City Palate publisher/editor Kathy Richardier’s barbecue has won prizes at barbecue competitions. This chicken is barbecue-as-noun – cooked over low charcoal-and-wood-smoke heat for a long time – not grilled. If you don’t want to smoke it, you can cook it on your home grill or on a small portable grill at the picnic site. Either way, smoked or grilled chicken is great picnic food.
- skin-on chicken breasts or thighs, as many as you need
- French’s yellow mustard
- granulated garlic
- a good dry rub (many are available)
- apple juice (for spraying)
- a good barbecue sauce (for basting)
- apple or cherry wood (for smoking)
Prepare your smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temp up to about 220°F. While the smoker preps itself, rub the chicken all over with mustard, sprinkle lightly all over with granulated garlic and then sprinkle more heavily all over with the dry rub. Allow to rest about 15 minutes until the rub starts to glisten. Place the chicken skin-side up on the cooking grate and smoke for 3 to 3-1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature on an instant-read thermometer reads about 160°F. Use the fruitwood as the flavouring agent, adding a handful or so to the coals about every half hour.
After about 1 hour, spray the chicken with apple juice, then spray again one or two more times. A half hour before the chicken is finished, baste it all over with barbecue sauce. When the chicken is finished, you can eat it right away. Or, refrigerate it until picnic time – smoked chicken is excellent either hot or cool.
Slice the breast meat for serving; thighs are served whole. Mmmmm, yum.