Smoked Bone-In Chicken Breasts and Thighs Recipe

Smoked Bone-In Chicken Breasts and Thighs Recipe

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Smoked Bone-In Chicken Breasts and Thighs Recipe
3.9 - 30 vote[s]

Smoking split chicken breasts with the bone-in and skin on is a great way to cook this cut of poultry. The bone adds flavor and the skin adds moisture. Chicken breast meat is extremely lean and can dry out while cooking. The idea is to keep the lean breast meat from drying out by using a slow cooking method. I recommend brining the breasts in a salt and sugar bath a few hours before smoking to add more moisture.

Chicken thighs are darker meat with a little more fat than breast meat. They can stand up to the heat a bit better. I am not sure they need to be brined. Thighs do really well with a dry rub of herbs and spices.

The 2 recipes described below can be used for either breasts or thighs. When smoking breasts and thighs together, be sure to check the temperature of both with a good digital meat thermometer. Dark meat may take a little longer to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Smoked chicken portions are so great for a picnic. They can be served at room temperature. In addition to the bone-in chicken recipes, we have included a couple of picnic or backyard party friendly recipes for refreshing side salads to accompany the smoky flavor of the chicken.

Brined and Smoked Bone-in Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:

Brine

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on, split chicken breasts
  • 1 gallon + 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 orange sliced thinly
  • 2 tsps whole peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves

Dry Rub

  • 3 TBS paprika
  • 1-1/2 TBS garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 TBS onion powder
  • 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsps lemon zest
  • Water and orange slices for the smoker
  • Hickory or mesquite wood chips

Total time:2 hour 15 minPrep time:15 min + 2 to 4 hours for brining – Smoke time:2 hour – Serves:6 people
Author:

Directions:

1. In a large glass or plastic container, add the water, salt, and sugar. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the orange slices, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Submerge the chicken breasts in the brine. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. Place the container in the refrigerator or inside a cooler with ice. Allow the chicken to brine for 2 to 4 hours.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and lemon zest. Cover and set aside.

3. Remove a rack from your Masterbuilt Smoker. Take the chicken out of the brine and carefully rinse it well under cold running water. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken breasts all over with the dry spice mixture. Place them on the rack with the skin side facing up. Allow them to come to room temperature for approximately 30 minutes.

4. Prepare the smoker by filling the bowl with water and orange slices. Fill the tray with wood chips. Preheat the smoker with the vent open to 250°F.

5. Place the rack with the seasoned chicken breasts inside the smoker and close the door. Smoke for approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours. At 1-1/2 hours, check the internal temperature of the meat with a digital meat thermometer. You are looking for between 160 and 165°F. You also want the skin to be browned. Continue cooking until the meat comes to the desired temperature.

Check the wood chips and water every 45 minutes and replenish as needed.

6. Remove the smoked chicken to a clean cutting board. Cover it loosely with foil and allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

7. With a sharp knife remove the breast meat from the bone. Slice the breast into 1/4 inch thick portions. Place on a platter and serve with an herbed potato salad. (A recipe follows).

Seasoned and Smoked Bone-in Chicken Thighs

Smoked bone-in chicken thighs

Ingredients:

  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 TBS dried thyme
  • 2 TBS dried sage
  • 2 TBS dried oregano
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1 TBS onion powder
  • 2 tsps lemon zest
  • 2 tsps sea salt
  • 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
  • Water
  • Apple or pecan wood chips

Total time: 2 hour 10 minPrep time: 10 min – Smoke time: 2 hour – Serves: 6 people

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the thyme, sage, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. Remove 1 or 2 racks from your Masterbuilt Smoker. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator. Coat the thighs completely with EVOO. Then, coat them with the dry herbs and spices. Place the thighs on the racks with the skin side facing up. Allow the thighs to come to room temperature for approximately 30 minutes.

3. Prepare the smoker by filling the water bowl. Fill the tray with wood chips. Preheat the smoker with the vent open to 250°F.

4. Place the racks with the seasoned chicken thighs inside the smoker and close the door. Smoke for approximately 2 hours. At 1-1/2 hours, check the internal temperature of the meat with a digital meat thermometer. You are looking for between 160 and 165°F. You also want the skin to be browned. Continue cooking until the meat comes to the desired temperature.

Check the wood chips and water every 45 minutes and replenish as needed.

5. Remove the smoked chicken to a clean cutting board. Cover it loosely with foil and allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

6. Serve the whole thighs with a cooling macaroni salad. (A recipe follows).

Herbed Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs small red boiling potatoes
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsps sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced whole scallions
  • 2 TBS minced fresh dill
  • 2 TBS minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 TBS thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Total time: 45 minPrep time: 20 min – Smoke time: 25 min – Serves: 6 people

Directions:

1. Fill a large stock pot half way with water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Drop the potatoes into the boiling water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander (don’t rinse them) and set them aside while you prepare the vinaigrette.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the EVOO, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper until emulsified or thickened. Add the scallions and herbs and stir to combine.

3. Cut the potatoes in half or quarters, depending on how large they are. Add them to the vinaigrette and toss to coat the potatoes evenly.

4. Serve warm or at room temperature with smoked chicken breasts.

Classic Macaroni Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups good mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 2 tsps sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 2 cups chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red or yellow onion

Total time: 25 minPrep time: 15 min – Cook time: 10 min – Serves: 6 people

Directions:

1. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain in a colander and give a quick rinse in cold water just to stop the cooking. Set aside to cool.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Add the celery, pepper, and onion pieces. Stir to combine. Add in the cooled macaroni and gently stir to coat evenly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. Serve the chilled macaroni salad with smoked chicken thighs.



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