Our savory smoked chicken is equally delicious served cold or at room temperature, so you can cook it well in advance of your get-together. If you have leftovers, shred the meat and stir into leftover Kamut salad--instant lunch. We recommend discarding the skin before you dig in, but if you'd rather enjoy it, it will add 33 calories, 4.3g fat, and 1.2g sat fat to each serving.
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 (3 1/2-pound) whole chickens
2 cups applewood chips
How to Make It
Combine butter, mustard, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and salt in a small bowl.
Remove and discard giblets and necks from chickens. Using a heavy knife or kitchen shears, cut backbones out of the chickens; discard. Open chickens flat, and place on a large cutting board, skin side up. Flatten chickens with the heel of your hand. Starting at the neck, loosen skin from breast and legs. Rub butter mixture evenly under loosened skin. Lift wing tips up and over back. Rub chicken skins with any remaining butter mixture. Cover chickens, and refrigerate overnight.
Prepare grill for indirect grilling. If using gas, heat one side to medium-high and leave one side with no heat. If using a charcoal grill, arrange hot coals on one side of charcoal grate, leaving other side empty. Maintain temperature at 300°. Pierce bottom of a disposable aluminum foil pan several times with the tip of a knife; add wood chips to pan. Place pan on grill rack over heated side of grill. Heat wood chips for 10 minutes or until chips begin to smoke.
Sprinkle chickens with remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Place chickens, meaty side down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray over unheated side of grill. Cover and cook at 300° for 35 minutes. Turn chickens over, moving them over direct-heat side of grill. Cover and cook at 300° for 20 minutes. Gently turn chickens over; cover and cook at 300° for 10 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Remove from grill. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.
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Maybe I shouldn't review this because I did make changes. We have a Traeger pellet grill and I had only hickory pellets on hand - though you can get applewood pellets. I only made one chicken, but it was larger. I didn't butter the meat until the morning of. After an hour and a half the bird still wasn't quite cooked through and I had to zap it a little in microwave to get the juices to run clear. Flavor was good, nice smoked chicken. It was a lot of work though and I don't know that I'd do it again.
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