Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Smoked Whole Chicken

Smoked Chicken


1 - 4# or so, whole chicken
2 - whole cloves garlic, cut in half
1 - 1 lemon, cut in half
1 - bunch of fresh herbs, any combo of Parsley, Basil, Sage, Rosemary, or Thyme that you want...
1 or 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Kosher Saltv Fresh Cracked Black Pepper


Take your bird, and after rinsing it out and patting it dry, place it on a 1/2 sheet pan. Take half the lemon and squeeze it as you rub it all over the chicken, and then cram it up inside the bird, the skin side towards the neck opening. Hold the chicken open end up. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Take your garlic cloves, cut them in half, and throw one clove in. Cram in the fresh herb combo of your choice. Drop in the last of the garlic, and then place the other half of the lemon into the bird. It should form a sort of closure to the opening. Lay it down. Pour a little olive oil over the bird, and rub it all over the skin. Tie the legs together using butcher's twine, closing the opening over the end of the lemon. Tuck the wing tips behind the back of the bird. Sprinkle on some more salt & pepper. Let this sit out for up to 45 minutes while the grill gets hot.

Prepare you charcoal grill. I use a Weber kettle. I also use a chimney starter to get my natural hardwood coals as hot as possible. Soak either apple wood or hickory chips in water until needed. I create a "snake" out of aluminum foil, and wrap it around the base of a shallow aluminum tray. (It's reusable. Mine is 6 years old! See how Alton Brown makes a similar one in Grillus Domesticus) Once your coals are hot, place the tray inside the foil rectangle. Distribute the hot coals all around the outside of the tray. Place the grill rack over top.

The bird goes breast side down over the tray below. Cover the chicken with a deeper aluminum pan placed upside down. It'll form a sort of oven in your grill. Open the grill's grates on either side of the bird and sprinkle on half of your soaked wood chips. Close the grates, put on the lid with the vents all open. Don't forget to place a whole sweet onion on the "head-side" of the bird.

After 30 minutes flip the bird, add more chips, and cover with both the foil tray, and the lid. After another 30 minutes test the temperature using a probe thermometer in the deepest part of the thigh. If it's at, or near 170°F take it off the grill. Cover it with loose foil, and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.