This is the first newsletter recipe of 2016 and I wanted to start it off with something wonderful. I didn't have to think too long to decide it had to be smoked chicken quarters. I am still running the Traeger pellet smoker through a lot of paces so I turned up the heat on this one to get some good bite through on the chicken skin.
In this edition, I am going to share my brand new mayo glaze which is, you guessed it, mayonnaise-based with chives, garlic and Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here).
That bacon wrapped corn on the cob you see in the picture above was also an experiment that turned out tremendously well and I'll give you some information on that in the Questions and Comments area below.
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Brine time: 4 hours
- Cook time: 1 to 1.5 hours
- Smoker temperature: 275°F
- Meat finish temperature: 165°F
- Recommended wood: Pecan
- Chicken quarters (1 or more per person)
- Brining solution (below)
- Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here)
- Mayo Glaze (recipe below)
Get the Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce
In this smoked chicken quarters recipe, I created a mayonnaise based glaze and added the rub directly to that. The glaze keeps the chicken moist and acts as a vehicle for the seasoning of the chicken. You can also have great results by applying the rub directly to the chicken quarters.
I promise you’ll love my dry rub/seasoning recipe and my barbecue sauce recipe or you don’t pay!
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Make a basic brine by adding 1 cup of coarse kosher salt (Mortons in the blue box) to 1 gallon of cold water.
Stir until the salt is dissolved and the water returns to clear.
Add about ¾ cup of brown sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved into the liquid.
Place the chicken quarters into a large zip top bag or other plastic, glass or stainless steel container.
Pour the cold brine solution over the chicken, put a lid or clear plastic over the top and put it in the fridge for about 4 hours.
When the brining time is complete, rinse the chicken really well to remove any residual salt.
While the chicken is brining, go ahead and mix up the mayo glaze.
Mayo Glaze for Chicken
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 2 TBS Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here)
- 1 TBS garlic, minced
- 2 TBS chives, chopped
Combine ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to use.
(I made several batches of this until I came up with the perfect ratios of ingredients. I have to admit the stuff is very tasty and I look forward to trying it on other types of meat as well.)
Put the chicken quarters into a pan to reduce the mess.
Place a dollop (a heaping TBS) of the mayo glaze onto each chicken quarter
Use your hands to massage the glaze all over the chicken trying to even get some down under the skin wherever possible.
I transferred them to a Bradley rack for easy transporting to and from the smoker.
Please note: Some of you may have smokers that cannot cook this hot and if that is the case, no problem. Just set up for 225°F knowing that it will take slightly longer than mine did.
Place the chicken quarters directly on the smoker grate and let them smoke away for about 1.5 hours or until they reach 165 in the thickest part.
The skin definitely gets a nice bite through at this temperature but to enhance this, you can crank up the heat during the last 30 minutes or you can remove them 10 degrees early and place them on a very hot grill or under the oven broiler for a super high-heat finish.
The mayo glaze was phenomenal on the chicken and one that I will be using again very soon.
If you have to add wood chips or chunks for smoke, I recommend keeping the smoke going for the entire time on these or for at least 1 hour.
When the chicken reaches 165°F in the thickest part, it is done and ready to eat.
Serve immediately for best results.
What if I don't have a smoker yet?
As many of you have asked recently, yes, you can do these in the house oven using the same instructions at 275-300°F. This process is going to get you some really good tasting chicken but it won't be as good as it could be with the natural smoke flavor. Get a smoker soon and you'll quickly discover what you've been missing.
Can these be prepped ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to smoke?
Yes, brine, rinse and apply the glaze then place them in a covered container and into the fridge until ready to cook but no more than 2 days (per the USDA).
What about the bacon wrapped corn on the cob in the picture?
I knew you'd ask so I wrote a post on how to do that at http://www.smoking-meat.com/bacon-wrapped-corn-on-the-cob
***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!
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- Chicken quarters 1 or more per person
- Brining solution below
- Jeff's original rub
- Mayo Glaze recipe below
Add 1 cup of coarse kosher salt to 1 gallon of cold water. Stir until water returns to clear and salt is dissolved.
Add ¾ cup brown sugar and stir until dissolved into brine.
Place chicken pieces into zip top bag and pour brine solution over chicken to cover.
Seal bag or cover brining container and put into the fridge for about 4 hours.
Remove brined chicken from fridge and rinse well under cold water to remove residual salt.
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel
Make the glaze while the chicken is brining
Into a small mixing bowl combine ½ cup of real mayonnaise, 2 TBS of Jeff's original rub, 1 TBS minced garlic and 2 TBS chopped chives
Place a heaping TBS of the mayo glaze onto each chicken quarter.
Use your hands to massage the glaze all over the chicken getting it under the skin wherever possible.
Chicken is now ready for the smoker.
Set up the smoker for cooking at 275°F using pecan or other smoking wood.
Once the smoker is ready, place the chicken directly on the smoker grate.
Let the chicken cook for 1 to 1.5 hours or until it reaches 160°F in the thickest part.
For extra good chicken skin, remove the chicken before it is completely done (about 145-150°F) and place it on a very hot grill or under the oven broiler for a few minutes.
Be sure it reaches a final temperature of 160°F before calling it done.