I love smoked food, especially fish and meats. Several times a year, we buy smoked chickens by the case from Tony Waldner of the Forest River (N.D.) Hutterite Colony. And every once in a while, I like to pick up some smoked fish at the supermarket.
Last week, a co-worker and friend, Dale Stensgaard, brought in some smoked trout that he picked up in Bemidji. It was wonderful. After that, I decided that it would be a good idea to buy a smoker. I could use it to smoke pheasants, venison and elk, which we have in abundance, as well as northern pike that friends have shared with me.
While discussing my plans at the gym where I work out, one of the staff told me about he Masterbuilt Electric Smoker he purchased at Cabela’s recently. He said it wasn’t too costly and was easy to use and performed exceptionally well, which was all I needed to make up my mind.
And when my first pheasant is smoked, here’s a recipe that will be among the ones that I try. That’s if there’s any pheasant left over.
Smoked Chicken Rigatoni
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup porcini mushrooms, sliced or chopped
½ cup washed arugula
½ cup chicken stock
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup smoked chicken, shredded
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups Rigatoni pasta (cooked)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a hot pan and saute chopped garlic. Add in mushrooms and arugula with ½ cup stock and continue to cook. Add in the chopped tomatoes and smoked chicken with 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook for 1 minute, add in the cooked pasta and heat for 1 minute. Finally, add in about 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan, salt and pepper. Drizzle on some good olive oil and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 4.