Smoked Chicken Quarters
Smoked Chicken Quarters is a recipe that we have done a number of times and I have to say it turns out perfect every time! We originally got the recipe from a fantastic book called Smoking Meat by Jeff Phillips, The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue.
This guy really knows his stuff. Whether you are a beginner just starting out or you are a seasoned expert there are always things that you can learn from someone else.
I probably have close to 30 cookbooks on smoking, barbecuing, and grilling alone. In our house, between my wife and I we have over 400 cookbooks, I’m not kidding.
Smoked Chicken Quarters is a great recipe; it is very straight-forward and easy to prepare. I love using the chicken legs and thighs. For this type of recipe the flavors of the dark meat really shine through!
to brine or not to brine?
I know that the first thing you do for this recipe can be a controversial topic; to brine or not to brine. There are people on both sides, top cooks, TV Chefs. Everyone has an opinion.
I have to admit I’m on the side of the people who like to brine their meat. I think it adds moisture to the protein and imparts fabulous flavors that frankly I don’t think you can get any other way.
Saying that if you are on the other side of the fence on this issue, it’s really simple. Don’t brine your protein, easy solution!
That’s the great part of smoking, grilling, and BBQing. Once you have the basic techniques down you can totally experiment and do your own thing.
That is very different than some other types of recipes and cooking. Some recipes require you to follow a very specific process to attain the desired result. If you don’t follow the step by step instructions your recipe will simply not turn out.
Here is a great example of what I am talking about. I recently took a class on how to cook French Macarons.
Now there is a recipe and a process that needs to be followed to the letter in order for them to turn out correctly. It was worth it; man were they good!!
How long does it take to smoke leg quarters?
When you are smoking food one of the key ingredients is time. This is a slow cooking process that cannot be rushed. I am not aware of any other cooking method where you can get this kind of flavor and tenderness into your food.
Sure you can use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker but it is very difficult if not impossible to match the flavors and textures that result from smoking your food.
At a smoking temperature of 225 – 240 degrees F, it will take approximately 4 hours to smoke your chicken quarters. This is, of course, an approximation as there are many variables involved. One tool that you will find invaluable is a good quality meat thermometer.
Finishing Your smoked chicken quarters
Some people do not like the fact that when you smoke poultry the skin is rubbery and can be pretty much inedible.
To avoid this situation cook your poultry to a temperature of 145 degrees F, checking the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh. Then move your meat to a medium hot grill.
Finishing it off on the grill will crisp up the skin; continue cooking until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
After the chicken is done, remove the meat from the bones and pull it into bite size pieces. We like to serve our smoked chicken quarters on top of these out of this world cornmeal griddle cakes.
A quick drizzle with some BBQ sauce and we serve it up. Certainly a southern feast for everyone with great smoky taste! There is very seldom anything in the way of leftovers at the end of this meal!
Everyone Loves when I smoke dinner!
I’m really lucky here at the Noland household. Everyone in our house is always super excited about anything I make in the smoker.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different foods and techniques when you are cooking outdoors. It doesn’t matter if you are smoking, grilling or BBQing, try something new, something different!
Trust me, it won’t take you very long to develop some really great skills to impress your family and friends!
Check out the link to this RECIPE, I know you will love it.