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Old 10-15-2012, 03:49 AM   #1
This is not your pork!
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 04-24-12
Location: Linz, Austria
Smile 20th Q: Three Whole Perutnina Chicken [w/ pr0n]

My first try on whole poultry led to the purchase of the following package, just because it was on special offer. I looked it all through to find the one with the highest weight of a total of 8.09 lbs for 3 Perutnina chicken:

I prepped my WSM the day before, the usual Natural Lemon Tree Lump Charcoal and six small pieces of apple wood. You may ask: "WHAT? Six pieces of apple wood for three chicken???", and you are right, is was way too much and led to slight oversmoking, which I never managed before. That apple wood is so mild, that six pieces never resulted in a nice dark reddish smoke ring before, so I thought what the heck, I didn't even know what "oversmoking" is supposed to be, now I know.

The chicken have been brined for ~ 24 hours in Sal Marina Natural + white sugar + black peppercorns + honey, and were in the fridge for drying up the skin over night:

After watching the TVWB video on how to spatchcock a chicken, I did it with ease, and decided to cut them in halves to get them all fit onto the upper grate of my WSM:

Firing up with my one-hand flame stick Minion style:

While I let my WSM get up to temp (350F), I seasoned the chicken halves with a solution of butter + iodized sea salt + brown sugar + cayenne pepper + garlic powder + onion granulate, which I rubbed under the skin and on the outside. Then it was time to put them on:

The IT of 160F in the first chicken breast was already reached after about 45 minutes, but probing with my Thermapen showed it was premature, so I reinserted the Maverick food probe into another spot, which added another half hour for it to show 160F again.

Unfortunately the problem was, that my WSM could not hold the initial 350F, but dropped to an average of about 310 after the chicken were put on, although I left all intakes full open. I had the chicken on as long as I could, but after another probing it was time to pull:

Yes, this time my pictures come in different quality, because I had to use my mobile for some shots, and because it is getting dark so soon in the evening, I had to use an ourdoor floodlight at my cooking area.

So the chicken was ready, moist and above 165F, but the skin was not done yet, so I had put them in the oven at max. top heat to crisp and brown instead of just resting at 200F. At least the timing was perfect as it was already dinner time:

The upper left one fell into the fire when I tried to crisp the skin through the front led of my WSM, but that did not really hurt.

So the chicken had it all, it was juice, spicy and had crisp skin, BUT...

it was slightly oversmoked, which left a strange addition to the flavor profile, I can best describe it as a touch of sausage. The spiced butter on and below the skin made a perfect result, if just the heat would have stayed above 350F in the WSM to have them finished on the cooker instead of in the oven. The two teaspoons of cayenne pepper gave it a very subtle hotness, which was clearly to identify, but did not disturb the kids.

All in all the best chicken we ever had!

Since I did it all alone including the preparations, I have to say that three small chicken led to quite an effort, so my next try on poultry will be a single (larger) turkey.
WSM 22.5" + Maverick ET732 + SuperFast WHITE Thermapen + Pure Natural Lemon Tree Lump Charcoal
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