can now follow us on Facebook. Here is the link to our
Facebook fans page. We are posting up some great pictures and
recipes every week. So come on over and give us a Like.

http://facebook.com/texasbbqrub




Contact Information:
   Bill Cannon
   BBQ Made Simple
   Real Texas BBQ Rub, Inc.
   157 FM 359 Rd
   Richmond, Texas 77406
   Phone - 281-344-1076

   Email addresses: bill@texasbbqrub.com



You can contact us at bill@texasbbqrub.com if you should have any
questions or comments.


Copyright 2014 all Rights Reserved Real Texas BBQ Rub, Inc.

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Thanks for posting but this article advocates two methods which I personally disagree with.

First, the article recommend using a can of beer for beer can chicken which methodology has already been debunked, and if anything, inhibits the chicken from properly cooking on the inside.

Second, the article recommends cooking chicken low and slow, and depending upon what you're cooking, anywhere from 1 1/2 to 4 hours. I have never had any luck cooking chicken that long, and the more I cook chicken, the hotter and faster I have been cooking it, the more juicy and better it tastes. I used to cook whole chickens at 350°. Now I cook them at 425 to 450° on my kamado and they turn out excellent and juicy, with crispy skin.

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Thanks for posting but this article advocates two methods which I personally disagree with.

First, the article recommend using a can of beer for beer can chicken which methodology has already been debunked, and if anything, inhibits the chicken from properly cooking on the inside.

Second, the article recommends cooking chicken low and slow, and depending upon what you're cooking, anywhere from 1 1/2 to 4 hours. I have never had any luck cooking chicken that long, and the more I cook chicken, the hotter and faster I have been cooking it, the more juicy and better it tastes. I used to cook whole chickens at 350°. Now I cook them at 425 to 450° on my kamado and they turn out excellent and juicy, with crispy skin.

Thanks for the reply.  I am not sure about the beer chicken as I have never made it.  My brother has many times and never had an issue and likes it.  I myself will research this since you called it a defunct method.

 

As for low and slow.  I think it depends on what parts or if you are doing whole chicken.  I have cooked (smoked) legs for a long period and did not have an issue.  As most things YMMV (your mileage may vary).  I had thought cooking breasts hot and fast could be the key to keeping them moist but i have not tried that yet.  I am game to listen to any advise.

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Debunking Beer Can Chicken: A Waste Of Good Beer

Jun 27, 2012 ... Beer can chicken is not a good way to cook chicken. Here's why, and how you can make better roast chicken.

amazingribs.com/tips_and.../debunking_beer_can_chicken.html

Robert

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Debunking Beer Can Chicken: A Waste Of Good Beer

Jun 27, 2012 ... Beer can chicken is not a good way to cook chicken. Here's why, and how you can make better roast chicken.

amazingribs.com/tips_and.../debunking_beer_can_chicken.html

Robert

Dang beat me to it.. But I will make it clickable

 

http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/debunking_beer_can_chicken.html

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I regularly cook chicken at 400 direct and get crisp skin and am done cooking at around 30 to 50 minutes with a 10 and flip and remove at 180 at the bone.

 

.I do slash the skin to let out the fat and use a non sugar rub.. For a week night---- a low and slow chicken will just no work.

 

4 to 5 hours??? I do believe that this method will produce great chicken ----but i guess i need to only cook on a week end that has no jobs needing to be done? I grill about 4 to five days a week after work.

 

I do have their rubs and I like them. The thing is they seem to be 90% brown sugar and on their site they say going above 300 degrees will result in burning of the rub.

 

EDIT Part two of this article came on Sunday and he does mention grilling at in the 350 to 400 range and concedes that the skin does get crisper at higher temps.. No real surprise --use a rub without sugar. Put you sauce on after you cook or very briefly before removing. Remove 10 degrees forbore temp because the chicken will keep cooking after removal.

 

He keeps talking about the chicken drying out. I have never had that problem on my Kamado.

 

He clearly loves low and slow chicken more than grilling chicken. I might just have to try it when I have 5 hours.

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I regularly cook chicken at 400 direct and get crisp skin and am done cooking at around 30 to 50 minutes with a 10 and flip and remove at 180 at the bone.

.I do slash the skin to let out the fat and use a non sugar rub.. For a week night---- a low and slow chicken will just no work.

4 to 5 hours??? I do believe that this method will produce great chicken ----but i guess i need to only cook on a week end that has no jobs needing to be done? I grill about 4 to five days a week after work.

I do have their rubs and I like them. The thing is they seem to be 90% brown sugar and on their site they say going above 300 degrees will result in bu8ring of the rub.

Marty, do you marinate your chicken, and if so, have you ever had a problem with an oil/based marinade burning the skin of the chicken when following this method? I only ask because las time I did this, the oil from the salad dressing marinade blackened the skin. Years ago my father had a friend who perfected chicken on a Weber kettle doing it this way, always came out fantastic.
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Marty

 

"30 to 50 minutes with a 10"

 

What does the with a 10 mean?

 

Thanks

Rick

Ten minutes and flip. really though you do not even need to flip and sometimes the skin gets messed up a bit and is not as pretty.

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I regularly cook chicken at 400 direct and get crisp skin and am done cooking at around 30 to 50 minutes with a 10 and flip and remove at 180 at the bone.

.I do slash the skin to let out the fat and use a non sugar rub.. For a week night---- a low and slow chicken will just no work.

4 to 5 hours??? I do believe that this method will produce great chicken ----but i guess i need to only cook on a week end that has no jobs needing to be done? I grill about 4 to five days a week after work.

I do have their rubs and I like them. The thing is they seem to be 90% brown sugar and on their site they say going above 300 degrees will result in bu8ring of the rub.

Marty, do you marinate your chicken, and if so, have you ever had a problem with an oil/based marinade burning the skin of the chicken when following this method? I only ask because las time I did this, the oil from the salad dressing marinade blackened the skin. Years ago my father had a friend who perfected chicken on a Weber kettle doing it this way, always came out fantastic.

 

 Ross the way we do ours is to trim--spray with Cannola oil and hit it with a low or no sugar rub like Kick-N-Chicken. We can do a reasonably quick week nigh meal that we really like. Oh and a chunk of Pecan wood when the chicken goes on.

That is the only wood that my wife allows with the chicken.

 

I have used a marinade of sugar and salt the ATK recomends. It is more juicy but we are perfectly happy when we skip that step. I have not tried things like Italian dressing. If we did then perhaps indirect or lower temps would be better. I do know  from experience that a high sugar rub is not the best for the 400 direct method. I certainly will try other things when time permits.

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have you ever had a problem with an oil/based marinade burning the skin of the chicken when following this method? I only ask because las time I did this, the oil from the salad dressing marinade blackened the skin.

 

That happens from excess oil or chicken fat hitting the fire and flaring up. If I cook chicken direct, it's parted out, and I do my best to trim as much excess fat as I can see. I use just a small spray of oil after drying the skin thoroughly. If going indirect, I'll use some water in my drip pan to prevent nasty fat fumes.

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      Hey everyone. Call me Tracksoup. I'm an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fishing, its a great to know that I've played a part in putting food on the table.  
       
      A few years ago I saw a BGE and became intrigued with the Kamado cooker. I could never bring myself to spend the $$$ to replace my propane BBQ with a kamado. But after months of saving my pennies to buy a motorcycle, my wife decided that she really didn't want me riding anymore, so I decided this was my opportunity to buy myself a Kamado grill. I did a lot of reading and research about the different kamado grills available (within a reasonable distance from where I live) and made the decision to buy myself a Vision Grills Pro S grill back in April 2020 & I couldn't be happier with my decision to go Kamado.
       
      Up until now, my only BBQ experience was a propane grill & although I've got a health appetite, the flavour of the food was 'ho-hum'. Since I got my Vision grill, I've grilled everything from venison steaks & burgers, pork sausages, chicken breasts and thighs, I've smoked pork spare ribs and even a low & slow moose roast, there is so much more flavour in the food now & I'm cooking on my kamado way more often than I ever did with the propane BBQ. This thing is awesome!!! 
       
      While looking for info & tips to familiarize myself with this wonderful cooker, I found Kamadoguru.com about mid-June. There is so much info on this forum & I am enjoying reading through the pages 







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