Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Grilled / Smoked Chicken

There are 3 types of grilled chicken - VERY GOOD, SO SO, AND BAD. These two whole "all natural" Tyson birds (which I halved) happened to fall into the VERY GOOD category, much to my surprise. I have always believed that it is all the little "extras" you do when cooking anything that makes the difference so I try to always brine my chicken the day before and air dry them in the fridge overnight. This time however due to a busy day working outside, I skipped the brine step. While the smoker / grill was heating up, I mixed several tbs of Five Spice into little room temp butter and let it get hard in the freezer to insert under the skin on the thighs and breast. Seasoned the bird on both sides and popped them into a 325 degree cooker for about 1 hour on the skin side before turning them over to cook another 30 min or so to an internal breast temp of about 165 - 170. I don't think they got much over the 170 while resting with a foil cover in a pan before we made the pictures and they were done to perfection. Which brings to mind another thing I have always believed held true when grilling and even cooking great BBQ, which is that, cooking to the perfect finished temp, is one of the main ingredients.
I thought a few Stuffed and Wrapped Jalapenos and Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots would be good with the chicken and of course they are good with anything or all by themselves. These were mild peppers and they have to be for us to enjoy them even though I consider myself a pepperhead. The Tots are tricky and you have to let them thaw in order to get a toothpick threw them and you also have to make sure the bacon reaches completely around them as the bacon is what holds them together while they cook, the toothpick just holds the bacon.

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