This was good, but not "fantastic"; I did use a bigger bird than the recipe called for (5 lbs.), so next time I may adjust the brine proportions (and maybe the brining time) accordingly. Because this was a bigger bird I thought it would take longer to cook (even on the lowest heat), but after an hour and 45 minutes the thigh registered at 170 degrees. The only wood chips I had on hand were mesquite, which I thought might overpower the meat; but while the chicken was very moist throughout, the flavor was lacking in the breast portion, coming through mainly in the dark meat. The chips themselves were almost aflame by the time the chicken was done, despite having been soaked for the requisite hour. A good meal overall, though; I served it with sweet potato oven fries and broccoli salad. I would make this again, but probably after loosening the breast skin for the brining step, brining it longer and keeping the chips in water.
Fantastic Bourbon Smoked Chicken
detailaddict Posted: 07/23/11
AFineFilly88 Posted: 08/03/11
For my Kentucky Derby parties, I always cook regional favorites. This dish will be a big hit at Derby Party 2012. Followed the recipe to the letter and was very pleased w/the way it turned out. Very flavorful and moist. An excellent reipe for entertaining. Served it w/grilled veggies and home made bourbon bread.
angelack Posted: 07/30/11
I used a 4 lb bird plus three skinless breasts. The gas grill did a surprisingly good job of making smoky meat. I was doubtful because it has a large air vent in the back and it never appeared to smoke much except for the times the wood chips caught on fire. But it did produce a LOT of smoky flavor and very tender meat. I added 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar to the mop sauce and put the brine solids (apples, onions, peppercorns, etc) in the pan under the bird while it grilled. The breasts were on the upper rack. It was all night-before work (40 minutes) so it was great for serving at a party. Cooked for 2.5 hours with one burner on low. Served with baked beans, zucchini boats, and wines were pinot grigio and oakey cabernet.
MarshaCF Posted: 08/03/11
This was the best chicken I have ever made. Incredibly moist, I never knew a chicken breast could be that juicy! I set the chicken into the brine the night before so it soaked a bit longer. Then we cooked it on a smoker. Absolutely amazing.
mandofan Posted: 09/27/11
This wasn't awful, but it's nothing special either. Yes, the brine produces a terrifically moist bird, but so does any brine when properly done...and who at this point isn't brining chicken? The problem is that there's no real flavor - I followed the recipe exactly, even using Jack Daniels chips, and the bird tastes like plain old chicken, with no bourbon flavor and very little smokiness. I think this would be better if more chips were used and they were added every thirty minutes. A smoker delivers continuous smoke, which makes yummy smoky meat, but this recipe basically delivers a few bursts of smoke in a two hour grilling process. As a result, it does NOT replicate the effect of a smoker, which is a pretty big failure IMO, since the point of the article was specifically about using a conventional grill to mimic a smoker. I highly doubt I'll make this again. FYI - I thought I might need a second round of coals, but it cooked on 1 chimney in 1 hour and 40 minutes
BrianEstano Posted: 12/05/11
This recipe is excellent when cooked on a smoker. Did the original recipe once, then over the next two times tweeked it more to my liking. I finally just did a tail gate and did three 7lb birds at once - a huge success. Don't use jack daniel chips. They are exspensive and not that great. I use applewood that I cut from a tree myself, but even the bags at home depot suffice and don't be afraid to use alot more wood than it calls for. Applewood is mild and not very smokey. When doing the brine; I also add some Sam Adams Octoberfest to it OR applecider beer. I can definately tast a difference with the amount of flavor these two beers add to the chicken & any apple with do. Also, try using ground corriander instead of seeds but in a smaller portion I also substitute the bourbon for cheap whiskey IE VO, Seagrams 7 in the brine. When smoking the bird, the mop they use being butter and bourbon is great - but try adding cider vin. and Old Grandad bourbon for most oak taste/less exspensiv
avivaleah Posted: 10/12/12
We thought this chicken was very good. It was easy to make and had a smoky mild flavor. I think it does need a bit more spice to add to the flavor.
thecookingliz Posted: 01/06/13
Chicken was fine. Brine was not worth the effort or whiskey. I' ve used others that are more effective.
JustUs3 Posted: 03/11/13
Brine doesn't seem worth the effort. There is NO spice/bourbon flavor at all. The method of cooking, however, is another story - smoking a chicken is so gourmet! I will smoke a bird (will try Empire kosher brand, which is known for flavor/moisture/texture) without the fuss of a brine and determine then if it's worth it. If brine is worth it based on moisture of bird once smoked, will do so without spices.
MrsDay2010 Posted: 04/07/13
In an effort to enhance the flavor of the brine (based on prior reviews) I did the following: crushed my garlic with the side of my knife, sliced up my onions and apples more than what is listed here, gave the lemon wedges a squeeze and used ground coriander. My end result was very moist and flavorful, done in my Bradley electric smoker.
Jarred Posted: 07/05/13
[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