Sunday, July 30, 2017

Smoked Chicken

I live in Texas and that means the BBQ is dry rubbed and smoked.  I like to use mesquite wood since I live in Texas, but hickory is a close second.  I have some good friends out in West Texas who have a small acreage where they raise mesquite trees, cactus, and rattle snakes.  Their wood is often in my smoke box.  I've never put a snake on the pit but wouldn't rule it out for now.   It is always nice to add some sweeter smoke which comes from fruit or nut trees.

I bought my smoker about 5 years ago and use it several times a year.  It is a Texas size pit which means my record for cooking chicken was 40 pounds which I used to partially cater a friend's daughter's wedding.  I liked it so much I self catered my own daughter's rehearsal dinner feeding over 60 on ribs, chicken, and sausage.  

Chicken thighs and legs are not only affordable they are my choice when it comes to the BBQ.

They work great out on the smoker and the end result is a tender juicy delightful taste.
I buy the frozen bags which my local grocery store sells for about 6 bucks for 10 pounds of chicken.   I know, I know they are probably raised in little cages and fed hot dogs...   I let it thaw out in the refrigerator overnight and the next morning I begin the party. 

 I rinse them off and let the pieces drain in a colander then it's time to rub them with flavor.   You can use your favorite rub ingredients or you can buy a pre made one or copy the one I used on this batch.  Today it's going to be a Dr Pepper steam infusing my smoke.   I like to use Dr. Pepper because it's a Texas tradition to drink. It was first made by a man down near Waco in 1885 and a bottling plant opened up in Dublin later.  Having said all that  I've also used apple juice, cola, cherry cola, or other sweet drinks.  This is a nice place to start but where it goes is up to you. Remember the smoke will dominate anything they are rubbed in so get creative and generous with the rub.   By the way if you don't have a smoker you can enjoy this rub on the grill too.

I just start sprinkling and stirring it all up in a big pan. Remember it will taste less intense on the finished product so let go and be over the top with the rub. A little brown sugar is also a great addition to any grilled item as the smoke tends to be a little bitter and the sugar mellows it down.

Give them 4 or 5 hours at about 225 degrees F for a healthy quantity of smokey taste.  Bring them in and freeze what you won't eat now in foil adding about a half cup of chicken broth.  To prepare the frozen chicken simply place the foiled chicken in a pan and put it in a 200 degree oven for 3 hours then bump up the temperature to 275 for another 3 hours and you will be amazed. 

 The portion you are going to eat it now you will need to treat it the same way by foiling it and adding some broth, seal it up well and bake it at 275 for a couple of hours.   I hope you enjoy it!!!

PS those are welding gloves and they work great for working around the grill.

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