Driving down highway 30, an airplane dived right out in front of me over the highway (literally low enough to touch my car!). I thought I was about to witness a crash. Nope. It was a simple crop duster. Thank God. Nearing the end of my trip, I reached a long and dusty gravel road that led me to my destination. I saw a nice house ahead and turned in and the American flag waving me into the driveway. Awesome! The well-groomed property is surrounded by cornfields from all directions. People parked their pickup trucks by the edge of the fields, so I squeezed my Prius right in between. Hilarious!
Kyle is in charge of smoking up the small alligator which he did not hunt down himself, but ordered safely online. The alligator was curled up in the smoker with a whole chicken clenched between its razor sharp teeth. Oh, and Sheefish (an Alaskan fish comparable to Cod) is swimming around in that smoker, too.
Walking around I began talking with each of the cooks about their plan of action. Each one of them very enthusiastic about preparing of their food. So much so, I decided to let them tell you what they are going to do. Here are some short video clips from each cook, and I will write a brief review of the food served today.
KYLE'S ALLIGATOR, CHICKEN AND SHEEFISH
Kyle's Intro to Gator cooking
Loading the Gator and Chicken in smoker
Kyle temps the gator and chicken
Unloading the cooked Gator and Chicken
WHOLE CHICKEN: When Kyle finally pried the chicken from the gators mouth, it was our turn to take a bite! The pulled chicken was extremely moist, tender and very flavorful. It was a good thing I got a piece, because that bird flew away fast!
SHEEFISH: The Sheefish was smoked skin down (protecting the meat). When it was done cooking, the meat peeled off the skin with little effort. It was so meaty and had a great natural flavor. I loved the flaky texture, too. Absolutely delicious!
Nice job on all three Kyle!
MIKE'S CRAWFISH BOIL
Mike's intro to Crawfish Boil
Crawfish is served!
I was a bit weary of trying the gator, and now comes the crawfish. This is all new to me, but yet I cracked open the shell of this crustacean to pull out some meat. I was not sure of what I was doing, so Mike showed me later how he does it and I was close. The thing about crawfish, there is very little meat. Tiny! So I nibbled on the the meat and it was so small it was hard to determine the flavor. Maybe a cross between crab, lobster or shrimp? It's not fish (but neither was the gator which tasted like fish). It was ok, but my mind was still trying to figure out the flavor.
Now when I dipped that tiny piece of meat into Mike's special crawfish sauce, I lit up! The sauce gave this little crawfish some big flavor - something I could really enjoy. I noticed people kept going back to get more of Mike's crawfish and sauce, so those who really enjoy crawfish loved it. Mike has his process nailed down. A very successful cook! Nice job, Mike.
BRANDON'S JALAPENO BRISKET AND PORK
Brandon's Intro to Jalapeno Brisket
Brandon on slicing brisket
JALAPENO BRISKET: Brandon's pork butt was good, but he knocked it out of the cornfield with this Jalapeno Brisket. It's no surprise the recipe originated from Darren Warth (of Iowa's Smokey D's). Seasoned with salt & pepper, swimming in a broth of jalapeno and onions this combination of flavors hit a home run. The extra spice was so nice, I think I may need to be a little more creative with brisket in my spare time. Nice job, Brandon!
DALTON'S FISH FRY
Dalton's intro to frying catfish
Dalton's battered up morsels of deliciousness satisfied my fish craving. When Kyle had mentioned there would be a fish fry, I already knew I would try my hardest to attend this event. I love fried catfish and Dalton's fish fry delivered. Nice job!
Watching T-Rex smoke up a gator was pretty cool. It's funny because that gator's face looks a lot like Kyle's T-Rex BBQ team logo. Thanks for the invite, Kyle, and thanks to all the cooks who made this a delicious day of summer cooking. It was great meeting everyone.
- BBQ CRITIC