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What wood would you use to smoke this chicken?

Googs Jun 14, 2009 12:23 PM

I made this last year and it was great. Making it again tonight. I could go with the tried and true hickory, but I was wondering if anyone had any fun ideas. I have plenty of types of wood chips on hand. Recipe is from Epicurious:

Grilled Citrus Chicken Under a BrickBon Appétit | May 2008
by Amy Finley

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
3 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 whole chicken (about 3 3/4 pounds), neck and giblets removed, butterflied
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 oranges

2 foil-wrapped bricks or 1 cast-iron skillet

Preparation: Whisk juices, olive oil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and garlic in glass baking dish. Add chicken to marinade. Turn to coat; chill 2 hours, turning occasionally. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Mix remaining 2 teaspoons salt, paprika, and pepper in small bowl.

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Slice 1/2 orange into 1/4- to 1/8-inch-thick slices. Remove chicken from marinade; pat dry. Loosen skin from chicken breast and slide 1 to 2 orange slices between skin and breast. Loosen skin from thighs and slide 1 to 2 orange slices between skin and thighs. Rub paprika mixture over both sides of chicken. Place chicken, skin side down, on grill. Place foil-wrapped bricks or cast-iron skillet atop chicken (if using bricks, position 1 brick over top half of chicken and 1 brick over bottom half). Cover and grill until skin is crispy and brown, about 15 minutes. Remove bricks or skillet. Using tongs or 2 large spatulas, turn chicken. Replace bricks or skillet and cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes longer. Let chicken rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place whole orange on grill and cook until slightly charred, turning often, about 1 minute. Cut into wedges and serve alongside for squeezing over chicken.

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  1. goodhealthgourmet RE: Googs Jun 14, 2009 01:32 PM

    mesquite. no contest.

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
      Googs RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 14, 2009 01:39 PM

      I like your confidence. Why mesquite?

      1. re: Googs
        goodhealthgourmet RE: Googs Jun 14, 2009 01:41 PM

        the spicy, earthy sweetness is the perfect complement to the citrus & paprika.

    2. scuzzo RE: Googs Jun 14, 2009 05:26 PM

      I like apple wood with chicken. Or even cherry. I think hickory or mesquite can overwhelm chicken.

      1 Reply
      1. re: scuzzo
        k
        Kelli2006 RE: scuzzo Jun 14, 2009 07:26 PM

        I like the subtle flavors of apple and maple with chicken and pork because mesquite might be too strong.

      2. s
        Shirley_Brandie RE: Googs Jun 14, 2009 06:15 PM

        I wouldn't use ANY wood to cook with, not ever!
        Think about it. If it's dangerous to breathe, why would anyone ingest it?

        12 Replies
        1. re: Shirley_Brandie
          w
          wallyz RE: Shirley_Brandie Jun 15, 2009 07:59 AM

          what do you cook with, Natural Gas? Try breathing that for a while.

          1. re: Shirley_Brandie
            Den RE: Shirley_Brandie Jun 15, 2009 08:44 AM

            Obviously you've never had Memphis BBQ!

            1. re: Shirley_Brandie
              alanbarnes RE: Shirley_Brandie Jun 15, 2009 09:00 AM

              Agreed that cooking with wood is a bad idea. Humans just aren't genetically equipped to eat food that's been cooked in the presence of wood smoke. If our ancestors had eaten food cooked over wood fires, the species would probably be extinct by now.

              Somebody's been smoking something, and it isn't a chicken.

              1. re: alanbarnes
                BeefeaterRocks RE: alanbarnes Jun 15, 2009 09:53 AM

                Hilarious!!
                Googs, my first thought was also mesquite. You might also consider Western Red Alder, we use it a lot in the Pacific NW.

                1. re: alanbarnes
                  k
                  KTinNYC RE: alanbarnes Jun 15, 2009 10:01 AM

                  I think Shirley_Brandie may be right, break out the crock pot.

                  1. re: KTinNYC
                    Wahooty RE: KTinNYC Jun 15, 2009 10:08 AM

                    I've tried, but do you have any idea how difficult it is to get one of those to light?

                    1. re: Wahooty
                      k
                      KTinNYC RE: Wahooty Jun 15, 2009 10:10 AM

                      Have you tried a chimney starter?

                    2. re: KTinNYC
                      alanbarnes RE: KTinNYC Jun 15, 2009 10:49 AM

                      Don't forget the Bull's Eye!!!

                    3. re: alanbarnes
                      Uncle Bob RE: alanbarnes Jun 15, 2009 10:21 AM

                      I'm thinking our ancestors did in fact cook with wood fires, and based on world populations, the species has done, and is doing quite well....

                      http://library.thinkquest.org/26157/f...

                      What did your ancestors cook with...Gas or electric?

                      1. re: Uncle Bob
                        BeefeaterRocks RE: Uncle Bob Jun 15, 2009 10:46 AM

                        Is your satirical wit detector on the blink?

                      2. re: alanbarnes
                        Fritter RE: alanbarnes Jun 15, 2009 07:50 PM

                        "Somebody's been smoking something, and it isn't a chicken"

                        Well I hope they brought enough to share! LOL
                        Apple all the way for me unless you have some Chardonay soaked cask oak.

                      3. re: Shirley_Brandie
                        Wahooty RE: Shirley_Brandie Jun 15, 2009 09:51 AM

                        Anything can be dangerous in the wrong dosage. Water has a lethal dose - does that mean I shouldn't have a cup of tea? Luckily, smoking a chicken does not require running into a raging forest fire, so I think Googs is going to be okay.

                      4. h
                        hankstramm RE: Googs Jun 14, 2009 06:46 PM

                        Mesquite would be my last choice for chicken--it makes subtle flavors get bitter. Ask any pro-griller--save the mesquite for quick grilled steaks.

                        I'd either use applewood or cherry. Even better, some grapevine trimmings.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hankstramm
                          goodhealthgourmet RE: hankstramm Jun 15, 2009 11:47 AM

                          won't overwhelm the chicken in combination with another wood, or if you smoke it for a short time & then finish cooking it through off the wood.

                        2. Uncle Bob RE: Googs Jun 14, 2009 06:59 PM

                          Cherry is my go to flavoring wood for poultry....Small amounts of Hickory and/or white oak is nice too....Really any of the common flavoring woods will work...Not over doing it is key.......

                          Enjoy!

                          1. w
                            wallyz RE: Googs Jun 15, 2009 07:58 AM

                            Apple, pear, crabapple, grape vine cuttings.

                            Do not use Mesquite. I will annihilate all the oregano/ pepper/ rosemary aromatics.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: wallyz
                              goodhealthgourmet RE: wallyz Jun 15, 2009 11:48 AM

                              "Do not use Mesquite. I will annihilate all the oregano/ pepper/ rosemary aromatics."
                              ~~~~~~~~
                              moderation is the key. theoretically, ANY variety has the potential to overwhelm the herbs if you overdo it.

                            2. h
                              Hungry Celeste RE: Googs Jun 15, 2009 12:39 PM

                              Pecan or apple would be my first choices. Incidentally, I did a chix over hickory this weekend, and it was better than I expected (I don't generally like hickory & chix). I think it worked because the rub was quite bold (lots of chipotle chilis & cinnamon).

                              1. s
                                silverhawk RE: Googs Jun 15, 2009 01:09 PM

                                i would likely rely on the smoke of good lump charcoal without additional wood chips--given the seasoning. if adding would, i'd probably dip into my supply of pinky-thin apple suckers--in the expectation that a few six-inch lengths would yield a subtle touch of smoke. the seasoning sounds quite good and--i'm guessing--would benefit from a gentle hand on the smoke throttle.

                                1. c
                                  chileheadmike RE: Googs Jun 15, 2009 01:38 PM

                                  Lately, I've been using olive for chicken. It would go especially well with your marinade.

                                  Regarding mesquite, I will occasionally grill with it, but would never slow smoke with it. To me it has an upleasant taste. No offense GoodHealth, just not my favorite wood at all.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: chileheadmike
                                    s
                                    silverhawk RE: chileheadmike Jun 15, 2009 01:46 PM

                                    i imagine beefeater would approve of the olive--or lemon.

                                    1. re: silverhawk
                                      BeefeaterRocks RE: silverhawk Jun 16, 2009 01:18 PM

                                      Right on!!! No olive trees but I just trimmed up my Meyer lemon, might give that a try.

                                    2. re: chileheadmike
                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: chileheadmike Jun 15, 2009 01:49 PM

                                      no offense taken - to each his or her own. but i'd consider this recipe to be more of a grilling than a slow smoke preparation. you're talking 35 minutes total, on the open grill, and i'd even remove the mesquite after the first 15 minutes to avoid overpowering the other flavors.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        Googs RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 20, 2009 07:45 AM

                                        goodhealthgourmet, without checking the rest of the responses before starting, I took your mesquite suggestion to heart in as much as 'sweet for a sweet'. I ended up using cherry. It was nice, but I think too closely matched the taste notes of the recipe. Next time I try this, I think I'll blend a little savoury into the sweet with a couple of handfuls of mesquite or perhaps a pecan-apple blend where the pecan takes the back seat. Even though... deelish.

                                        You're right in that it isn't a slow smoke proposition. Still I find that anything cooked over wood smoke is an improvement over propane only. Oh to live where I could use charcoal...

                                    3. j
                                      jiarby RE: Googs Jun 16, 2009 01:29 PM

                                      For a dish with alot of subtle flavors I'd want to use a very mild wood, probably Apple, Alder, Red Oak.

                                      Pecan, Hickory, & Mesquite are very strong and will dominate the flavor.

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