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JD McGee
08-16-2008, 09:49 PM
Hi folks...I tried chicken thighs for the first time (competition style). I come with hat in hand seeking advice from the masters...again.:roll: Here's what I did...and what I learned...

Trimmed a little too much...how much is too much?
http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x206/johnrhana/Competition%20Cooks/IMG_4797.jpg

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x206/johnrhana/Competition%20Cooks/IMG_4799.jpg

Marinade was fine...8 hours minimum...
http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x206/johnrhana/Competition%20Cooks/IMG_4800.jpg

Before saucing...pretty good color...skin shrunk back too much...less trimming I'm sure...
http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x206/johnrhana/Competition%20Cooks/IMG_4808.jpg

After crisping...left a couple of them on the direct heat too long...I'm thinking of not doing direct heat next time...just raising the temp to set the glaze. I was shooting for grill marks!
http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x206/johnrhana/Competition%20Cooks/IMG_4809.jpg

I was very pleased with the flavor of the rub, juiciness, and texture (of the non-burned ones)...a couple had the coveted "bite thru" skin...:-P The sauce needs a little work...but I liked the glazing aspect.

All thoughts / suggestions welcome! PLEASE...don't hold back...I can handle it! :biggrin:

Jeff_in_KC
08-17-2008, 01:59 AM
My impressions of what you did... take off a little more meat or leave more skin when you trim. And take off the fat that runs up the edge of the thighs that is showing on a couple of them. If you want grill marks, it seems to work best for me to get them first and THEN cook the thighs. I do one or two at a time and give it 15 to 20 seconds over very hot coals. I'd suggest shaping the thighs and maybe toothpicking them in shape to get a consistent look. A couple of them are torched pretty good but a couple look pretty good, especially the one top center.

JD McGee
08-17-2008, 10:42 AM
Thanks Jeff...I agree. I usually do them on my WSM at a much lower temp 250 ish. I wanted to try grilling them on my kettle to see if I could get a crispier "bite-thru".

I cooked them indirect at 350 for about 60 minutes to an internal of 170...then I brushed on the sauce and let them set too long over the hot coals.

I also let them set for about 15 minutes covered before trying...most were a little rubbery.

If at first you don't succeed...:-P

thenewguy
08-18-2008, 01:26 AM
I'll second the trimming more of the meat,less of the skin...

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
08-18-2008, 06:13 AM
Consider leaving enough skin on the sides to wrap under and then pin it with toothpicks. Instead of the skin shrinking into a smaller thick piece with the heat, it will stretch to be thinner and be much easier to bite through similar to what occurs when you smoke or bake a whole chicken.

Jeff_in_KC
08-18-2008, 08:45 AM
JD, I wouldn't drop temps down to 250! Maybe 300... that's about what I cook at. And if you take them to 170 internal, you're going to be getting chicken that's borderline dry. I take mine only to 160 and pull it off. And like you said, letting them sit for 15 minutes doesn't do the skin any good. Try to time your removal from the fire so that they're ready to get in that box and head off to the judges in less than five minutes.

Divemaster
08-18-2008, 11:38 AM
Looks like a good first try!

My impressions of what you did... take off a little more meat or leave more skin when you trim. And take off the fat that runs up the edge of the thighs that is showing on a couple of them. If you want grill marks, it seems to work best for me to get them first and THEN cook the thighs. I do one or two at a time and give it 15 to 20 seconds over very hot coals. I'd suggest shaping the thighs and maybe toothpicking them in shape to get a consistent look. A couple of them are torched pretty good but a couple look pretty good, especially the one top center.
I agree with Jeff on the trimming and browning.

And like you said, letting them sit for 15 minutes doesn't do the skin any good. Try to time your removal from the fire so that they're ready to get in that box and head off to the judges in less than five minutes.
I think he was trying to see what the judges would get. I don't think he was intending to let them sit and then box them.

JD McGee
08-18-2008, 01:31 PM
JD, I wouldn't drop temps down to 250! Maybe 300... that's about what I cook at. And if you take them to 170 internal, you're going to be getting chicken that's borderline dry. I take mine only to 160 and pull it off. And like you said, letting them sit for 15 minutes doesn't do the skin any good. Try to time your removal from the fire so that they're ready to get in that box and head off to the judges in less than five minutes.

Got it...I'm doing another batch this weekend...I will perfect the farkin' things if it kills me! :-P

Consider leaving enough skin on the sides to wrap under and then pin it with toothpicks. Instead of the skin shrinking into a smaller thick piece with the heat, it will stretch to be thinner and be much easier to bite through similar to what occurs when you smoke or bake a whole chicken.

Will do...thanks! :-P

Looks like a good first try!


I agree with Jeff on the trimming and browning.


I think he was trying to see what the judges would get. I don't think he was intending to let them sit and then box them.

Exactly...only I didn't have a styrofoam box with lettuce to recreate a competition condition. I'll do that this weekend when my wife practices her turn in boxes. :-P Thanks for the tips brothers! :biggrin:

U2CANQUE
08-18-2008, 04:16 PM
That is the fun of it all.......practice, practice, practice, friends and family will throw an extra good word in with Santa for ya....good questions that you pose though....agree with removal of the extra fat under.....you are well on your way.......

HolySmoke
08-19-2008, 08:56 AM
what they said...