World’s Best Smoked Chicken

March 9, 2010

We have a very special guest contributor here today.  My son Chris has inherited the cooking bug and we talk food all the time.  I’ve invited him to become a regular contributor.  He’ll be writing a bit more about himself, his family and his cooking soon.  In the meantime, here’s his latest chicken creation….

This recipe is really more about the method than it is the ingredients.  There’s no doubt that this takes a bit of time and hard work but I can assure anyone that it’s WELL worth it.  To prove this point I’ll quote one of the tasters, Duane, who said, “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to eat BBQ again, this is the best I’ve ever tasted!”  This took years of experimentation and education before it became what it is.  Truth be told; this is the second time I’ve made this with this method and the first time I made it with these ingredients.   Add what you think tastes good and don’t be scared of the ingredients as long as you like the flavors you add.  Just make sure to remember the smoke and the foil and there’s no doubt that this will amaze your friends and family!  On that note, be sure to make tons so you can show it off!  I promise you’re going to want to let a lot of people taste and I won’t even ask for royalties.

  • Chicken
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Garlic
  • Bell Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • BBQ Sauce (Stubb’s is my favorite; mostly because I’ve been to some concerts in Austin, TX at the original restaurant)
  • Cola (Pepsi or Coke both work just as well)
  • Bourbon
  • Good Wood

Crush and peel some garlic.  Consider yourself lucky to be able to find good help like me.Strip some thyme and rosemary.  Grabbing the top and pulling downward, if you pull in the direction of the leaves they come off clean and quick.Cut peppers.  Size doesn’t really matter to be honest. This is the best time to start a good amount of charcoal.  It provides a base making the temperature control easier.  If you’re using a gas grill this step doesn’t matter.  You can fire that up at any point.I like to get rid of the skin.  Not everyone enjoys the skin but everyone eats the meat so I go with the odds here.  Plus it’s just a little healthier which gets everyone’s votes.Throw all the chicken in there and add your garlic, peppers and the like.  There’s no real science here.  With this method you can be assured the flavor will soak into every single ounce of the meat no matter how much you break up or cut all of this.  Make sure to seal the foil up tight so no juices escape.  Layer your foil in both directions leaving enough to enclose it after adding all the liquids.  This keeps the flavors recirculating through and through and ensures there will be no possible way to end up with a dry piece of meat.

The other BIG point to this is that when cooking over an open flame you REALLY don’t want your juices escaping.  It turns out it’s bad when trying to keep a fire going.  I know because I had to re-wrap one of these for that reason!  USE MORE FOIL THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED!! This pepper is from “The Garlic Man” who is local here to North Idaho and sells his products very sparingly.  Everything he sells is homegrown and provides amazing taste to anything.  Any crushed red pepper works here though.  Even black pepper if you’d like.I forgot that Teriyaki is a great addition to this.  It adds a sweet and tangy twists just to keep people guessing.   I am normally cooking from the cuff so it was a change for me to have to lay out all the ingredients ahead of time.Add some BBQ sauce.  I used Honey Mesquite flavored but use any you’d like; If you like spicy, use spicy…Now the real kicker is the whiskey and cola.  Don’t be picky on the amount.Make a stiff drink directly into the meat.   Besides that, both of those are naturally meat tenderizers which provide juicy and flavorful meat.  Sounds tasty doesn’t it?!  It is!  So pour yourself a glass too!   Try it as a marinade for any cut of meat.Once you’ve put the chicken on it’s important to remember that the idea here is to keep the flame tickling the bottom of the foil whether you’re cooking on a gas or traditional grill.  If using charcoal, be sure to add a few pieces of of wood to get the flame going fairly high and hot.  This keeps the juices at a steady rolling boil inside the foil.After about 1 1/2 – 2 hours pull the meat off the fire.  Open up the foil, roll it back and put it back on so it can start to soak up the smoke and evaporate the bulk of the juices.

This is the point that I add the best ingredient, the smoke.  I used apple wood because I have above average access to friends here in the Pacific Northwest with old apple orchards.  I included a $6 bag of mesquite chunks that I bought at Walmart in the first picture with all the ingredients because everyone has access to a Walmart.  If you’re doing this on a gas grill get a cheap aluminum pie pan, soak some wood chips and place it right on the burner which will provide the smoke you need for this.  It’s all good so use whatever you have access to!After the chicken starts to develop the good, smokey crust and about 2/3 of the juices are evaporated it’s perfect to pull off.  Since it stewed in it’s own juices for so long you can’t possibly dry it out or over cook it.  It’s IMPOSSIBLE!!Then just savor the goodness.  After this amount of hard work you’re going to want to smell it!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ed Schenk March 9, 2010 at 10:05 am

I just smoked 2 chickens this weekend!


2 Wendy March 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm

MMMMmmmmmmmm that looks delicious!!! I’m sending this to my guy right NOW! Thanks so much for sharing your techniques!



3 Christopher Bove March 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Thanks a lot Wendy! Good food can’t exist if people don’t share the things they’ve learned over the years with one another. I only hope my trials and errors (many, MANY) can pay off for you!


4 Tracee February 28, 2012 at 10:57 am

STUBBS is the bomb! I moved to PA 12 years ago from Austin and not only do I miss their BBQ, but their music venue too. Fortunately, our W@almart now carries the Stubbs sauces and marinades…but the live music scene up here bites. Oh how I miss the BBQ and mexican food…


5 Chris February 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I have seen a few shows at Stubbs in Austin which is why I am pretty partial to their BBQ sauces and marinades! It’s a GREAT place with wonderful food.


6 Mark November 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Well from what I know, I wouldn’t cover up the chicken if I was smoking it. The smoke enters into the chicken ( or beef or pork or sfish)when it is raw once it is seared, or cooked, it takes much more time and resources to afterwards smoke the meat.
Looks good but alittle sloppy.


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