Learn to cook like a Cajun and develop your own style with help from south Louisiana cook and humorist, Jacques Gaspard, who's been cooking great Cajun foods for nearly 50 years. Learn how to prepare the best gumbos, seafood, jambalaya, stews, salads and deserts – the way they were originally prepared – pure and simple. Besides great original recipes you will discover a hodgepodge of stories, recordings, music, videos and humorous anecdotes to entertain. So enjoy! ... Ahheee!!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Barbecuing Chicken Leg Quarters

I prefer barbecuing chicken leg quarters more so than the other parts of the chicken--especially the white meat (chicken breast). And, here are a couple reasons why I like barbecuing chicken leg quarters more than other parts of the yard bird:
  1. The dark meat has more flavor than the white meat.
  2. I am able to use my special dark meat secret marinade.
    The secret that I am about to reveal to you will certainly set you apart from the rest of the humdrum (always the same old stuff) culinary crowd--and it's very simple to do. All it takes is brown sugar, salt, liquid smoke, a large nonreactive container, an indoor oven... and eventually a barbecue grill.

    So, if you are ready... let's get started.


    BBQ Chicken Quarters
    • 10 lbs. chicken leg quarters (fryers)
    • 4 oz. Colgin Liquid Smoke
    • 1/2 lb. brown sugar (dark if you can get it)
    • 1/2 cup salt


    1. remove skins from the chicken quarters (set aside)
    2. clean and rinse chicken quarters under cool running water (leave wet)
    3. put chicken quarters in a large non-reactive container (enamel, plastic, stainless)
    4. in a small bowl add half the bottle of liquid smoke, brown sugar and salt, mix well
    5. use clean hands to coat all of the chicken pieces thoroughly with the marinade
    6. marinate the chicken quarters for 6 - 8 hours, re-coating the chicken every couple hours
    7. when ready remove chicken quarters from the marinade
    8. gently wash the marinade off the chicken using as little water as possible (don't overwash)
    9. apply the remaining liquid smoke to the chicken quarters (even distribution)
    10. place all the chicken quarters in a large roasting pan
    11. set the oven at 275° F. and cook for 2 1/2 hours (lid on)
    12. transfer the cooked chicken quarters to the barbecue grill
    13. smoke the chicken quarters on low heat (away from the fire) for 30 more minutes
    Note: It is important not to pressure wash the chicken quarters under the faucet after marinating because it will wash away all of the slightly sweet smokey flavor that we are trying to capture. Over washing defeats the purpose of marinating.

    PS. If it's raining outside and you don't have access to a grill, just continue cooking the chicken leg quarters in the oven for about another hour. I promise it will still come out great.

    PPS. What do I do with the chicken skins? Glad you asked. Follow this link: Cacklin Cracklins.

    Bon appetite!
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    Saturday, March 15, 2014

    Molly Maguires Irish Beef Stew

    Molly Maguires Irish Beef Stew has always been a favorite of mine during the annual Saint Patrick's Day celebration. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


    Irish Stew
    • 2 lbs. beef chuck, cubed
    • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
    • 2 Tbs. olive oil
    • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 6 med. potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 1 onion, cut into chunks
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 cups beef broth                                               
    • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
    • 1 (12 oz.) can Irish stout beer
    • 1 Tbs. corn starch
    • 3 Tbs. cold water


    1. heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat
    2. dredge beef chunks in the all-purpose flour until they are well coated
    3. fry in the hot oil until browned
    4. put carrots, potatoes, onions and garlic in a large slow cooker
    5. layer the browned meat on top of the vegetables
    6. mix together the beef broth and tomato paste
    7. pour into the slow cooker along with the beer
    8. cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 hours
    9. during the last hour of cooking (before serving), dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water and stir it into the broth to thicken the stew.
    Makes 6 - 8 servings.

    Irish Punch
    Irish Whiskey Punch  (borrowed from: (World's Best Bars)

    This is the genuine Irish beverage. It is generally made with one-third pure whiskey, two-thirds boiling water, in which the sugar has been dissolved. If lemon punch, the rind is rubbed on the sugar, and a small proportion of juice added before the whiskey is poured in.

    69th Regiment Punch

    Recipe: (In earthen mug.)

    1/2 wine-glass of Irish whiskey.
    1/2 do. do. Scotch do.
    1 tea-spoonful of sugar.
    1 piece of lemon.
    2 wine-glasses of hot water.

    This is a capital punch for a cold night.

    In his 1863 book, Cups and their Customs, George Edwin Roberts paid a loving tribute to Whiskey Punch when he wrote: “This is said to be the most fascinating tipple ever invented; and, to quote the words of Basil Hall, ‘It brightens a man's hopes, crumbles down his difficulties, softens the hostilities of his enemies, and, in fact, induces him for the time being to think generously of all mankind, at the tiptop of which it naturally and good-naturedly places his own dear self.’”

    While virtually every recipe book that mentioned Irish whiskey contained Irish Whiskey Punch, during the early 1800s variations had already cropped up. Oxford Night Caps, first published in the 1820s, and considered the first book devoted entirely to drinks, included this Leander Punch:

    And, for those of us who would like to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in style here are a couple ways to do it: Waterford Irish Lace 10-Inch Bowl  and Godinger Dublin 6-Piece Crystal Whiskey Decanter Set.

    Who remembers the 1970 film "The Molly Maguires" starring Sean Connery and Richard Harris? Here is the movie trailer.

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    Friday, March 14, 2014

    Rolling Back the Hands of Time | Bacon-flavored Ol' Time Homemade Cathead Biscuits

    Hog lard was the most used cooking fat in our home when I was a kid. There were also occasions when we used the rendered fat of other animals (chicken and beef) in which to prepare specific meals which were associated with the cut of meat being cooked.

    If you have never experienced the taste of an omelet or scrambled eggs using a couple teaspoons of chicken oil, then you have missed out on some wonderful taste. To learn how to render oil from chicken skins see an earlier post entitled "Cacklin Cracklins".

    Retail hog lard has begun to slowly disappear from the marketplace (even in the deep south) as it is steadily being replaced with processed industrial oils like soy and Canola--the same stuff used in lubricating machinery, running diesel engines, in the formulation of toxic pesticides, as well as for cooking. You can learn more about the toxic effects of soy and Canola oil as a food substance by visiting here.

    Today we are going to bake-up a batch of Ol' Time Homemade Cat Head Biscuits made with bacon drippings. I suppose the reason they might be called "Cat Head" biscuits might be because someone  fashioned the biscuits by hand a little larger than usual and they wound-up looking similar to, and as big as, a cat's head when they were done baking. That sounds like a plausible story to me, so I'm sticking with it. I do remember when one of 'em could just about fill me up back in the old days when I was a boy.

    I don't fashion the biscuit dough with my hands, however. Instead, I use the opened end of a clean empty food can as my biscuit cutter. It gives me more biscuits of normal size (6 - 8 servings).

    This recipe will add a slight bacon flavor to your batch of cat heads. When using bacon drippings keep in mind that it already contains salt from the curing process. Therefore, in this recipe there is no need to add salt when converting the all-purpose flour into self-rising flour.

    Note: To make 1 cup of self-rising flour add 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder, a small pinch of baking soda and 1/4 tsp. salt to 1 cup of all-purpose flour and mix thoroughly.

    As mentioned previously, there is no need to add salt to make your self-rising flour in this recipe because the bacon drippings already contain enough to create the chemical reaction with the baking powder and baking soda that is needed to make the biscuits rise.

    Tip: Liquified bacon drippings can be put in the freezer for a few minutes and it will solidify enough to be cut-in with your flour mix.


    • 2 cup self-rising flour
    • 3 Tbs. solid and cold hog lard (bacon drippings)
    • 1 cup milk


    1. preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
    2. add self-rising flour into a food blender
    3. using the "Pulse" feature add 1/3 of the cold hog lard at the time until it mixes-in well with the flour
    4. slowly add and pulse the 1 cup of milk into the blender until a soft dough is made
    5. roll out the biscuit dough on a slightly floured cutting board to about 1/2 inch thick
    6. cut your biscuits into circles (the size of a soup can)
    7. place the biscuits onto a slightly oiled pan (touching)
    8. bake at 450 degrees F. for 10 - 12 minutes

    Serves 6 - 8
    Bon Appetit!
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    Thursday, February 06, 2014

    White Shredded Chicken and Monterey Jack Cheese Enchiladas

    This is the best White Shredded Chicken and Monterey Jack Cheese Enchiladas Recipe that I've ever run across. It is so delicious that I have to keep it a secret from my neighbors when I make a batch 'cause often times I wound up with none for myself. It's fairly easy to make and people will be begging for more... guaranteed!


    10 soft taco shells
    2   cups cooked shredded chicken
    2   cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    3   Tbsp. butter
    3   Tbsp. all-purpose flour
    2   cups chicken broth
    1   cup sour cream
    1   (4 oz) can diced green chilies


    1.  preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2.  grease a 9 x 13 inch pan or baking dish
    3.  mix 1 cup of cheese and chicken
    4.  roll up in tortillas and place in pan
    5.  in a sauce pan melt butter and stir-in all-purpose flour and cook for 1 minute
    6.  add broth and whisk until smooth
    7.  stir-in sour cream and chilis (don't boil because the sour cream will curdle)
    8.  pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese
    9.  bake 22 minutes and then under high-broil for 3 minutes to brown the cheese

    Bon Appetite!


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