Shared Plates: July 2017 Contest Winner
Slow and steady wins the race — especially when it comes to barbecue. Al Poe, known for his food blog Poe’s Pig Out, soaks a whole chicken overnight in buttermilk and sea salt, then smokes it for over two hours to achieve the gorgeous bird pictured below. Before it hits the heat, Poe rinses and then rubs the bird down using his own combination of Hungarian smoked paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin.
Inside a basic kettle grill is where the magic happens. Poe uses regular and lump charcoal plus pecan chips to cook and smoke the bird to perfection. “Keep adding pecan chips to keep that smoke rolling,” he says. “Your neighbors ’gonna love you.” This has been Poe’s preferred method for 40 years, he writes, adding that the recipe is “always a winner at many cook outs.”
Pecan Smoked Chicken
Makes One Whole Chicken
Total Time: 10 hours
1 quart buttermilk
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 whole chicken or chicken pieces
Combine buttermilk, salt in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and chill overnight. Drain before using.
For the dry rub
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup smoked Hungarian paprika
¼ cup coarse salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon cumin
Rub drained chicken with spices. Place in kettle grill prepped with a blend of lump charcoal and pecan cooking chunks. Check occasionally and add more pecan chips to continue smoking. Cook for approximately two hours per six pounds of chicken.