Mint and Citrus Smoked Chicken

Mint and Citrus Smoked ChickenI love smoked chicken.  It isn’t the flavor that is added from the smoking process, it isn’t the succulent, moist flesh from slow cooking in the smoker.  It’s the quality of the fat and skin chunks.  I know that it is not popular to be a fan of succulent, tasty, greasy fat; but I really don’t care…it’s good!  As it turns out, the fat doesn’t cook away during the smoking process, but it fully cooks, and it sort of crisps up.  Gobbling it down is a sublime experience.  I don’t get much fat in my typical diet, so I love this stuff.  The only thing better than well-cooked fat is flavored fat, and that is exactly where this recipe fits in.

In order to build this beauty, the chicken is marinaded in a blend of cilantro, mint and garlic and then basted in a mop of orange juice, lime, garlic, chili, cumin, and oregano while it smokes.  After a couple hours in the smoker, your bird is both beautiful and tasty.  The mint comes through as a mild to moderate accent to the pronounced citrus and spiciness from the blend of cumin, chili, and garlic.  It’s pretty much wonderful and the best version of smoked chicken that I have cooked.  This recipe finds its roots in a similar dish presented in the very good book Smoke & Spice: Cooking With Smoke by Cheryl and Bill Jamison.  It is a great study of the techniques behind smoking and barbecue.  Highly recommended if you like this type of food.

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