A couple weeks ago when I showed you how to make gumbo quickly and easily, I told you that I would be teaching you how to make my smoked chicken. Today’s the day. Like most everything that I cook, it’s pretty easy. I cheat a little with my cooking method to make it almost fool proof.
As you already know, I work in the oil and gas industry, so I am gone for weeks at a time, so I will smoke about a dozen breasts at a time and freeze them in our trusty food saver. This way the Lovely Amy can cook with smoked chicken, or just defrost a breast and have it as a main course. You don’t have to use breasts if you don’t want to. You can use any cut of chicken you like. This also makes a killer pulled pork. Just use a boston butt instead, but it will take a lot longer than the time it will take for chicken. When I make pulled pork, I smoke the roast for about 10 hours.
I know I should give you some long winded back story about how my family has been smoking chicken this way for generations, and we use the hundred-year-old smokehouse on the family farm, but I can’t. The real back story is that my family did actually own a bar-b-que restaurant in North Louisiana, but it has been closed for more than fifty years, So I have modernized the process a little. I use an electric smoker. I know, I should be taken out to the woodshed… Get it?
With an electric smoker, I get a consistant cooking temperature without having to adjust chimneys and firebox vents. And with a little trick, I will show you, you would be hard pressed to tell my chicken comes from an electric smoker.
Ok, I have rambled on enough, time to get down and get cooking. As usual, my recipe for the dry rub is in parts. I use tblespoons, but you can use whatever you want. I usually make enough rub for a few smokes, but you dont have to.
Lightly oil your chicken and liberally apply the rub. See the recipe below. You can do this step up to 24 hours before you are ready to cook it, Just bring the chicken close to room temp before you put it in the smoker.
Preheat your smoker to 250.
Place the chicken in your smoker, spaced so that there is room for the smoke to surround the meat.
Add about a half of a cup of hickory chips to the fire. Or, if you are cheating like I do, add the hickory to the wood tray. If you are using an electric smoker, add a small piece of hardwood charcoal to the wood tray as well. This will actually help with a smoke ring and give it a little more authentic flavor.
Set a timer for 4 hours. After an hour, add about another half cup of wood chips to the fire. You may want to check your chicken after 3 and a half hours, depending on your smoker. It will be done when an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees.
When the timer goes off, thats it. Remove the chicken and let it rest for atleast 10 minutes. The lovely Amy and I will usually tear into a breast at this time to “check for quality.”
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