I’m struggling right now with having too many ambitions. Too many goals, too many things I want to do, too many projects. There’s not enough time in the day to do everything, yet I keep pushing myself to do more. Having goals and ambitions is a good thing, but there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything to the extent we want to. What we do, then, comes down to priorities. What we choose to do is what gets done, and what we choose not to do doesn’t. Obviously there are extenuating circumstances in which we really have no choice in how we use our time; normal everyday life, however, does allow for choices, which become our habits and our lifestyle.
I recently had a conversation with a friend in which she was lamenting not being in the physical shape she once was. She acknowledged, though, that she had not been exercising or eating well. With working long hours, there’s not enough time in the day to run errands, workout, cook a healthy meal, and get relaxing time in. The struggle is real! She knows, like all of us do, that our health should be priority #1. It is the single most important thing. However, it’s usually it’s the first thing to go when things get busy, relying on quick processed foods and forgoing exercise for rest. Our bodies respond accordingly, resulting in weight gain, less energy, increase in stress.
The important thing to acknowledge is that your lifestyle is your choice. You choose how you spend your time, and you need to own those choices. Celebrate how you choose to spend your time, the good that has come out of those choices. If you aren’t happy, re-think them. Did you choose longer hours at work, maybe to fund a vacation or home improvement, instead of using that time for exercise and cooking? Did you choose to watch TV for an hour to relax over a good workout? Are you choosing healthy home cooking over eating a meal out at that new restaurant? Are you choosing exercise over being social? Are you cutting work hours short to get a workout and cook a meal?
With each choice you both gain and lose something. Healthy choices are often hard ones to make because putting our bodies first seems a little selfish and un-rewarding in the short term. At any rate, I encourage you to take a look at your routines, your day to day. Are you exercising at least 20 minutes a day? Are you preparing your own food? Take a little time today to make a plan, the key to all lifestyle changes. When can you fit in a workout? How can you make preparing food easier on yourself? You won’t regret the choice to take care of your body and your health. You’ll see it’s effects across all areas of your life, in the short term and the long term.
I didn’t think getting a smoker would be such a huge deal, but IT IS A HUGE DEAL. Kenny has been smoking away every since he got it a few months ago, and it’s become a part of our routine, something we do together a few times a week. Though most meats take quite a long time in the smoker, Kenny has mastered the beer can chicken in about an hour. It is the best chicken I’ve ever had; it’s juicy, crispy, and has incredibly delicious flavor. Each time we make this for friends they are equally wowed – it’s THAT good. We also love this smoked turkey breast recipe!
Once the birds are on the smoker, you’ve got a free hour while it cooks. The question is – how will you choose to use that time?
Smoked Fiesta Chicken & Salsa VerdePrint Recipe
- Wood chips/ pellets of choice (I used mesquite)
- 2 whole chickens
- 2 cans of beer
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp Oregano
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp brown sugar packed
- Olive oil for brushing
- 1 lb tomatillos, husks removed
- 5 serrano peppers
- 8 - 10 limes
- 1 lemon
- 1 medium Vidalia sweet onion
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves + more for garnish
- Sour cream as needed
First, prepare the smoker. Preheat to temperature of 350F.
Prepare the vegetables for smoking. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and wash. Separate cloves of garlic, leaving the skins on. Set 2 cloves aside and skewer the rest onto a metal skewer. Cut the onion into quarters. Wash the serrano peppers. Place the vegetables on the smoker and smoke for about 10 minutes. Remove and place peppers in a small bowl covered with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
While the veggies are smoking, prepare the chicken. Open beers and pour a little out to make room for the lemon and garlic. Cut lemon into fourths and smash garlic cloves, removing the skins. Divide evenly among the 2 beer cans.
Prepare the rub. Combine salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, brown sugar, and oregano in a small bowl.
Remove chickens from wrappings and rinse in cold water. Pat dry. Place bird over beer cans, into the cavity using the legs to prop it up like a triprop Brush all over with olive oil. Sprinkle evenly and generously over chickens.
When vegetables come out of the smoker, put the chickens in. Cook to an internal temperature of 170F. Timing will differ depending on the size of the chickens. It usually takes me about 1 1/2 hours.
Once peppers have set for 20 minutes, place 2 - 3 in the blender. Remove seeds from the rest and place in blender as well, along with the onions and garlic (outer skins now removed), tomatillos, about 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, salt and pepper to taste. blend until smooth. Pour into a large skillet and heat over medium heat until slightly thickened. Add chicken broth and simmer or 10 - 20 minutes or until it has reached your desired consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
After salsa verde has cooled. stir in sour cream as desired. We added about 1/4 cup to cool it down - ours was very spicy! Cover and refrigerate.
When the chicken reach the internal temperature of 170F, remove from smoker and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Carve and serve with salsa verde, cilantro, and extra limes.