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Unread 10-15-2012, 03:49 AM   #1
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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.
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Unread 10-15-2012, 03:51 AM   #2
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Need that for breakPhast!
Nice skin!
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Unread 10-15-2012, 04:29 AM   #3
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Well done. I would certainly hit that!

Cheers!

Bill
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Unread 10-15-2012, 04:51 AM   #4
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Yeah, I'd be all over that chicken! Nice job!
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Unread 10-15-2012, 05:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phubar View Post
Need that for breakPhast!
How about some pulled chicken with a light salad for lunch to assist the diet during the week:





And again, WOW, that chicken even tastes better cold the day after!
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Unread 10-15-2012, 05:06 AM   #6
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Yep, that is the only reason I will cook chicken that low
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Unread 10-15-2012, 05:21 AM   #7
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Looks really good. The skin looks great.
Next time, don't use any wood chunks. Lump is wood and will provide some smoke flavor and it may be all you need. If you require more smoke flavor, add a couple pieces of fruit wood on your next cook and adjust from there.
Next time, you should light more of the lump to maintain temps in your WSM. The minion method is only used for extended cook times.
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Unread 10-15-2012, 06:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddieh70301 View Post
Looks really good. The skin looks great.
Next time, don't use any wood chunks. Lump is wood and will provide some smoke flavor and it may be all you need. If you require more smoke flavor, add a couple pieces of fruit wood on your next cook and adjust from there.
Next time, you should light more of the lump to maintain temps in your WSM. The minion method is only used for extended cook times.
I was out of lighter cubes, and starting a whole chimney with the flame stick doesn't seem to work. It's nevertheless strange, I did not expect maintaining 350°F in a WSM to be difficult even with fire started Minion way.

Next try will be a turkey and no smoking wood added at all. The biggest question now is if I should spatchcock that turkey or if I should invest in a Turkey Cannon. Oh, and how to make a gravy out of turkey juices (unfortunately all chicken juices were lost, because I forgot to put a pan underneath).
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Unread 10-15-2012, 06:54 AM   #9
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Those look awesome! Poultry will take in the smoke but they look great.

Jeff
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Unread 10-15-2012, 07:13 AM   #10
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The crispy & spicy skin was to die for yesterday, but the meat was even better cold on salad today. Yesterday I really thought it's not gonna make it, after the WSM didn't keep temp and the skin didn't crisp up, luckily the post-crisping in the oven didn't lead to the loss of much juiciness, so all in all it was definitely a win.
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Unread 10-15-2012, 07:20 AM   #11
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Great Looking Grub!!

Always great to see a plan come together.

TIM
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Unread 10-15-2012, 07:25 AM   #12
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The most important part was to convince the wife after the first try on poultry has been an epic fail, which worked out nicely. Can't await my first try on turkey now.
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