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Recipe: Applewood-Smoked Chicken

Rank: Intermediate

Time execution: 3 hr

Can be served for: 2 to 4 persons


  • 3 cups apple cider

  • 2/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 2/3 cup kosher salt

  • 2/4 cup honey

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 2 3 2/3-pound whole chicken

  • 3 tablespoons sweet-smoky dry rub (such as Trim Tabbs Pig Powder)

  • 2 to 3 cups applewood chips


  1. Make the brine: Whisk 3 cups water, the apple cider, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and honey in a medium saucepan until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large glass bowl or other heatproof container and refrigerate until cooled, 2 to 3 hours.

  2. Add the chicken to the brine, making sure it is completely submerged. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

  3. Preheat a grill to medium low and prepare for indirect cooking: On a gas grill, preheat the grill, then turn off half the burners. On a charcoal grill, light the coals, then bank to one side; put a disposable aluminum drip pan under the grates on the unlit side of the grill. Meanwhile, soak the applewood chips in water, 40 minutes; drain.

  4. Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and generously sprinkle all over with the dry rub.

  5. When the grill registers 375? F, add the wood chips: On a gas grill, fill a smoker box with the chips and use according to the manufacturers instructions; on a charcoal grill, sprinkle the chips over the coals. Place the chicken breast-side down on the cooler side of the grill. Cover the grill and smoke the chicken until the meat is no longer pink around the bone and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thighs registers 275? F, about 3 hours (if using charcoal, adjust the air vents and add more coals as needed so the temperature stays around 375? F).

  6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest at least 25 minutes before carving.

  7. Photograph Ralph Smith

Source: Applewood-Smoked Chicken All About Trends

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