Prep 30 mins
Cook 4 hrs
This recipe yields a succent smoked chicken, not too smoky, with a gorgeous bronzed skin. The meat is tender and juicy, perfect for a summer supper. The prep is super easy, and once the meat is in the smoker, it's pretty much automatic and doesn't take much monitoring. You may need to add more soaked wood chunks if the chicken takes more than two hours, so be sure to have some extras on hand and ready to go. The skin on chicken prepared this way is exceptionally delicious. Leftovers make a great cold smoked chicken salad. Also, it shouldn't be hard to adapt this recipe to other brands of outdoor smokers. Use any type of meat thermometer, as long as it's accurate, but be sure to use one. You also will need a means of trussing the chicken, such as those stretchy silicone bands or plain white butcher's twine, as well as a specialized tool for injecting the marinade.
- 1 whole frying chicken
- 2 large oranges
- 2 large lemons
- 1⁄2 cup soy sauce, Kikkoman green label preferred
- Remove just the orange and yellow zest from the fruit and reserve. There should be no white on the zest after removal. Cut the fruit in half and juice. Strain out seeds and excess pulp from the juice using a fine mesh strainer. Mix 1/2 cup juice with 1/2 cup soy sauce. Reserve the remaining juice. Use the juice-soy sauce mixture to inject the chicken all over. Truss the chicken using silicone bands or plain white butcher's twine.
- Soak 6 to 8 chunks (not chips) of hickory in hot water for 30 minutes. The ideal size chunk to use is about 3 to 4 inches long and about 1 inch thick for the Brinkmann smoker. Check the manual if you have a different brand. Remove the lid and body from the smoker. Place 3 to 4 soaked wood chunks on the lava rock in the base of the smoker. Do not allow the wood to touch the heating element. Place the body back on the smoker and put the empty water pan in its place near the center of the body. Fill the water pan about 3/4 full and add the reserved citrus rinds and leftover juice. Place one of the smoker's racks directly over the water bowl. Leave the other rack off. Place a heatproof meat thermometer into the meatiest part of the chicken's thigh. Put the chicken on the rack. Plug the smoker in and put on the cover.
- Smoke for about 1 hour. Remove smoker cover and brush chicken with a good quality barbecue or basting sauce that has a medium-thin consistency. Thin a really thick sauce with a small amount of water. Replace cover and smoke for another 1 hour. Baste again. Cook to an internal temperature of 180 degrees, adding more soaked wood chunks as needed.
- Cooking may take up to 4 hours, depending on how hot the smoker gets, the external temperature and other factors. Test the chicken's temperature frequently to prevent it from getting overcooked.
- Remove chicken from the smoker to a platter or carving board and tent it with aluminium foil. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes. Carve and serve.