By Chef Nick Schneider
This recipe shows a simple and effective technique for adding just the right amount of smoke flavor to chicken. It an be used, modifying cooking times, for pork chops as well.
1 cup salt
1 cup sugar
6 lbs bone in chicken pieces (split breasts, drum sticks, and or thighs), trimmed of excess fat.
3 T vegetable oil
freshly ground black pepper
3 cups wood chips
Brining the Chicken:
Make the bring ahead by bringing a gallon of water to a summer and adding the salt and sugar, stir-well and allow to cool. Soak chicken pieces covered in bring in the refrigerator of 30 min. to one hour. Remove from bring and dry off slightly with towels. Brush with the vegetable oil and season with pepper.
Preparing the smoker:
Soak 1.5 cups of the wood chips in water for 15 min. then drain. Make a small shallow “box” with lid using aluminum foil. Put in soaked chips, cover with foil and create 4 -6 vent holes in the top (~ ½ square). Repeat the process with the other 1.5 cups of unsoaked wood chips.
Setting up the grill:
Put the wood chip foil packets on the main burners. Put an aluminum pie tin filled with ~ 2 C. water on the inactive burners. Turn all burners to high, preheating the grill until the wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 15 min.. Turn main burner(s) to medium –high heat and other burners to off. Scrape or brush the grill clean, then oil it.
Cooking the Chicken:
Place the chicken on the grill on the in-active burners: thighs closer to the fire and breasts further away – skin side up. Cover the grill and cook until the breasts register 160 degrees, and the thighs register 175. This will take about 1.25-1.5 hours.
Glazing and Adding Sauce:
If you decide to glaze the chicken with for example a BBQ sauce, add it during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Brush on both sides and flip pieces at least once during the process. Do this over the coals where the grill is hotter.
Rest 5 minutes under foil before cutting and serving.
For sides: Coleslaw, cucumber yogurt-radish salad, corn-bean-pepper succotash.
For sauces: Corn Salsa, Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, Classic BBQ sauce, Grilled Peach compote.
1 t grated orange zest
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 small shallot minced
1-2 minced canned chilies in adobo sauce
2 t fresh thyme minced
1 T molasses
¾ t cornstarch
Combine zest, juice, shallot, chilies and thyme in a small sauce pan. Then whisk in the molasses and cornstarch. Simmer over medium heat until thickened about 5 min. Season with salt to taste. Reserve some of serving and some for grilling.