Steve Reidell aka STV SLV. Photo by Clayton Hauck.
In this space, I'll be bringing you recipes and food stories from the globe's most cookin-est DJs, paired with carefully selected music for culinary enhancement. In my years in the music game, I have found DJs to be amongst the most discriminating food connoisseurs. This is no coincidence. When travelling, you're being taken to pre-gig meals, usually at a local flagship. When throwing parties in your own town, you're taking guests to dinner or hunting for late night eats. When home relaxing, you're making up for all the gut-buster airport tour food by whipping up some good home cooking. And of course, you're instagramming it all.
For today's dish, The Hood Internet's Steve Reidell (aka STV SLV) takes us on a midwestern slow-cooker odyssey and explains the mystique of Arby's. The Minnesota-born Chicagoan also tells us which six-hour and nine-hour music programs are best used in place of a kitchen timer.
THUMP: You and ABX have created a cult of fast food and fast food iconography as part of the Hood Internet's aesthetic. You have a tumblr where you photoshop tacos into prominent album art. Your old logo was based on the Arby's logo. You made an album cover out of tacos you got through a Taco Bell sponsorship. This runs pretty deep. Give me a bit of a backstory on that.
STV SLV: We've both toured in bands at various points, and while it's no doubt a poisonous tour habit, the allure of fast food is that it's consistently right there off the highway. Taco Bell has certainly been a roadside stalwart for us, as well as a source for artistic inspiration.
In regards to iconography, Arby's is on that same plane for us. Unfortunately, Arby's has sort of fallen off as of late. Their redesigned logo is pretty weak and offers nothing that the old one didn't already have. And maybe it's just the locations I've been to but the quality is not what it once was (and yes I'm aware it's probably been exactly the same this entire time). But the thing is, Arby's has this particular charm as the underdog because they'll never ever be able to compete with McDonalds or Burger King. But while they won't win or place, they can definitely show.
I think of Dr. Pepper in a similar fashion. It'll never be Coke or Pepsi. But it's not even trying to be!
Any professional cooking experience?
No professional cooking credentials, though it's possible I got decent marks when we had to take Home Economics in 7th grade. But that didn't just involve cooking; we also studied sewing. I made a plush electric guitar that I eventually snapped the neck of while imitating Weird Al's "Smells Like Nirvana" video for my sister.
OK, so what are we cooking right now?
This thing right here is called Dr. Pepper Chicken. You make it in the slow cooker, so the workload is overall very minimal. And, like many crock-pot cuisines, the apartment gets a slow build of dinner aromas as it cooks throughout the day. My cats have a hard time dealing with that aspect.
We will get to your cats later. But first, how did you discover this recipe?
This is a variant of something my mom makes which she calls the Coke Roast, a recipe she passed along from her own mother. The main differences are (1) she uses an angus beef roast instead of chicken, and (2) she uses Coca-Cola instead of Dr. Pepper.
That is incredibly Midwestern. My grandma immigrated to Detroit from Germany in the 1930s and immediately started putting canned goods in her cooking. Needless to say, I feel this. What's the trick to making this work?
Slow cooker recipes usually aren't too labor-intensive. The only real trick is remembering to start it earlier in the day if you want to have it for dinner. If you start cooking it around dinner time, then it won't be ready until breakfast. Although this could probably be really good in a breakfast scramble. I should probably try that.
I'm not sure starting the day off with slow-cooked chicken scramble sliders and coffee is a good look. Anyways, next step: give me a song pairing for this. What should we be listening to while we cook this?
If you've got the slow cooker set to high, the Flaming Lips' song "I Found This Star On The Ground" is exactly 6 hours long, so you could use it in place of a timer.
If you've got the slow cooker set to low, you've got 9 hours to work with, so I'd suggest doing the cooking dance to these nine mixtapes by Lil' B The BasedGod, which I'd imagine are all still on Datpiff: Blue Flame, Red Flame, Evil Red Flame, Red Flame Devil Music Edition, Grey Flame, Black Flame, Pink Flame,White Flame, and Green Flame.
Dr. Pepper Chicken by STV SLV of The Hood Internet
Recipe serves 8-12
2.5- 3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast.
1 bottle (12 oz.) of chili sauce. I use Heinz. You do whatever you want.
1 packet of dry onion soup mix. Might as well go with a low sodium version.
1 can of Dr. Pepper. Substitute any soda/pop you like but no diet, you need that sugar.
Buns (a make you dance). Not a necessary ingredient, but these make great sliders.
1. Put the chicken into the slow cooker.
2. Empty the bottle of chili sauce on top of the chicken.
3. Sprinkle the dry soup mix on top throughout.
4. Pour up about 8 oz. of that Dr. Pepper.
5. Put the lid on the crock-pot, then cook on low for 9 hours or high for 6 hours.
7. Use a couple of forks to pull the chicken apart so that it can simmer in the sauce for 15-20 minutes.
8. Serve on buns. Add cheese if you want. I like muenster.
Michael Fichman is a DJ, record producer, writer and BBQ enthusiast living in Philadelphia, follow him on twitter at @djaptone