Barbecue Chicken and Vodka Pasta from Cape Cod Firefighters

What’s cooking in the fire stations of Cape Cod and the Islands? Something mighty good. When Cape & Islands firefighters are not out risking their lives putting out fires and saving lives, you might find them behind the stove, cooking up some incredible meals for the firefighters who are standing by. We’d like to introduce you to some of these fabulous cooks.

Meet Brewster Firefighter Dan Kimball.  Dan is going on his 11th year as a Brewster Firefighter, eight years on-call and the last five as a full-time Firefighter and EMT.  With a degree in Conservation Law Enforcement along with a second degree in Culinary Science from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Boston, Dan’s culinary skills are enjoyed by his fellow Brewster Firefighters of Group Two and the lunches at the Brewster Fish House when he makes guest appearances.
Dan is a busy person when it comes to the Fire Department.  A member of the Barnstable County Technical Rescue Team and the Barnstable County Dive Team, he’s training constantly when not on duty.  In his spare time you can find him at the Outer Beach in Orleans surfing with his wife and kids, or teaching dive classes. When asked about cooking and when does he have time he says,  “I try to cook meals that take less than 20 minutes to prepare. Use all fresh ingredients and just have fun.  You mess up a great meal by being too serious.”

Here is Brewster Firefighter Dan Kimball’s recipe.

Barbecue Chicken
Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:
4 pounds of your favorite chicken parts (legs, thighs, wings, breasts), skin-on
Salt
Vegetable oil                                                                                                                        1 cup barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade

Directions:
Coat the chicken pieces with vegetable oil and sprinkle salt over them on all sides. Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. If you are using charcoal or wood, make sure there is a cool side to the grill where there are fewer coals.

Lay the chicken pieces skin side down on the hottest side of the grill in order to sear the skin side well. Grill for 5-10 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is (you do not want the chicken to burn). Once you have a good sear on one side, move the chicken pieces to the cooler side of the grill, or, if you are using a gas grill, lower the heat to medium low. Cover the grill and cook undisturbed for 20-30 minutes.

Turn the chicken pieces over and baste them with with your favorite barbecue sauce. Cover the grill again and allow to cook for another 30 minutes. Repeat, turning the chicken pieces over, basting them with sauce, covering, and cooking for another 30 minutes.

By now the chicken should be cooked through. You can check with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken piece. Look for 165°F for breasts and 170°F for thighs. Or insert the tip of a knife into the middle of the thickest piece, the juices should run clear. If the chicken isn’t done, turn the pieces over and continue to cook at a low temperature. If you want you can finish with a sear on the hot side of the grill. To do this, put the pieces, skin side down, on the hot side of the grill. Allow them to sear and blacken slightly for a minute or two.
Brush with more barbecue sauce and serve.

Vodka Pasta

David Pelonzi is Deputy Chief of the Bourne Fire Department. David was promoted in April to Deputy Chief.  He started in Bourne as a Firefighter/Paramedic in September of 1999.  Before that, David was a volunteer firefighter for the Town of Hamilton. 

He received both his desire to be a firefighter and his love of food from his father, the retired Fire Chief from the City of Beverly.  David lives in Sagamore Beach with his wife of 13 years and their 2 children, Dominic and Gianna.  When he’s not working, David likes to spend time working in his garden, enjoying the beach, or spending time in New Hampshire with his family.  The recipe David is sharing with us was one of the first meals he learned to cook while in college.

Here is Bourne Deputy Fire Chief David Pelonzi’s recipe.

Vodka Pasta

Serves 8 – 10

Ingredients:
1 can crushed tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup grated cheese
1 shot vodka
1 stick of butter
2 lbs pasta – I like Campanelle, but you can use any pasta that will hold the sauce, like rigatoni
Directions:
1.  In a saucepan saute half of the garlic in a little butter.  Once cooked down, add the tomatoes and cook for 30 minutes
2.  Boil the pasta.
3.  In frying pan, melt rest of the butter with the remaining garlic, add heavy cream and cheese and the tomatoes from the sauce pan and add vodka last.
If you want to get creative, you can add stuff to it, such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or even sun-dried tomatoes.  It’s a pretty simple recipe, but is tasty.  Serve it with garlic bread because you’ll need something to sop up the sauce once the pasta is gone.

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