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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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June 7, 2010

How to BBQ 500 Chicken Halves-Western Weekend Style

It's BBQ time.  Only 500 chicken halves at once!  Sunday was final day of Western Weekend in Pt. Reyes Station and Marin County Farm Bureau , of which Dominic is the current President, puts on it's largest fund raiser of the year.  A chicken BBQ. 

Remember the BBQ pit burning party at deer camp we had last week?  Well Sunday, Dominic and crew put all of those pits to use.  The deep pits were lit at 6 a.m. with mesquite briquettes and by 7 a.m. the chicken halves were put on. 

The kids and I drove over to Pomi's deer camp, Red Hill Gun Club (where the BBQing takes place) at around 10 a.m. to check on the progress and snap some photos and maybe score a little sampling :)

When we arrived, one pot was completely done.  At this point, some of the 'special sauce' is poured into the pot and it is left to simmer over very low heat creating steam in the pot which produces a very moist and tender chicken half.

The combined process of the 'special sauce', barbecuing technique and steaming is a long time family recipe between some of the ranch families in the area and has been used for decades.  The chicken is not marinated in the sauce, but used during the cooking process as a baste and in the steaming portion of the process as well.

The kids and I did score a sample.......finger licken' good!

Ron Pomi (right) and Matt Field (left) are flipping 24 (or so) chicken halves at once with two grates.

Matt, Ron and Petie Ielmorini are placing some chickens in one of the huge pots to simmer and steam.

Dominic is finishing up the last batch by basting some of the chicken halves with the special sauce using a homemade basting brush made out of bay leaf branches.

The chicken is then driven out to Pt. Reyes Station where the event takes place.

We arrive in Pt. Reyes Station just in time to put the finishing touches on the 4-H "Three Little Pigs" float.

The three little pigs are SO cute!

Camilla Taylor as the Big Bad Wolf.

The chicken BBQ  is set up in theToby's Feed Barn parking lot.

The parade begins at noon.

The Nave group has been around for at least a decade and performs quite the comical routine.

The teddy bear line.

Palace Market float.

Every parade needs an antique tractor.

Bonnie and Clyde made an appearance.

Bryce was so excited to ride on the float and throw out 4-H stickers to the spectators.

Our float driver, John Taylor with his son, Billy Joe.

This is where we watched the parade from.  Perfect seat!


Horse and Carriage #1.

And #2.

Native American dancers.

Even a fire shooting snail.

Top of the snail.

This was my favorite float.

It's a rolling saloon.  Complete with band on one side,

and kitchen on the other side and dancers all around.  It just made you want to join in!

After the parade, we walked over to the BBQ and along the way, I had to check out the home baked goods. 

Tomales FFA volunteers serving up the chicken.
Regina Pozzi serving salad.
The dining area.
Clover Stornetta donates all the milk, ice cream and butter to Marin County Farm Bureau for this event.
Mike Griffen, from Clover, along with his crew also donate their time cooking beans as well.
Happy diners.
Raspberry pie was calling my name.  SO GOOD!
Bryce wanted a bite.  I think it was a bit too tart for his taste, but perfect for mine.
Happy Monday!
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Unknown said...

Wow, great pictures Nancy, I left an award for you on my blog, thanks, Patty

Kathleen von Raesfeld said...

Great photos Nancy! Thank you so much for putting this beautiful blog together!

Emily said...

Looks like you had a blast. I'm drooling over the grilled chicken halves....

Lori said...

Wow, that is a lot of chicken! I bet it was fantastic! And that teddy bear line - adorable! I just love events like these with great food, the outdoors and good company.

Elise said...

Oh, heavens, Nancy! Now I REALLY wish we went! These pictures are outstanding! What a fun, pictorial and sweet re-cap of one jewel of an event... Plus, I'm now so hungry for that magic chicken - I CAN'T WAIT for the Father's Day picnic! Yee HAW!

Cooking with Kait said...

Looks like you had an amazing weekend. I love the photos especially with all that magic chicken.