Smokin’ With the Dutchess – Smoked Bourbon Chicken
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Here it is, folks – fresh off the “Dutch” presses! Another in our Smokin’ with the Dutchess series by Hanneke Eerden. Enjoy!
Smoked Bourbon Chicken
A few weeks ago one of my friends, Debra, who lives in Kentucky, sent me the magazine “The Bourbon Review.” I won’t go into the details as to why she sent it to me, if you read my website regularly you’ll know a little bit already.
The “Bourbon Review” (www.gobourbon.com ) is a very beautiful and elegant magazine, with lots of information about Bourbon plus some recipes, too! I saw two interesting ones, so I asked the editor for permission to use these, and they approved. Lucky me and lucky you, because now I can show and tell you all about The Smoked Bourbon Chicken. (No, it’s not a fairytale!)
Smoked chicken is one of my favorite dishes to cook on my Weber Kettle. I hardly ever use the same recipe, because I think that’s boring and there are so many tasty recipes to explore! And as I usually do, I changed the original brine recipe a little bit. I can’t help it, as I hardly stick with original recipes. It’s not because I think I can do it better, it’s just that I normally think it will taste better for the result I have in my mind.
Do you do the same thing? You know, when you read a recipe you can already taste and smell the result? That’s tough isn’t it…? Anyway, that’s what happened here. Now, imagine a chicken with a Bourbon taste and smell. That’s as close to heaven on a plate as you can get, I say!
It may sound weird to you, but I’ve never brined chicken before. I always marinade it overnight and that’s it. For some reason, the idea of brining chicken just never got me interested enough to give it a try. I faced the same issue here. To brine or not to brine, that was the question!
Well, I don’t think I brined the chicken this time, as I used buttermilk in the ‘soaking’ mixture. So, it’s probably more of a marinade. But, I definitely must give brining a try soon. Can you guys share some of your favorite chicken brines in the comments section here? That would be great!
OK. So, the marinade I made can also be used when you want a change of pace for your chicken wings, of course!
Buttermilk Spicy Marinade
The ingredients for the marinade are:
- ½ teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 cup Bourbon
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chile pepper seasoning
Mix all these ingredients in a large bag, add the chicken and put it in the fridge until the next day.
Wow, the smell of Bourbon was great by the way!
Getting that Smoked BBQ Flavor Going
For the smoking, I had the perfect wood chunks in mind to use. What’s your reaction when I say: whiskey soaked almond wood chunks ? Yep, perfect! Last year I got some bags of different wood chunks from Baxter’s Original (http://www.baxtersoriginal.com ): Cherry, Peach, Plum and this whiskey variety, which I love!
I soaked some chunks in water for about 20 minutes and then added them to the hot coals on my Weber kettle.
I placed the chicken upside down (belly down) on the grate. Just to see if this would make a difference in the end result.
Prepping the Bourbon Chicken Glaze
I kept the recipe for the bourbon glaze the same, because it was perfect as it was described in the magazine. The next time I would make half of the recipe because I had a lot of glaze left.
The ingredients for the glaze are:
- 1.5 cups pure maple syrup
- 1.5 cups Bourbon
- 3 tbs butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
Add 1.25 cups of the Bourbon and the maple syrup to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and let it reduce by ¾. Add the butter and let it boil for 2 minutes. Add the salt and the remaining ¼ cup of Bourbon.
I brushed the chicken three times with this glaze. The total amount of time it took to smoke the chicken was 1.5 hours.
Every time I smoke a chicken I say that it can’t get any better. I this case, I was right. This recipe wasn’t better, it was different. But, it was just as delicious as the previous recipes I’ve used.
Things to Note for Next Time
Two things I will consider changing next time I’m going to smoke a bird. I liked the marinade with the buttermilk (the meat was really more moist and tasteful), and I will also put the bird upside down on the grill (belly down). Because I don’t know which one of these techniques caused the meat to be more juicy, I’ll try each of these two things in a separate recipe.
It’s a never ending learning process, and I don’t mind at all!!
As always ~Bon Appetit! And be sure to check out the other BBQ Recipes in the Smokin’ with the Dutchess series!