Posts Tagged 'bbq'

Whiskey-Glazed Smoked Chicken

Smoked Chicken

Last December, as we were getting the keys to our new house from our landlord, we walked in and there was a giant box sitting in the middle of the empty living room.  It turns out that Angela bought me a smoker for Christmas. It just turned out that it arrived before we did.

I’ve used it a number of times since then and have mostly stuck to the “classics.” I’ve done pulled pork several times but I have trouble cooking it long enough to get it truly tender (I haven’t made myself get up earlier enough). The same issue came with brisket. But what truly shows the beauty of smoked meat is poultry. It’s not classic barbecue but chicken and turkey absorb the smoke beautifully. Not to mention the gorgeous exterior. I’m already planning to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving this year.

I decided to change things up slightly on this chicken.  I usually smoke foods with hickory but I decided to give mesquite a try. I’ll gladly admit to be a novice smoker but there is a definitive difference between the hickory and the mesquite. The mesquite is a bit sharper and tangier in taste. While I don’t think it would work as well as hickory on pork, it adds a really nice bite to the chicken.

A smoker is really a bit of an extravagance but the more I use it, the more I know I wouldn’t want to live without it.

Whiskey-Glazed Smoked Chicken
Adapted from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing

Brine:
1 gallon/4 liters water
1 1/2 cups /350 g kosher salt
1/2 cup / 125 g sugar
8 tsp / 42 g pink salt

1 3-to-4 lbs. chicken, trussed

Glaze:
1 cup/250 milliliters whiskey
1/2 cup/125 milliliters maple syrup
1/4 packed cup/50 g dark brown sugar
pinch of cayenne pepper

  1. Combine all the brine ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Remove from the heat.  Cool to room temperature.  Chill in the refrigerator until cold.  Place the chicken in the brine, weight it down, and brine it for 18 hours.  Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it under running water, dry it with paper towels, and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  2. An hour before smoking the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator.
  3. Hot smoke the chicken at 200ºF until it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF, 3 to 4 hours.
  4. While the chicken is smoking, place all the glaze ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer until the glaze is reduced to 1 cup.
  5. An hour and a half into smoking the chicken, brush the chicken with some of the glaze.
  6. When the chicken is finished cooking, remove it from the smoker.  Brush it with the remaining glaze and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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Slow cooker “BBQ” Spareribs

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Who doesn’t love pork ribs? Well, I can definitely see those with OCD having a problem with it. But the mess is part of the fun.

Of course to make them for real you need to smoke them low and slow (or at least that’s the rumor). Unfortunately, despite our apartment complex having the name “Patio Gardens” we have neither a patio nor a garden (that’s what we get for living on the second floor), so I can’t actually smoke them over charcoal for hours and hours. That and I have to go to work on Mondays so it couldn’t have been dinner in that case.

Enter the slow cooker. Sure, it’s not real barbeque (hence the quotes in the title; they are not superfluous) but it’s as close as I’m going to get in the near future. And, frankly, it’s still good so who really cares?

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Slow cooker “BBQ” Spareribs

1/4 cup All Purpose Red Rub
1/2 rack pork spareribs (about 2 lbs)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 bottle barbeque sauce (preferably Dinosaur Bar-B-Que)

  1. Preferably one day before serving, trim any excess fat from the spareribs and cover them well with the red rub. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  2. Remove the spareribs from the refrigerator and dry the outside with paper towels (some of the rub will come off). Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat with the canola oil until smoking. Brown the spareribs in the skillet, about 2 to 3 minutes per side (the rib side won’t brown particularly well because of the curvature of the ribs).
  3. Place the spareribs in the slow cooker and cover with barbeque sauce. Cook on low heat for at least 8 hours. Remove from the slow cooker and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 2 to 3.

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All Purpose Red Rub
Adapted from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse

1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup garlic powder
6 tbsp onion powder
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a sealable plastic container and mix well.

Makes 2 3/4 cups.