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Carolyn22's Journal: Smoked Chicken

  • Member: Carolyn22
  • Journal: Recipes
  • Category: Smoker Recipes
  • Status: Have not tried yet

Initial Notes:

Dear planolinda, I have two food smokers, one cold smoker (brick), and one an American hot smoker with a water tray.
Although I use them extensively, I am very popular near Christmas as people want smoked Gammon and Chicken, Duck, plus of course smoked salmon.
It is a better idea to use this for more than one Chicken as you can always use cold smoked Chicken in anything and it can be used in sandwiches/salads etc.
Here is the recipe I use for smoked Chicken.
2 Chickens about 3 and a half- four pounds each.
1 gallon of water.
1 pound of sea salt.
8 oz of brown sugar, you can use white if you wish, but it is not the same.
Quarter of a cup of soy sauce.
1 teaspoon each of; dried tarragon, dried thyme, dried oregano, and black pepper.
Quarter of a cup of olive oil.

I really give the Chickens a good wash inside and out.
Place the brine water in a non aluminium container and dissolve the water and the sugar, then add the soy and the herbs.
Then totally immerse the Chickens in the brine, you must make sure they are covered all over.
If necessary you may have to weigh them down ( use a plate), so they stay at all times under the water
Leave in the fridge overnight.
Now I know some people may ask why? This is entirely optional, but in Britain we use sage & onion stuffing, to stuff the inside of the bird with, especially oven done Chickens.
This is simply dry bread (breadcrumbs), sage dried or fresh, onion, and a lot of butter.
You simply add hot water a bit at a time to the mixture and stir with a fork, do not add too much water or it will end up like wallpaper paste!
I add the juice of a lemon a the beginning, only because the lemon goes well with Chicken.
Then you stuff the inside of the Chicken with it, as much as you can get in. There are two reasons for this; the stuffing make the Chicken moist and the flavour goes into it, and it holds the bird together from the inside.
Plus it tastes wonderful if you serve it with the Chicken, and Ham.
then you remove the Chickens and just leave to drain, stuff them if you want to or add a lemon/ onion inside the bird.
You can truss up your Chickens, but I put a bit of foil around the top of their legs to stop it cooking to fast.
Now save the BRINE if you have a water tray in your smoker.
Then the fun starts for you have to get your smoker going, all men like this bit, don't use firelighters as your food will taste of paraffin, or whatever else they use.
Fill your water tray with the brine, not all of it. I add 2 onions to the water tray, cut in half, some fresh rosemary and some cut up lemons.
I soak my wood overnight in water as it does not catch fire so easily and lets of a gentle smoke which is what you need.
Once you get the smoker to the ideal on the temperature gauge 200℉-250℉ add the Chickens, in my one I can get six!
You may need to add more wood and charcoal and indeed water ( brine), for do not let the water run dry, or the heat variate too much!
Brush the Chickens with olive oil after 2 hours, although my nieces and nephews use maple syrup, right at the end of the cooking time!
They should be done in about 4-5 hours depending on their size and how many you have in the smoker.
Pierce the thickest part of the leg with a skewer, if the juices are completely clear they are cooked.
Remove the birds and leave to rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve.

It is entirely up to you what wood you use, or indeed can get hold of. Over here we use a lot of English oak and old Whisky and Sherry barrels.
These are bought cheaply and shredded for cold smoking or made into sawdust, again for cold smoking.
However I put a few handful of Whisky/ Sherry Chipping's into the hot smoker about half an hour before the end of cooking time, it makes everything taste wonderful.
Although fruit wood is plentiful over here, as is maple.
Sorry this is such a long reply, but smoking is one of my passions. If you are smoking and like Garlic. then soak the Garlic in salted water for 30 minutes and then let dry. When the smoker has cooled down a bit add a little bit a damp wood, so it just smokes, then add your Garlic bulbs.
They do not take long, about 20-30 minutes if not too hot. For some strange reason, smoked Garlic does not make your breath smell!
It also lasts a long time. At this time you can also smoke sea salt and black pepper, in simple cast iron bowls.
If you need any more help please just ask me, I do know there are lots of food smokers in the U.S.A., each with their own secret recipes and competitions, so I appreciate I am but an English minority.
The idea was to preserve and indeed to add taste to the smoke process, not to take away the taste of the actual thing you were smoking, but to enhance it.
Kind Regards from England.
Neil.
p.s. I smoke lovely smoked salmon and trout, both hot and cold.

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