If you ask Bryan, I forced him to make a brisket this year. And he didn’t want to do it. And I better stay up with him while he smokes it.

Which I did.

We went to bed at 4:30AM Christmas morning.

I asked my father in law for his recipe to marinade the brisket. My father in law cooks the most amazing BBQ ever created. If he had a BBQ place, he would be sold out every day. Every. Single. Day.

His ribs are my favorite though.

He gave me a not exact recipe because he eyeballs it. It was pretty close to a bulgogi recipe but without the meat tenderizer or the sesame oil. Seemed easy.

He also told me to start the marinade two days ahead and that the meat might turn black.

Don’t ask me how to smoke brisket. It took Bryan about 11 hours, constantly checking it. As long as it stayed around 250 the whole time, the brisket comes out juicy. We ended up using pecan wood chunks and pecan wood chips. Always use pecan when you can. If possible, use walnut.

Of course, this whole smoking brisket thing didn’t go as planned, and there was heated discussion about it. Add the fact that there was some confusion about what the brisket was for because family Christmas is two days after Christmas, it became more of a hassle. Which made the whole thing rather frustrating.

For some odd reason, I don’t know how and I don’t really care who decided it, the family was under the impression that the brisket Bryan was smoking was for family Christmas instead of our personal Christmas. I must admit, this misunderstanding was a rather frustrating one because no one called us to confirm what our brisket was being used for. So that when this mysterious fog cleared, confusion had slipped in. We never said we were bringing the protein to family Christmas. Hell, I didn’t even know it was going to be pretty much a potluck until Mumika came into town. But somehow, someone decided that was what was going to happen.

This assumption was not only improper but also impolite. Someone should have picked up a phone and talked to one of us. A five minute conversation of “Hey, is that brisket I know your making for us or for you?” Instead of a, “Well, I thought you were making that brisket for the family.”

I just don’t get it. I just don’t know. It feels like some sort of scheme. Like someone put it into someone else’s head and everyone just ran with it assuming we would bring some of the leftovers. I mean, it was an 11 pound brisket and other than Mumika, there is only two people eating it. Why would two people need an 11 pound brisket?

Well, I have plans for it. Brisket tamales, brisket enchiladas, brisket shepard’s pie. That’s at least 6 days of food I don’t really have to worry about. With a rather hectic schedule from school, internships, work, probably two jobs, and what have you, I need to be able to have meals in the freezer that only needs to be popped into the oven at whatever temp and baked for so long and *boom* dinner’s ready.

But I digress

Brisket Marinade

3/4 cup sugar
1 onion sliced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
a few dashes of garlic power
some salt.


Get a huge sturdy plastic container that can fit the brisket.

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Salt the brisket.

Pour some of the marinade at the bottom of the plastic container.

Place the brisket into the plastic container.

Pour marinade over brisket.

Place lid on top and shake a little. Put in the fridge for up to two days. Shake the container every so often.




Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken

Bourbon Chicken.

It’s named after one of the most wildest streets in the country let alone Louisiana and New Orleans. The key ingredient – whiskey.

I’ve always viewed it as mall food. You know, one of the food places in the food court to whose sole purpose is to feed hungry masses of shoppers on a daily basis. And you can hardly ever find this food outside of the mall unless it’s a fast food giant like Wendy’s or Subway, or Taco Bell, or Arby’s or something. The mall I went to all my life that I used to know like the back of my hand, has this place. And they always had those free samples. I would go through the food court eating these free samples. It tasted so yummy. The tanginess, the bourbon, the chicken. So yummy. Pair it with some rice and I would be in heaven.

They don’t have Bourbon Chicken where I live now. It’s sadness. Which means, I have to learn how to make it. Off to the internet I went comparing at least 10 different recipes. One had honey in it. Hmmm….

And then as I was making it, I thought I had picked up the ginger but it turned out it was the cinnamon.

Really Michelle? First the porcupines, now this. Ugh.

I shouldn’t cook during the end of the semester when everything is due. I really shouldn’t. Thank god the stove isn’t plugged in. I might have burned down the house. Bryan probably would have loved that, except we don’t have homeowners insurance on it yet.

I was too tired, and out of ketchup, to remake the sauce. So into the crockpot it went.


Slow Cooker Borubon Chicken

2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4  cup bourbon
3 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon cornstarch


Place chicken thighs in the bottom of slow cooker along with the diced onion.
In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, ginger, brown sugar, ketchup, bourbon, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes and salt.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and stir to combine.
Set on HIGH and cook for 4 hours, stirring occasionally, if possible.
After the chicken has cooked, stir the chicken to break up any large chunks.
In a small bowl, mix the water and cornstarch until completely dissolved.
Stir the cornstarch mixture into the chicken and mix thoroughly.
Allow the cornstarch to cook in the slow cooker for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is nicely thickened.
Makes 8.
You couldn’t taste the cinnamon.
It was tangy. It was sweet. It was succulent.
Taste just as good as the food place at the mall.
And it pairs perfectly with the rice. Although I did wish I had bread to make a sandwich. Maybe next time.
Bryan gobbled it up.