I absolutely love smoked poultry. Well, I love anything smoked really but I especially love slow smoked chicken and turkey. This recipe I brined a whole chicken for 24 hrs, marinated it in a jerk rub for a bit, then grilled it beer can style over soaked Pecan wood chunks. The result was divine! I nearly missed snapping any photos because we were so ready to gobble it.
Pecan Smoked Jerk Chicken
Step One: Brine the Chicken
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Salt
2 cups Water
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Star Anise
1 dried Chile de arbol
Several Black Peppercorns
2 cloves of Garlic
1 lemon, halved
1 free range whole Chicken
Dissolve the salt and brown sugar in the two cups of water in a sauce pan over a high flame. Once dissolved, turn off the flame and add the remaining ingredients (except the chicken) to the pan. Allow the concentrated brine to completely cool. Adding ice cubes can help cool it down faster. Place the whole chicken in a food grade gallon bucket, large container with a well fitting lid, or brining bag. Pour in the concentrated brine then completely cover the chicken with water. Transfer to the fridge and brine the chicken overnight.
Step Two: Prepare the Jerk Rub & Beer Can
1 brined whole chicken
about 1/4 cup EVOO
1 tsp ground Allspice
1 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Raw Sugar
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp of Cayenne, Habanero, or other hot chili powder (add less or more depending on heat preferences)
1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground Cloves
1/4 tsp ground Ginger
about 1/4 tsp grated fresh Nutmeg
Several cracks of Black Pepper
In a small mixing bowl combine all the ingredients (except the chicken) and mix well adding more EVOO as need to make a paste. Set aside. Carefully remove the chicken from the brine, and discard the brine. Pat the chicken completely dry with paper towels. Set aside. Prep a can of beer to grill the chicken on by using a beer can grill holder and covering a cast iron skillet with aluminum foil. Place the beer can holder inside the lined skillet. Open a can of beer with a can opener and pour out (into a chilled beer glass) half of the beer. Add to the can of beer any additional seasonings you like. I added 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 2 cloves of garlic, about 1/4 tsp of Hickory smoked salt, cinnamon stick, black pepper, half a lemon, and 2 tabs of butter. Set the beer can in the holder then carefully slide the chicken on top. Once the chicken is secured, rub the chicken thoroughly with the prepared jerk rub. Set aside and let the chicken marinate in the rub at least 30 min.
Step Three: Smoking the Chicken
The night before you intend to grill, soak several Pecan wood chunks in water. You can soak the wood chips for longer if desired. Prepare a charcoal grill. Once the coals are white hot, add the Pecan wood chunks. Carefully carry the seasoned beer can chicken to the grill. Cover the chicken and allow it to cook until the leg/thigh meat reaches an internal temperature of 175, about 45 min to an hour or longer. Once cooked through, remove chicken from the grill, and once it has cooled somewhat carefully remove it from the beer can. Set the chicken on a cutting board and let it rest at least 20 minutes before carving. Serve with coconut rice.
Coconut Rice with Peas and Saffron
1 can Coconut milk (should equal about 2 cups, if not add a bit of water)
1 sm pinch of Saffron
1 sm pinch of Salt and Pepper
1/2 to 1 cup of Frozen Sweet Peas, reserved
1/2 cup toasted Coconut, reserved
1 cup Jasmine rice, rinsed
In a med sauce pan over med high flame, bring the coconut milk to a boil. Stir in the saffron threads, salt and pepper. Add the rice and stir once more while reducing the flame to low. Cover the rice and simmer until the rice is cooked through 20 to 30 min. Once cooked, fluff the rice with fork, stir in peas and toasted coconut, cover once more and let the rice set 5 to 10 min longer. Serve with jerk chicken.