Prep 45 mins
Cook 4 mins
Southern Living; this one looks complicated, but my husband wants to try it. On a chilly day, the chicken will take longer to cook—up to 45 minutes more. Do not skip the step of tying the chicken with string; the more compact the chicken, the better the smoking results.
- 1 small sweet onion, quartered
- 8 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 3⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 3 (4 1/2 lb) whole chickens
- kitchen string
- 2 1⁄2 cups hickory chips or 2 1⁄2 cups oak wood chips
- Add the first 8 ingredients to a food processor along with ¾ teaspoon salt; process until smooth; set mixture aside.
- Remove excess skin from necks and cavities of chickens.
- Starting at large cavities, loosen skin from breast and legs by inserting fingers and gently pushing between skin and meat (do not completely detach skin).
- Place chickens in a large roasting pan; using a bulb baster, squeeze lemon-chipotle mixture evenly into chicken cavities and under skin on breasts and legs.
- Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining salt; tuck wings under.
- Position the center of a 3-foot piece of kitchen string under back of 1 chicken near tail.
- Wrap string around legs and around body of chicken; tie securely at neck.
- Repeat with remaining chickens.
- Soak wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes; set aside.
- Prepare smoker according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Bring internal temperature to 225° to 250°, and maintain temperature for 15-20 minutes.
- Place chickens on upper cooking grate; cover with smoker lid.
- Cook chickens, maintaining the temperature inside the smoker between 225-250°, for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Drain reserved wood chips, and place on coals.
- Cover with smoker lip; smoke chickens 2 to 2 ½ hours more until a meat thermometer inserted into thighs registers 175°.
- Remove chickens from smoker; cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes or until thermometer reads 180° before slicing.