Prep 3 hrs
Cook 1 hr
From the cookbook "Smokin". Use 2 small fryers (2 1/2 lbs each) or 1 large roaster
- 1 (5 1/2 lb) roasting chickens (up to 5 1/2-pounds)
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons wood chips
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 -4 garlic cloves
- fresh lemon wedge
- Trim any excess skin from the neck end of the chicken and pull out the giblets and any pockets of fat from the cavity.
- First brine your birds. Put the chicken(s) in a stockpot or Dutch oven. Pour in cold water, one quart at a time until the item is completely covered. Lift out the bird and stir in 3 tablespoons sea or kosher salt for every quart of water you have added. Return the chicken to the brine. Set the container of chicken and brine in the refrigerator. Brine for 1 1/2 hours per pound (minimum of 3 hours). Dry the chicken, and rub some freshly ground black pepper inside, also add some whole cloves of garlic and a few lemon wedges to the cavity.
- Start the chicken(s) breast side up on the smoker rack with the smoker on the stove top. Use 2 1/2 tablespoons cherry or oak wood chips OR 1 1/2 tablespoons hickory wood chips. Instead of the smoker cover, tent the smoker with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Smoke 40 minutes over medium heat.
- After the chicken(s) have been smoking 30 minutes, set the oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 425ºF. When the chickens are done smoking, remove the aluminum foil and roast the chicken in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh near the hip joint registers 170ºF, 30-60 minutes, depending on the size and quantity of the chicken(s).
- After they have rested for 5-10 minutes, serve hot or at room temperature. Leftover smoked chicken is delicious in chicken salad, casseroles, and sandwiches.