Smoked Citrus Chicken
Smoked chicken! Mmmm! The smoke and the citrus sauce in this recipe compliment each other very well.
Okay, baking chicken in the oven is less work than pulling out the old smoker or smokestack. But once you've tried citrus sauce on smoked chicken, I think you'll agree it's worth the extra effort.
- 5 5 5 pounds chicken breasts or thighs
- 3 3 3 qts water
- 1 1 1 qt orange juice
- 5 5 5 oz kosher salt *
- 1 1 1 Tsp white pepper
- 1 1 1 cup orange marmalade
- 1/2 1/2 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 2 2 Tbs lime juice
- 2 2 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 2 2 2 Tbs honey
- 2 2 57, Tbs favorite sauce (Heinz 57, Teryaki, etc.)
- 1/2 1/2 1/2 Tsp salt
- 1/2 1/2 1/2 Tsp black pepper
Combine the water, orange juice, salt, and white pepper, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Cool the brine to 40 degrees before adding the chicken pieces. Soak the chicken in this citrus brine for two hours, in the fridge.
Combine the marmalade, juices, honey, Heinz 57, salt, and black pepper at least an hour ahead of time. As an option, you can add some heat to the mix...cayenne pepper powder or red pepper flakes to taste will warm it well.
Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse, drain, and dry with paper towels. Brush the chicken pieces with oil, season with pepper, and put in a 225F smoker.
Apple wood is a good choice for smoke here. Plan on smoking the chicken for 2 to 4 hours at this temperature.
After two hours, check the internal temperature of the chicken. Remove thighs when they're at 175 degrees F, and breasts at 165F. Cover them and let them rest for twenty minutes.
Plate the smoked chicken onto a platter, and drizzle on half of the citrus sauce. Serve the chicken, with the remaining sauce for dipping. Enjoy
NOTE: If you prefer chicken with crispy skin, run your smoker a little hotter, between 275-300 degrees. The chicken will be done within a couple of hours at this temperature. Check often, moving the pieces around as needed to prevent burning or overcooking.
MY COMMENT: I usually smoke ribs and chicken together. I prepare the ribs and place in smoker for 4 hrs at 225 degrees then remove, baste w/BBQ sauce and WRAP in foil and RETURN to smoker. I increase the temp to 275 degrees and then place the chicken in to smoke with the ribs for 1.5 hrs. Sometimes I'll remove the chicken and place on gas grill at medium temp for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it though because the sugars int he glaze will burn.