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Bacon Butter and Chives Smoked Chicken

A couple of Thanksgivings ago, we learned what great things bacon butter can do to poultry and here we are doing it again on a smoked chicken with the addition of some chives.
Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Jeff Phillips

Ingredients

  • 1-2 whole chickens
  • 1 gallon of brine (recipe below)
  • 1 stick or ¼ lb of butter (leave out for a couple of hours to soften)
  • 4 slices of bacon , raw and chopped into small pieces
  • 3 TBS of chives , chopped
  • Jeff’s original rub recipe
  • Jeff's Texas style rub

Instructions

  • Cut along both sides of the backbone to remove it.
  • Once the backbone is removed, press the chicken open so that it lays open like a book.
  • Create a brine from 1 gallon of cold water and 1 cup of coarse kosher salt and mix together until the water returns to clear.
  • Place the chicken into a lidded container or zip top bag and pour the brine over the chicken to cover.
  • Refrigerate the chicken for 4-6 hours while it brines.
  • While the chicken is brining, make the bacon butter mixture by adding 1 stick of butter, 3 TBS of chopped chives, 1 TBS of Jeff's original rub and 4 slices of uncooked, chopped bacon to a small mixing bowl.
  • Mix the bacon butter ingredients together until it is well combined.
  • When the chicken is finished brining, discard the brine and rinse the chicken under cold water.
  • Set the chicken breast sides up on the cutting board and work the skin around the breast loose with your hands.
  • Stuff the bacon butter mixture under the skin of the chicken.
  • Brush olive oil onto the outside of the skin and season generously with Jeff's Texas style rub recipe or a salt/pepper mixture.
  • Place the chicken into the smoker breast side up and cook at 225-325°F until it reaches 165°F in the thickest part. Some smokers will not cook beyond 225-240°F but you can get the chicken done faster and get a better bite through on the skin from higher temperatures if your smoker will do it.
  • Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before carving and serving.