[Edits - not enough characters! Gonna paraphrase then] I made this for a 4th of july get together and got rave reviews. The recipe does need a bit of tweaking though. For starters, there's NO WAY 3 tablespoons is enough salt for a bird that size and as much liquid. What's a brine without it tasting like..brine?! Take it for what it's worth, I used 5oz of Kosher salt and ~5lb bird. I was considering adding more salt but it tasted ok. Here's a reference if you'd like a useful read: http://bbq.about.com/od/spicesseasonings/a/aa102007a.htm The bird didn't absorb much of the flavors but came out juicy so I know the brine worked. Even after only soaking for 13 hours in the fridge. Next time I'll steep the ingrediants for a bit after boil so the flavor permiates the brine for absorption. Cooking: Butterfly the chicken; electric smoker; 5 hours; bourbon soaked chips + water; used the brine in my misting bowl; smells amazing, tastes like chicken
Fantastic Bourbon Smoked Chicken
After Steven Raichlen sent us this recipe in 2011, we declared it the most beautiful and best-tasting chicken we’d ever had. To reinforce the whiskey flavor in the brine and basting butter, Steve says to use Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chips for smoking--widely available in grill and gourmet shops. This smoked chicken recipe is so wonderfully moist and flavorful, it doesn't need added embellishment.
More From Cooking Light
Total: 20 Hours, 35 Minutes
- Calories: 299
- Fat: 12.6g
- Saturated fat: 4.4g
- Monounsaturated fat: 4.3g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 2.3g
- Protein: 35.8g
- Carbohydrate: 6.2g
- Fiber: 1g
- Cholesterol: 114mg
- Iron: 1.8mg
- Sodium: 560mg
- Calcium: 30mg
- 2 quarts water
- 9 tablespoons bourbon, divided
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 quarts ice water
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 small Fuji apple, cored and quartered
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 (4-pound) whole chicken
- 2 cups applewood chips
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1. Combine 2 quarts water, 1/2 cup bourbon, sugar, and kosher salt in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Add ice water and next 7 ingredients (through lemon), and cool to room temperature. Add chicken to brine; cover and refrigerate 18 hours, turning chicken occasionally.
- 2. Soak wood chips in water for 1 hour; drain.
- 3. Remove the chicken from brine; pat chicken dry with paper towels. Strain brine through a sieve; discard brine and reserve 2 apple quarters, 2 lemon quarters, 2 onion quarters, and garlic. Discard remaining solids. Sprinkle chicken cavity with pepper; add reserved solids to chicken cavity. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Tie legs.
- 4. Remove the grill rack, and set aside. Prepare the grill for indirect grilling, heating one side to high and leaving one side with no heat. Pierce the bottom of a disposable aluminum foil pan several times with the tip of a knife. Place pan on heat element on heated side of grill; add 1 cup wood chips to pan. Place another disposable aluminum foil pan (do not pierce pan) on unheated side of grill. Pour 2 cups water in pan. Let chips stand for 15 minutes or until smoking; reduce heat to medium-low. Maintain temperature at 275°.
- 5. Coat the grill rack with cooking spray; place on grill. Place chicken, breast side up, on grill rack over foil pan on unheated side. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon bourbon and butter; baste chicken with the bourbon mixture. Close lid, and cook for 2 hours at 275° or until thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Add remaining 1 cup wood chips halfway through cooking time. Place chicken on a platter; cover with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes. Discard the skin before serving.
This recipe originally ran in Cooking Light August, 2011 and was updated for the November, 2012 25th anniversary issue.
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