Are you looking for chicken for yourself and family, or competition chicken?
We don't brine either way, but we do mop our chicken when it is for our consumption. Our competition thighs we do scrape the fat off the back of the skin and toothpick it back onto the thigh, then use an aluminum dish to smoke them in with some pads of butter to keep them moist.
I have seen some people brine chicken and they leave the skin on through the process and then do not scrape the fat prior to smoking. I guess it helps to break down the fat prior to smoking (?).
J & B's BBQ Team
Custom Pits Model A1 Offset Trailer.