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Two cooks for one grill fire


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As a newbie, I'm like a kid in a candy store that has a pocketful of quarters with all these recipes and videos here at Kamado Guru.  So many cooks to try, and so many cooks to taste.  I figured I would do two cooks for one grill fire, sorta like the old saying, "kill two birds with one stone."  Yyyyyeees, Sir.

 

I wanted my meat selection to be John Setzler's Basil-Pesto Italian Chicken.  I really love the flavor combo of basil pesto and chicken. It's simple, but yet refined with all the ingredients that make up pesto.  I subbed boneless thighs rather than breasts.  I used a store brought basil pesto tonight, but I think next time I will make up some fresh homemade pesto.  As I didn't have many cloves of garlic, I sliced my cloves into slivers and placed on top of the pesto to spread that good garlic flavor around more evenly on the chicken.  Topped off the thighs with Roma tomato slices, shredded mozzarella cheese, and sprinkled on some Montreal Chicken seasoning.

 

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For my side dish, I wanted a couple of old favorite friends, but with a new and fresh smoky flavor added - meet Mr. Mac & Mr. Cheese.  I added 2 1/2 cups of uncooked macaroni to a pot of lightly salted and lightly oiled boiling water.  After the macaroni had cooked to the perfect texture, I drained it and placed it in my baking dish.  I added in a cup of Half & Half cream, a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, 1/4 cup of real salted butter, 3 tbsp of sour cream, 3 tbsp of cottage cheese, 3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 tsp of chipotle chile powder, and 1/2 tsp of Old Bay seasoning.   I topped the dish off with a dusting of Italian seasoned Panko crumbs to create a flavored crust.

 

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I fired up the Akorn and soon had it dialed in at a temp that was hovering around 390 degrees per the dome thermometer.  I used a couple of chunks of apple wood to get that smoky flavor I was searching for.  I placed both dishes on the grill grate, closed the lid, and anticipated that the grill gods would reward me with a tasty and flavorful dinner.  Waited for 45 minutes like a bottle of slow dripping ketchup, licking my lips and breathing in the smells of cooking goodness.

 

Then, Presto Pesto!

 

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Dinner was served.

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