Hickory Smoked Chicken Recipes
Brining or salt curing and smoking go hand in hand. While these methods were originally intended as food preservation methods, today we have refrigerators and freezers.
Still these ancient methods, like their counterpart dry curing, are a great way to impart a lot of flavor into your food. This is the reason a chef will state that he is serving "Applewood Smoked Bacon" on a menu, it matters.
Delicious Hickory Smoked Chicken Recipes
Smoked Chicken, White Rice With Smoked Chicken Gravy, And Green Beans With Butter And Fresh Dill.
Whole chicken brined and air dried.
Chicken ribbed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Seasoned whole chicken with temperature probe inserted into the breast. Notice that I trussed the bird after I applied the seasonings. That is so I can get the seasoning into the areas that are going to be covered once it is trussed.
Wrap the chicken in foil. I used a disposable foil pan and aluminum foil. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the foil pan. Remove the bird from the smoker and place it on top of the foil. Add the butter cubes in and on top of the bird and wrap loosely. Pick up the pan and place it back in the smoker.
When it comes off the smoker it will look like this.
Smoked chickens after resting for 20 minutes.
That is one beautiful smoked chicken.
Two Smoked Chicken Recipes
There are two smoked chicken recipes below. There is smoked chicken and smoked chicken gravy. The smoked chicken gravy is made with smoked butter and chicken stock.
- 1 whole chicken, brined - See Recipe
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cracked pepper
- Butchers Twine
For The Smoked Chicken Gravy
- 4 ounces butter
- 4 ounces all purpose flour
- 1 quart chicken stock
- Brine the chicken and allow it to air dry in the refrigerator.
- About 30 minutes before you are ready to put the chicken on the smoker remove it from the refrigerator.
- Use enough olive oil to coat the outside of the chicken. Combine the salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle over the chicken and rub it into the chicken making certain to coat the entire outside of the chicken.
- Once the chicken is completely coated truss the legs and wings. This makes for more even cooking.
- With the chicken ready to go make certain the internal temperature of your smoker is between 200 and 225 degrees F / 93 and 107 degrees C. You want to take the temperature at grate level, where the food is actually going to be sitting.
- Place the chicken on the grate as far away from the heat source as possible, close the lid and monitor the temperature and fire.
- The best way to accomplish this is with a high temperature probe thermometer and a grill probe. The grill probe should be at least 2-inches away from the walls of the smoker and should be held off the grate with a thermometer probe clip. The probe thermometer should be inserted into the breast of the chicken and not touching the breast or rib bones. Run the cables out the smoker door and plug the grill probe into the thermometer base. You won't need to check the temperature of the bird for at least an hour.
- About 45 minutes before you are ready to remove the chicken from the smoker, Wrap it in foil. I use a disposable foil pan and aluminum foil. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil, big enough to wrap the bird, over the foil pan. Remove the bird from the smoker and place it on top of the foil. Add the butter cubes in and on top of the bird and wrap loosely. Pick up the pan and place it back in the smoker. Allow it to finish smoking.
- As you are monitoring the fire and smoke periodically check the temperature of the chicken. When the temperature reaches 160° F / 71° C, remove the bird from the smoker. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
For The Smoked Chicken Gravy - See Notes Below
- In a 3 quart pot bring the stock to a boil. Cover, remove from the heat, and set aside.
- When you remove the bird from the smoker pour off the melted butter and the juices that collected in the pan, into a 2 quart saucier or large saute pan. Over medium heat add the flour and stir with a whisk or pan whisk to dissolve the flour into the smoked butter. Allow the roux to cook for 2 to 3 minutes to cook out the pasty taste of the flour.
- Slowly whisk in some of the stock as you do it will bind with the roux. Mix it well and continue adding stock until all of the stock is incorporated and you have a smooth pan gravy. Allow it to come to a full boil and remove from heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- If you want a more refined sauce pass it through a fine mesh strainer before serving.
- Between 200 and 225 degrees F / 93 and 107 degrees C, the chicken will take between 3 and 4 hours to smoke. When it comes off the smoker the skin has a tendency to be tough and rubbery. It's not inedible, but, if you're expecting crisp crunchy skin you'll be disappointed. To get crisp skin you should smoke the bird between 325 and 350 degrees F / 163 and 175 degrees C. In this temperature range the skin will crisp but the bird cooks faster, so make certain you are checking the temperature of the bird sooner and more frequently.
- As well, cooking at the higher temps doesn't really allow you the opportunity to foil and slow smoke the butter, so skip that step.
- If you plan on smoking at the higher temps put the butter in a small pan and place it in the smoke at the farthest point from the heat. Allow it to melt and develop the smoke flavor and then remove it. This way you can still make both smoked chicken recipes.