If it looks like chicken, tastes like chicken why don’t we just smoke another chicken? The only logical reason that I can think of is everyone can have something different as far as how it is seasoned, inside and out. It’s a great way to say try out four of five different rubs at the same time to see which you prefer. They also do have that “fun” factor too with their size. Who doesn’t like to sit down with a whole chicken on their plate! Read on for this easy to follow recipe which allows each family member to “customize” their own bird just the way they like it. The hardest part of this recipe is trying to remember who’s is who’s! Tonight it was just the two of us, so it wasn’t too bad, just imagine though keeping a dozen or so birds straight!
Wash the birds with cold water and pat dry. Then it’s decision time, and there are a bunch of them. What to rub it with – olive oil or butter, what to season it with, dry rub, poultry rub, or any combination of the 42 different spices you have at your fingertips, and lastly the decision to what to stuff it with. Stuff it with plain white rice, brown rice, seasoned rice or traditional stuffing, there are many options available to you. Just like having your own personal pan pizza, made just how you like it versus one large pizza that everyone must share.
Tonight we went with a garlic infused olive oil and stuffed it with Spanish rice, only because that was the only rice we had, it turned out just fine. My wife wanted a lemon pepper seasoning and I went with my own DRY RUB, a little hot with a great meld of spices.
The first step is actually making whatever rice or stuffing you plan to use and set aside to cool down. Go ahead and start your smoker setting the temperature to 325°. Next, rub each bird with the desired olive oil you have selected, make sure to coat all sides, under the wings, and inside the cavity too.
Next, rub the birds with each person’s desired seasoning(s), again making sure that you rub it all over, inside and out. Using olive oil works out real well in two ways. First it coats the bird keeping the natural juices of the meat inside and allows for the seasoning to stick to the skin. Secondly it keeps the skin from drying out, you don’t have to baste or spritz the birds at all.
The last step before the birds go on the smoker is to stuff the cavity full with your prepared rice/stuffing mix. You will want to stuff as much as you can into the bird since the cavity is not very large.
As you can see I put a considerable amount of rub on mine to the right above and placed them on Bradley rack for easy transportation to and from the smoker. You could wrap the ends of the drumsticks and wings with foil to block them from getting too dark, but frankly there is so little meat, at least on the wings that it doesn’t really matter.
Once your smoker (or grill using indirect heating) is ready place the rack right on the grate with the breast side up. Regardless of the number of hens you are smoking it should take about an hour and a half. I still verify with a thermopen that the thickest part of the breast is at 180°, you can serve them immediately. How easy is that!
You don’t have to have the same old grilled chicken with the only variation being the flavor BBQ sauce on a piece or two. This dish allows you to get creative with spices, allows your guests to be served they they like it and not just the way the cook serves it. It’s also another great dish to have the kids help out in the kitchen; what a great way to introduce them at an early age to the world of spices and to not settle for the same old same old.