Out of Africa or The Healing Power of a Simple Chicken

My daughter (right) and a good friend who adventured with her and an elephant

I have been missing the last couple of weeks, but I’ve had very good reasons.  First my daughter returned from Africa.  She had been there for a little over 5 months working in a Day Home (of sorts) for Street Boys.


The boys she worked with are virtually abandoned by their parents because they can’t afford to keep them.  So they live on the streets.  The idea of the home is to give the boys some place to go during the day to keep them off the streets, give them two good meals, some schooling and some people who care about them. She loved being there and grew up a lot while she was there.  We missed her terribly and are very happy that she has returned safe and sound.

Helping Hands
Yes!Chef!’s only daughter safe in his arms while The Love Of Her Life is just happy she’s home

After that,  we went to Lake Tahoe for a few days and the wind was crazy!  Unfortunately, this is the time of year when the pine pollen settles on anything and everything. Generally that’s okay for most people, but the wind made the pollen  like a yellow fog around here.

I have never in my life suffered with any type of allergies until two weeks ago.  Today is the first day I have felt halfway human.  I certainly appreciate people who have suffered allergies all their lives and why they avoid situations that will bring on allergies like the plague.  Even now, Yes!Chef! is outside raking up pine needles and I have to close the windows because the raking releases pollen all over again.

Wish the pollen was not!

Yes!Chef! has been cooking and I have been taking some photos but I really have just not felt up to it and the allergy medicine has been somewhat of an appetite suppressant (which is not such a horrible thing.)  But, he did cook a great chicken on the grill the other night and the rub was something that is easy to make and adds a lot of zip to the meat. So, in honor of my daughter and the country she fell in love with that has chicken as a staple, I present another chicken recipe.

Butterflied Chicken ready to grill

After rubbing the chicken with the homemade spice rub, he grilled it up on the barbecue and it was ready to eat.

No Salt or Pepper necessary with this spice rub

After it had rested a bit, Yes!Chef! served it up with a very sweet barbecue sauce, similar to the kind you would put on ribs, to counteract the spice a bit.

He paired the chicken with simple roasted asparagus and we had another simple but extremely tasty Sunday Chicken dinner.

Chicken with spicy rub and sweet barbecue sauce and roasted asparagus

It almost made me forget about my new allergies.

The rub is a home made version of Emeril’s Essence.  Here’s the recipe:


Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme


Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 2/3 cup

We’ve used this rub several times before.  Be careful because it is spicy.  Yes!Chef! used it one day on some meat that he was roasting on high heat in the oven.  The fumes that came out of the oven literally drove us all out of the house with watery and burning eyes.  Not something I want to repeat again.

My daughter did bring a new skill back from Africa…she learned how to kill a chicken for dinner. You will be relieved to know that I will not show you a picture of that.

Don’t Play with your Food

Published by

Karen Schmautz


3 thoughts on “Out of Africa or The Healing Power of a Simple Chicken

  1. Bless your daughter’s heart! What selflessness to dedicate her time to helping those boys in Africa. Which country in Africa did she visit? As an African myself, who dedicates time to help the down trodden in my society, I understand all too well the needs of these poor homeless boys.

    Your daughter is very brave! Even I don’t know how to kill a chicken for dinner! I have never tried and often fled the scene when i visited my grandma in the village; she was very adept at it 🙂

    I am definitely going try this rub! “Spicy” is my middle name! 🙂

    I hope you feel better. Take care

  2. Bless your daughter’s heart! What a selfless act to dedicate her time to helping these children in Africa. Which country in Africa did she visit? As an African myself who dedicates time to helping the downtrodden in my community, I understand all to well the needs that these homeless boys must have.

    Your daughter is so brave! Even I don’t know how to kill a chicken! In fact I often fled the scene when I went to visit my grandma in the village; she was very adept at it! 🙂

    I am definitely going to try this rub; my middle name is “Spicy” 🙂

    I hope you feel better. Take care

    1. She was in Mozambique and absolutely fell in love with that country. I think she would have stayed there if not for her boyfriend here. I know she would like to go back. I don’t think I could kill a chicken either, but both girls did learn how to do it. Btw, if you like a spicy rub, you will like this one. The sweet sauce does help to balance the flavors. Take care.

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