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Celebrating Family and Flavor, One Recipe at a Time


SPONSORED CONTENT -- (StatePoint) No matter where you live or where you’re from, food is typically at the center of every family gathering. And, oftentimes, the dishes served come from recipes passed down for generations.

To celebrate family, flavor, food and their new pellet blend collection, Bear Mountain Premium BBQ Woods is hosting the “Family Full of Flavor” contest, along with Merry Graham, an award-winning celebrity home chef and grandmother, and Jennifer Plemmons, a southern influencer and grilling mom. Families can submit their favorite recipes that are baked, or prepared on the grill, in the categories of appetizers, entrees, side dishes and desserts.

“Whether it’s a formal gathering or a casual picnic, good food enjoyed with loved ones helps us celebrate traditions and make memories,” says Graham. “We’re excited to try so many beloved family recipes with this contest and share them with others.”

Graham, Plemmons and the Bear Mountain team will review all recipes submitted between March 25 and April 19 and select three finalists. From April 22-30, anyone can visit and vote for their favorite recipe once daily. Throughout the voting period, Graham and Plemmons will try out recipes and post them on their social media channels. The winner, announced May 1, will receive an all-expenses paid family reunion in the amount of a $5,000 gift card to Walmart. The two runners-up will receive a year’s supply of Bear Mountain pellets.

To kick things off, Graham offers her recipe for Smoky Parmesan Panko Chicken Thighs, a budget-friendly meal for a crowd, and a tribute to her own cherished summer family barbecues.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 6


• 10 chicken thighs, bone-in

• 1 cup Italian salad dressing or seasoned buttermilk

• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

• 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

• 2 large eggs

• 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard or honey mustard

• 1 1/2 cup panko crumbs

• 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

• Bear Mountain Smoky Apple Whiskey BBQ Pellets

• Packaged salad or homemade coleslaw for platter (optional)


1. Trim chicken of excess fat and scraggly skin. Leave enough to wrap the entire thigh.

2. Place thighs into a large mixing bowl. Pour Italian dressing over the chicken and toss a few times. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight at most.

3. Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic and coriander.

4. After marination, drain the dressing, wrap the loose skin tightly around the entire chicken thigh. It’s not necessary to rinse the chicken or pat it dry. Roll the chicken in flour mixture, and place on a baker’s rack to dry.

5. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and mustard until smooth. In another shallow bowl, mix the panko crumbs, parmesan and black pepper.

6. Roll the floured chicken thighs into the egg mixture then press into the panko mixture to coat thoroughly. Place the coated chicken thighs on a baker’s rack to set.

7. Fill the hopper with Bear Mountain Smoky Apple Whisky BBQ Pellets. Set the grill or smoker to 400 degrees F.

8. Place chicken on the grill’s upper rack for indirect heat, and smoke for 50-60 minutes or for optimal tenderness, until the internal temperature reaches 175-185 degrees F. If desired, open the flame broiler for direct cooking and rotate during the last 10 minutes.

9. Take off the grill or smoker and rest for 10 minutes. Spread coleslaw on a serving platter and top with chicken, fresh herbs and lemon slices. Consider serving with biscuits, garlic mashed potatoes, peas, green beans or asparagus.

For contest instructions and rules, and to learn more about Bear Mountain BBQ’s new pellet blend collection, which includes Smoky Apple Whiskey, Maple Bourbon Pecan, Chef’s Choice, Chophouse Blend and Butcher’s Blend, and is available exclusively at Walmart, visit

Flavor and family go hand in hand. Celebrate your family’s traditions with your favorite dishes.


Photo Credit: Merry Graham

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