I started out with a nice big roasting chicken.
Once it was all rinsed off, I gave it a little chicken yoga to stretch all the tendons so it would be easier to debone.
All nice & relaxed & ready to debone.
Next you just take a sharp boning knife & slice down the backbone.
Then you just slowly start to cut down the rib cage, pulling the meat away from the bone.
You continue to cut the meat away & when you get to the place where the thigh & wings join the breast you just cut the tendons & they will break free.
You just continue all the way around, being careful not to cut into the skin.
You just keep at it until the rib cage is free of the meat.
Once the rib cage is out you move on to the thigh bone & shoulder bone. I wanted to leave the drumsticks & middle wing bones in so it would still look like a chicken when it was all done. To get the thigh & shoulder out you just start trimming the meat away from the bone and when you get about half way down the bone you can just grab the thigh & twist it off the drumstick. Same with the wing.
Next it goes into a brine for 48 hours. I used 4 cu water, 1/4 cu salt, 1/2 cu raw sugar, 2 tsp cure#1, 1/8 cu Montreal chicken seasoning.
Into a zip lock bag for 48 hours.
I smoked a ham for Christmas and took off some choice slices for the Cordon Bleu.
48 hours later, the chicken is out of the brine, rinsed off & ready to stuff.
First layer is one stick of butter sliced up.
Next a layer of Swiss cheese.
Next a layer of the smoked ham.
Then another layer of cheese.
And you guessed it another layer of ham.
Then one final layer of cheese.
Next we pulled it together & sewed it up with butchers twine. It really helps to have two people for this part.
I know it's overkill, but I injected the drumsticks & breasts with a chicken broth/melted butter mix.
I coated the chicken with the remaining juice & dusted it with Montreal chicken seasoning.
I put it on the WSM set at 225, with the breast side down for the first 2 hours, hoping the juices would flow toward the breast. Normally I would smoke chicken at 300-325, but this being such a mass of meat I was afraid the breast would dry out before the inside got done.
I had 1 probe in the breast & 1 probe in the center. I was looking for 165 in both. At 5 hours in they both were reading 125 ( Remember I used cure#1 in the brine, so no 4 hour rule ). So I cranked the WSM up to 300 to get the skin crispy & finish the cooking. 2 hours later it was done. 7 hours total time cooking.
One thing nice about a deboned chicken is they sure are easy to carve, just like slicing bread. You can see how juicy it was. The juice is just running out of it!
Look at the melted cheese.
And of course the Throwdown photo.
Thanks for looking & this is a great dish to have for company. We had 2 couples over for this & they helped set up the photo for the Throwdown. As soon as this photo was taken the chicken was gone in a flash. As for the carcass, we boiled it down & combined it with the drippings for some wonderful chicken stock.