I know most people are crazy about chicken and turkey breast, but for me dark meat is where it’s at. It has all the flavor and is the most tender cut of poultry. So I go against the grain, as I am prone to do, and always opt for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for almost all of my recipes. Since I don’t eat meat every day, I feel like a little naughty bite of juicy fat is perfectly alright and these smoked chicken thighs were absolutely delectable.
Pecan Smoked Chicken Thighs
1/4 cup Smoked Salt
1/4 cup raw Honey
1 dried Guajillo chili
enough water to submerge the chicken
In a medium saucepan, bring one cup of water to a boil. Add the salt and honey and stir until completely dissolved. Add the dried Guajillo chili. Set aside and allow the brine to cool completely. Once cooled, add the brine to a large container with a lid and then add in the chicken thighs. Add additional water until the thighs are completely submerged. Brine the chicken for at least one hour up to 24 hours or more.
2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup EVOO, or oil of choice
Method: Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. In a small prep bowl add the rub ingredients and EVOO and whisk until well combined. Pour the rub over the chicken thighs and massage into the chicken. Set aside for at least 1/2 an hour.
Several Pecan wood chips, soaked in water at least 1 day
Prepare a charcoal grill. Once the coals are white hot, add in the wood chips. Sear the chicken thighs skin side down on the hottest section of the grill and then move to the coolest section. Cover the chicken and smoke on low heat for 1 to 2 hours depending on the heat of your grill. Once the chicken thighs have reached an internal temperature of 175 degrees, remove from the grill and allow to rest at least 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides.