Saturday, May 21, 2011

Love is Chicken Necks and Backs

When I was little, my mom and her mom used to always say that a mom's favorite parts of the chicken were the necks and backs.  They always wanted to make sure that everyone else got the parts that everyone else wanted.

I hadn't really thought of that lately until tonight when I made my Grilled Bourbon and Cherry Pork Chops for the third time this week.

Since the pork chops are so thick, Alexis and I were splitting one.   That might not seem like a big deal if it was a boneless pork chop, you could just chop that sucker in half.  Both sides taste the same.

But this was a massive, bone in pork chop.  Bone in pork chops have three key zones.  

I instructed and heavily funded the Graphics Department at NibbleMeThis to produce this high quality graphic to demonstrate the flavor distribution of a bone in pork chop.  (I'm not sure I got my moneys worth for that all expenses paid trip to Cancun that they submitted to Accounting.)

But the only way to split a bone in pork chop is to separate the "No Bone Zone" from the "Nibble Zone" and "Flavor Zone".   The "No Bone Zone" only brings flavor from external influences like rubs and bastes, which can be good.  But the other two zones are magiclicious.  The "Nibble Zone" is like eating corn on the cob made out of pork.   And the back side of a grilled pork chop or the "Flavor Zone" is perhaps one of the most perfect bites of food ever.  I would trade the rest of the whole pork chop for the two or three bites of the Flavor Zone.  

So back to my dilemma.  I was splitting a bone in pork chop.  I wanted the Nibble and Flavor Zones.  But I knew those are Alexis' favorites.  I let her have the better parts. 

It reminded me of that Bible verse used in weddings about "Love is patient, love is kind....".   Sure, but True  Love is giving up the Flavor Zone of a pork chop.  I can be patient and kind, but giving up the Flavor Zone is special....

And as settling for chicken necks and back --  Thanks Mom! 

Busy Weekend Ahead
I have a jam packed weekend.  In just a few hours, Alexis and I will be at the KCBS and Kingsford Points Chase event Bloomin' Barbecue and Bluegrass Festival nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.  We'll be doing our Bush Beans cookout this weekend (also a sponsor of the Festival).  Finally I'm attending a BBQ class taught by Mike Davis of Lotta Bull (currently 5th in the Kingsford Point Chase) at Dead End BBQ.  

Don't miss out on the chance to win this kick butt set of Grillin' Tools

courtesy of Bush Beans.  Enter to win this set at my previous post

You all have a great weekend.


  1. Chris - My mom ate the same parts for, I later realized, the same reasons - hard to beat a mothers love. See you tomorrow for BBQ school.

  2. You may well be a genius. The great pork chop analysis. I love it. I only wish I could find thick pork chops at the supermarket.

  3. I tell hubby all the time you scratch my back and I nibble your neck all the time...*drumroll* Ha, you are so right about that part of the meat near the bone!

  4. Ha ha ha...yep, love is definitely giving up the flavor zone of the pork chop. I love the diagram on the anatomy of a pork chop ;-)

  5. If you write your own translation of the bible maybe you can include that part in there. All the parts of it sound delish!

  6. I agree, love is giving up the good parts! Great post Chris. Have fun at your event.

  7. Tell the graphics department that they did a great job! :)

  8. LOL LOL, this whole post cracked me up! Love that drawing, need to commision them for a portrait.

  9. I grew up in a huge family and we ate every part. I often ate the back and neck and still will. My reason however, is that I think the nibbly meat near the bone is flavorful on many types of meat - not just pork chops. ;) And you are very sweet to give up the best for Alexis.

  10. Nice graphic. It reminds me of some of my early work in Instructional Design I (I got a 'C')

  11. This is a great thing to know - I just purchased these really thick pork chops for next weekend, now I know which parts to give to Chris and which to keep for myself!!

  12. What a sweet post! Giving up the best part? Now that is true love! :-)

    Kim in MD

  13. Never heard of the neck and back thing - but it's a good one! As far as giving the flavor zone to the mister...not sure if I could do that as he would eat dirt with as much gusto as he'd eat a chop, so the flavor zone would be wasted on him...till death do us part or until he reaches for the flavor zone! The graphic is great but don't quit your day job! xo, Nan

  14. How sweet are you? You can cook and grill with the best of them and you give up the best part of the chop so your wife can enjoy them - what a lucky lady!!!

    For the Love of Cooking

  15. necks and backs r the best lol! cook thm with rice ,and thn feed the scraps to the dog , i still buy thm at meat shops its a quick snack ,it doesnt take long to cook mmmmmm mmmmm goood

  16. as a matter of fact im c boiling thm right now


Comments are moderated and won't appear immediately.