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Jun 14, 2009 12:23 PM

What wood would you use to smoke this chicken?

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 App├ętit | 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. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I like your confidence. Why mesquite?

      1. re: Googs

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

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: scuzzo

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

      2. 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

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

          1. re: Shirley_Brandie

            Obviously you've never had Memphis BBQ!

            1. re: Shirley_Brandie

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: KTinNYC

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

                    1. re: Wahooty

                      Have you tried a chimney starter?

                    2. re: alanbarnes

                      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....


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

                      1. re: Uncle Bob

                        Is your satirical wit detector on the blink?

                      2. re: alanbarnes

                        "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

                        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. 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

                          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. 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.......