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HOT LEGS in WSM: Recipe Experiment & Q-View

forluvofsmoke

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We got a call from our daughter today inquiring about doing a little gathering for Sunday dinner. My wife picked her up and they ran to the store and grabbed up a bunch of wings and legs. None of us had frozen wings laying around and she wanted to do hot wings in the oven. I said I wanted some smoke, either wings or legs...they grabbed what they could and beat feet home. I'm smoking the legs at home to bring over when they're ready. I told the wife that about all they're gonna find will be frozen on a Sunday, and I started mixing my salt-water bath before she got back.

The 5.5lbs of legs were 3 pks of 5 and 2 of the 3 were frozen, so they got several 30-second trips through the nuke-box until I could separate them, then they all went into a salt-water bath to finish thawing while I prepped my dry rub. My daughter has about 10lbs of wings...there's only 6 adults attending, so it's gonna be a pig-out fest!!!

I took 8 Tbsp of Wild Hawg Rub and added 1 tsp Cayenne pepper, 1 tsp fine ground black pepper and 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, all to jack it up a few notches. The Cinnamon is added to reduce bitterness in the aftertaste of Cayenne...it helps.

This is the first time I've used this rub on poultry and the first time I've modified it at all...I may have named it prematurely...
...as it could prove to be quite good on poultry...beef, well, maybe I'll give it a shot in the near future, but beef is a stronger flavor, and it's not intended for that. I developed it for pork ribs, but it's so smooth and mild that I just had to give it a shot on these legs, only I wanted some heat this time around...we play the "who can handle these hot wings/legs" game once in a while...we do our best to help stimulate the dairy industry, if you know what I mean. The original rub tastes wicked-spicy and hot when you take a pinch of it, but once it's applied to meat and cooked it really settles down into a tasty and smooth blend...it's VERY deceiving. So, that said, I'll have to give you the verdict after we all get together for this evening's feast.

Pics for proof...LOL!!!

Thawing in salt-water...2.75qts with 3/8 cup salt for 5.5lb chicken legs:


Drained, rubbed and ready for apple smoke:


I started the smoke @ 150* and I'm slowly letting it climb. Temps increased to 200* after 1-1/4 hours, and continued to a peak of 220* by the 2hrs. It should take on a decent amount of smoke at the start (cold start increases smoke reaction time), then after an hour or so the smoke won't matter quite as much because the chicken will be heating through quite a bit and the smoke won't stick nearly as much.

See you soon, ladies:


2-1/2 hours with average temps of ~200*, starting @ 150* with a peak of 220* and they're ready for the taste-test...I had just 3 stragglers running about 10-15* lower and left them on to finish to 168*:


I'll let you know the verdict later after dinner....should be interesting to see how the kids take it...we're in hot/spicy chicken mode tonight.

Eric
 
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hardcookin

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Nice looking chicken!
10lbs of wings will keep you busy. I smoke wings quite a bit.
Looking forward to seeing the results.
 

pc farmer

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Here for the ride.
 

forluvofsmoke

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OK, guys, we have a unanimous decision. I didn't take more pics, 'cuz from the last shot, they went into a preheated crock pot and straight to my daughter's house for dinner.

Flavor and heat of my hot legs compared to oven-roasted hot wings finished with Cookie's Wings and Things Buffalo Sauce:

Legs - great flavor from the rub and smoke, tender, moist, collagen was just melted enough to be sticky...nicely finished.

Heat had a slow onset, which is common of cayenne pepper, with a slight carry-over in heat after eating, but not offensive to most.

The (cookie's) hot wings had that vinegary bite with a little kick in the hinder...I thought they were milder at first, but it caught up to me later...still not offensively hot, though...just enough tom make you think about it a moment or two.

Overall, I think the recipe modification of the Wild Hawg Rub for a spicy, jacked-up chicken leg (or wing) was a good fit for the occasion. If one wanted to experience an adrenaline rush, this won't give you that without the addition of Scotch Bonnet powder, or Thai chili powder, at the very least. I wouldn't go as far as killing this dry rub with a sauce...that would just be quick way to loose all the flavors you built into the rub. It's not packing heat like some of my earlier versions, such as the rubbed, smoked, dipped, smoked Wild Wings, but it won't let you wonder if you just ate a milder seasoned piece of chicken, either. It's got the spice with a light touch of heat...just enough that my wife said "these are hot", which of course brought a response from my oldest boy being "what part of hot don't you understand?" There were garlic/herb oven-roasted wings which she knew were there, but ignored because she wanted to taste the "smoked legs" instead. So, we did all get a little laugh at her expense, but she did ignore the warning signs and later agreed to leave the "hot" stuff alone and ate the garlic/herb wings. She thought the Cookie's wings were hot, too...rightfully so.

Another hit, though...no complaints from those here who can and like to eat spicier food (my wife can't tolerate hot/spicy and she knows it...for a few years she couldn't eat smoked, so things are looking up). Everyone else said this was quite good...it surprised me a little on how much heat it WASN'T packing...I thought it would have been hotter, but then I didn't really figure my ratio of additional black pepper and cayenne before I added it and blended it together. It could use more without turning bitter from the cayenne, I'm sure...then of course the really hot stuff could follow from there, which I will not do...if you can't even taste the chicken, what's the point? But hey, what ever turns your crank, right?

Oh, and leftovers? There are about 3lbs of the Cookie's hot wings (out of 7lbs), 1/2lb of garlic/herb wings (out of 3lbs), and 2 (two) smoked hot legs...I had 4 smoked hot legs and 3 hot wings....we ate quite well tonight!!!

Thanks for peeking!!!

Great smokes to all and to all a good night!!!

Eric
 
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SmokinAl

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The wings look & sound awesome Eric!



Al
 

forluvofsmoke

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Thanks, Al!!! Those legs were carrying a really unique flavor...we enjoyed them.

Eric
 

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