Corn Nation Off Season Recipes- Smoked Whole Chicken

A friend of mine, after tasting my smoked Baby Back Ribs, asked me to smoke a chicken she had gotten from the local Hutterites . For those of you who don’t know about Hutterites, they’re kinda like the Amish, but believe in electricity and raise some of the best chicken, beef, etc. that you can get in this part of the country. It’s all natural.

The first thing I did was mix up a brining solution to soak the chicken. The brining process is something I just recently discovered. What is Brining you ask? Brining comes from the root word "brine" meaning salt. Basically, when you put salt into a bucket of water and add a piece of meat... chicken for example, a scientific process called osmosis begins to take effect. This process seeks to equalize the amount of salt on the outside of the chicken with the amount on the inside. As you very well know there is little if any salt inside the chicken, therefore the salt and water is drawn deep into the meat fibers of the chicken creating the process called meat brining. The great thing about this process is that you can add other spices, herbs, flavorings, etc. in to the bucket with the salt water solution and it will get drawn in as well, and thereby flavor the meat.

I placed the chicken in a bucket and filled it with just enough water to completely cover the chicken. Remove the chicken and add 2 cups kosher salt, 3 cups sugar, and then the seasoning that I like best. Be creative and use whatever spices and seasoning you like best! I let my chicken sit in the brine solution for about 4 hrs. After the soak time I removed the chicken and rinsed it off to remove any salt on the outer part of the chicken. The brining process will make the chicken juicier and more tender, and is well worth the time.

I fired up the smoker and maintained a temperature of 225 degrees. Place the chicken on the rack breast side down and smoke for about an hour and a half. Then turn it breast side up, so as not to dry out the tender white meat and finish the smoke process this way. I used Mesquite to smoke my chicken but have also tried Apple and Cherry to smoke chicken parts and they all tasted great.

After about 4.5 hrs, or when the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165 in the thickest part of the breast, remove it from the smoker. After I removed the chicken, I wrapped it in aluminum foil and had about a 15 minute drive to my friend’s house to deliver it. When we unwrapped it everyone just flocked to it and devoured it in no time!!! The flavor was amazing and it was the best chicken I have ever cooked! I think it was definitely the brining process that made the difference!! Just to top it off, you can add some BBQ dipping sauce and enjoy!!!

Good luck and hope to hear some feedback or suggestions that might make this even better!GBR!

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