This easy smoked chicken recipe is so simple, it produces succulent breast meat and a beautiful smoky flavor. You really can’t go wrong.
What I like about smoked chicken is that it is so juicy. Some will argue that the downside to cooking chicken low and slow is that the skin doesn't crisp up and yes I would agree that you miss out in this respect but there's a completely different texture and flavor dimension to smoking a chicken.
Note: The skin doesn't crisp because the cooking temperature is lower than required for the Maillard reaction to take place. To learn more about this reaction read may article "why aren't my roasts brown on the skin?"
Having said all that about crispy skin it's exactly because the skin doesn't spit or sizzle so it isn't punctured. All the moisture therefore remains in the bird so when you cut into it you'll see what I mean - supremely juicy.
So this recipe is really stripped back to give you the simple pleasure of enjoying a basic smoked chicken however later on I will elaborate for my smoked chicken salad recipe. I'm not using any rub and I'm just looking for a mild citrus smoke, leave it at that, experience the texture and flavor first off, we can move onto more complicated recipes later.
I still do this recipe week in week out even today because not only is it great straight off the smoker but any leftovers make for the best chicken sandwiches ever. Just a bit of mayo, a few salad leaves and a sprinkling of salt – awesome!
In fact you can just use this recipe for great cold chicken. Cook as directed and then just leave to cool with all those juices sealed in.
One thing you do need for this recipe is a meat injector and I also like to smoke my chicken on a vertical roasting rack so I catch all the juices either for gravy or adding to the stock when I boil up the carcass.
For wood chips, my preference is apple but feel free to experiment using my wood chips guide.
Not in this recipe, it's all about the chicken!
Serves:- 4-5 people per chicken
Preparation Time:-10 mins
Cooking Time:-3hrs (for a 3lb bird)
Total Time:- 3hrs 10 mins
Mix the olive oil and lemon juice together in a cup or ramekin and then use the meat injector to inject into the breast and the thighs. Use the last few drops of the mix to rub over the skin and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Load the chicken onto the roasting rack and place it in the smoker at 110°C or 225°F for 60 minutes per pound and bingo – beautifully succulent smoked chicken.
It’s important to make sure that chicken is properly cooked. The rough and ready approach to this has traditionally been to prick the skin and see if the juices run clear but with this recipe you'll find that there's so much moisture built up under the skin of the chicken that it's not a fail-safe method. Use an instant read barbecue thermometer - the breast meat should be at 70°C (165°F) and thigh meat at 75°C (175°F).
This healthy smoked chicken salad recipe is quick and easy to prepare and your going to get the most succulent chicken breast that you've ever tasted.
Not only is this salad healthy, it's tasty and distinctive, it's one of my wife's favorites and it's also a great opportunity to cook together as you'll see in the video at the bottom of the page.
There's two things that this recipe has in abundance and that's humidity to keep the bird moist during the cookout and citrus flavorings, perfect for chicken. For that reason the chicken will only be lightly smoked because we don't want the smoky flavor to overpower everything else.
The smoking of the chicken is pretty similar to my basic smoked chicken recipe above but I always find that I cut into my chicken too soon and all the juice runs out so for this smoked chicken salad recipe we're going to rest the chicken when cooked and do it upside down so that all the juices are allowed to permeate and settle in the breast.
You'll also note that we're using beetroot. It's perfectly acceptable to buy it ready cooked and peeled, just don't use the stuff that's been pickled in vinegar because you're looking for that tender sweetness.
The only allergen here is the mustard that I've used in the dressing so if you have an allergy to mustard then feel free to adapt or use another dressing.
Preparation Time:- 25 mins
Cooking Time:- 3hrs mins
Resting Time:- 2 hrs
Total Time:- 5hrs 25 mins
For the dressing
For the water bath
Cut one orange into quarters and peel the other two. Stuff the peel and the four quarters of orange into the chicken.
Set your smoker up for indirect cooking at 240°F or 120°C and place your chicken in the food chamber with the water bath underneath.
While the chicken is cooking there's plenty of time to prepare the salad and the dressing. For the dressing just mix the honey mustard and yogurt in a ramekin and refrigerate until the salad is ready.
To finish the salad cut the peeled oranges and beetroots into segments, layer them in a salad bowl and sprinkle with fresh coriander. Place in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
When 3 hours have elapsed and the chicken is ready, remove it from the smoker and set aside to rest for 2 hours upside down on a board and roasting rack.
Only when the chicken has cooled is it ready to carve. The final step is to bring the carved chicken, salad and dressing together. Enjoy!