I've done a lot of chickens and when possible, I will always brine.
I do a simple brine of:
1 gallon water
1 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown, you chose. I've done both)
1 handful of whole peppercorns
Lemon, halved and squeezed, but it all goes in
Orange, same as above
Maple syrup, about 1/4 cup
1-2 TBP rub of choice
I brine whole chickens for 5-8 hours
Remove from brine, rinse and allow to sit in fridge for an hour or two if possible to allow skin to tighten up and dehydrate.
As far as seasoning, I will rub with Weber's Kickin Chicken or any other rub I feel like using. I like a sweeter, spicier rub with chickens if I can get it.
I usually either spatchcock or just smoke em whole.
I like to smoke my birds at 325ish. If you get the temp above 350 you have to be careful of burning the rub (ESPECIALLY if it has sugar in it).
Big JT's Smokin' BBQ Competition Team
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