I just started smoking last fall but have been cooking and grilling for years. For the first few months I have been trying to learn the basics and have enjoyed myself and learned a lot, largely due to the help of this forum. Now I am getting into the part of cooking that I love, experimenting and making food to meet my tastes.
I have done a couple of smoked chickens and have got the basics down for my Bradley. It doesn't generate enough heat to smoke chicken and crisp the skin so I need to smoke in the Bradley and finish on my Weber Genesis grill.
In my grilling experience, I developed a marinade/baste with pineapple and soy sauce that isn't quite a teriyaki sauce but gives a sweet/salty taste I like. I have called it Island Sauce. The recipe is:
1 cup canned pineapple pieces with the juice
1/2 cup light soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Put all ingredients in a blender and puree until the pineapple is broken down.
I would marinade chicken in this and baste the chicken while barbecuing over indirect heat.
I decided to see if I could use this sauce for smoking chicken.
I brined the chicken overnight in Chef Jimmy J's brine from this post on the forum (thanks JJ) http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/124234/favorite-whole-chicken-brine
I rinsed it with cold water and dried it inside and out with a paper towel.
I spatchcocked the chicken by cutting out the spine.
I then cut out the breastbone by running a paring knife down both sides and pulling it out.
As I was going to be using a strong baste, I didn't use a rub but just sprinkled the chicken lightly with seasoned salt.
I preheated the Bradley to 250 F (about as high as it will go) and started up my A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker (AMNPS) with a mixture of oak and cherry.
I put the spatchcocked chicken in the Bradley.
Every half hour, I brushed the chicken with the Island Sauce.
It took 2 1/2 hours to get the internal temperature (IT) of the thigh to 145 F. When it did, I took it out of the Bradley and put it over indirect heat in the Weber Genesis grill which was preheated. I put it over indirect heat and kept the temperature inside the covered grill as close to 350 F as I could.
Every 10 minutes, I brushed the chicken with sauce and turned it.
After the first turn, a bit of an emergency came up when a neighbour needed help. I had to shut the grill down for 20 minutes. On my return, I started the grill again and continued turning and basting every 10 minutes.
Including the break, it took 50 minutes to get the internal temperature of the thigh to 165 F.
The chicken darkened a bit more than I would like as it had to reheat.
I cut the chicken to pieces and served.
The verdict, the result is much better smoked than it is grilled. Even with the unexpected break, the chicken was moist with the brining, the smoke added an additional level of flavour and the overall result was sweet, moist and salty in just the right proportions. Smoking has taken one of my best grilling recipes and made it better.
I will be making my chicken this way again.