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Smokerless Smoked Hen Recipe | Saveur

After I was rising up, there weren’t many cooking duties that fell to my dad, however that simply meant the issues he did make had been—and nonetheless are!—his specialties. He’s the matzo ball grasp in our house, the professional hamantaschen baker for Purim, and, most significantly, the household grilling professional. Though we all the time had a gasoline grill, Dad has by no means been one to compromise on style; his trick for excellent grilled rooster—a foil packet of soaked wooden chips thrown proper onto the grates—is a low-effort technique to infuse grilled meals with loads of scrumptious smoky taste. 

After all, this system isn’t fairly the identical as cooking rooster in an precise smoker, however for these of us with out the additional barbecue gear, this trick makes a giant distinction. Now that I stay alone in Manhattan, I’m very fortunate to stay in an condominium with an outside house for a grill. My smokerless smoked rooster recipe is a celebration of the numerous chickens Dad grilled for us over time. This one is spatchcocked—that means the backbone is eliminated and the chicken is pressed flat —which makes it good for grilling, and ends in quicker and extra even cooking. This step is straightforward to do at house, you may also ask your butcher to do it for you.

I dry brine my rooster within the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours, then use yellow mustard to bind a candy and tangy dry rub throughout. I additionally prefer to whip my very own sweet-and-savory barbecue sauce, which runs double obligation as a ending glaze and a dipping sauce. After I’m grilling over charcoal, I don’t even trouble with Dad’s foil packet—I discover it really works simply as properly to throw some hardwood hickory or fruitwood pellets immediately over the coals, enveloping the chicken in a thick, aromatic smoke. This methodology ends in a completely superior (and simply scalable) grilled rooster, good for summer time and fall cookouts.

Yield: 4

Time: 25 hours

For the rooster:

  • 1 Tbsp. mustard powder
  • 1 Tbsp. pimentón (smoked paprika)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra
  • ½ tsp. freshly floor black pepper
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • One 4-lb. rooster, giblets eliminated
  • 2 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1½ cup wooden pellets (for charcoal) or wooden chips soaked for 1 hour (for gasoline)
  • Impartial oil

For the barbecue sauce:

  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt


  1. In a small bowl, whisk collectively the mustard powder, pimentón, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, onion powder, and cayenne. Put aside.
  2. Spatchcock the rooster: Utilizing paper towels, pat the rooster dry in and out. Place the chicken on a chopping board with its spine going through up and, utilizing poultry shears or a really sharp knife, minimize alongside either side of the spine to take away it. Discard the spine or reserve it for one more use. Flip the rooster over and, utilizing each palms, press firmly down onto the breast bone till you hear a pointy crack and the rooster lays largely flat. Season the chicken generously with salt, then place it on a wire rack. Place the rack in a big rimmed baking sheet, then switch to the fridge to relaxation, uncovered, till the pores and skin feels dry to the contact, a minimum of 8 hours and as much as 24 hours.
  3. When you find yourself able to prepare dinner the rooster, take away it from the fridge and set it apart to come back as much as room temperature, about 45 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, make the barbecue sauce: In a medium pot over medium warmth, stir collectively the ketchup, pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire, garlic, and salt. Deliver to a simmer and prepare dinner, stirring often, till barely thickened, about quarter-hour. Take away from the warmth and set the sauce apart to chill to room temperature. Reserve half of the BBQ sauce for dipping.
  5. Brush the rooster throughout with a skinny layer of yellow mustard. Sprinkle the reserved spice combination everywhere in the rooster, together with the non-skin facet.
  6. Preheat your grill to 400–450°F (in case your grill doesn’t have its personal thermometer, an infrared thermometer is useful for this). If utilizing a charcoal grill, sprinkle the wooden pellets evenly over the coals proper earlier than you start cooking the rooster. If cooking with gasoline, place the soaked wooden chips in a small disposable aluminum baking pan on one facet of the grill grates.
  7. Flippantly oil the grill grates, then place the rooster skin-side-up on the grill. Cowl and prepare dinner for 20 minutes.
  8. Uncover the grill and brush the rooster throughout with half of the barbecue sauce. Cowl the grill as soon as once more and proceed cooking till the sauce is frivolously caramelized and the rooster is cooked by way of—an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh ought to learn 155°F—25–40 minutes extra.
  9. Switch the rooster to a clear wire rack positioned on a clear baking sheet. Set the chicken apart to relaxation at room temperature for 10 minutes, then switch to a clear chopping board. Utilizing a pointy knife, separate the rooster into 8 items (breasts, thighs, drumsticks, and wings). Serve heat, with the reserved barbecue sauce on the facet for dipping.



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