"Introducing White Barbeque sauce."
Well, that sounded intriguing. And I had one chicken left from the twin pack I had bought the day before. I liked the idea of the smoke too, so I bit.
Page 242 in Masters of the Grill, from America's Test Kitchen.
There were a few new things to do in this recipe. One was to halve the chicken. I have butterflied one before, but not cut it completely in half. It was a cinch. I went ahead and removed the keel bone along with the backbone.
Guess what, it is basically creamy salad dressing. I love mayonnaise and could eat it out of the jar with a spoon, but I'm iffy on creamy salad dressings. 3/4 c. Mayo, 2 T cider vinegar, 2 t sugar, 1/2 t horseradish, salt, pepper, and cayenne (again, I used chipotle powder). Blenderize it and stick it in the fridge while you get everything else ready.
Now here's a thing I hadn't really done before (well, maybe once years ago, but I don't remember it well). You make a smoking packet. Soaked chips get folded up in foil and and then you poke a couple slits in the top only, not the bottom. When your coals are ready, you drop it on top of one side of the briquette piles.
For the chicken, you rub the halves over with a small mixture of spices. Salt, pepper, cayenne (chipotle). Now the idea is that the chicken, having more exposed meat by being split in half, will absorb more seasoning and smoke.
Here's where we use that "disposable foil pan" otherwise known as a piece of heavy duty foil with the sides turned up under the chicken, in the "cool" area. Put the chicken skin side down and cook until you get about 120 degrees at the thigh, about a half hour.
Uh Oh. I was supposed to open the bottom vents half way. The view from the top was all covered with foil and flames. The bottom was pretty hard to make out, with all the stuff in the way. I need to get a sharpie and make a mark where half way is, since I am sure I will forget to check it in the future also.
The recipe actually called for two chickens, but I just used the one I had. So now I have sauce ( otherwise known as "creamy salad dressing") left over.
So you are wondering, where does the sauce come in? That's where we have a glitch in the recipe, I believe. The actual directions don't even mention it until the very end, where you "brush chicken with remaining sauce, carve, and serve." You have to read back to the intro to the recipe where it says they "coated the chicken with (the sauce). The chickens were basted in this sauce two times during cooking..." I wasn't sure. Was I supposed to coat the chicken before I even put it on the grill? Well, I didn't because at first I was following the recipe directions.
So now I'm gettin' some sauce on. I flipped the chicken halves and slathered them. The sauce is kind of melty and boily on the surface. For the first half hour the smoke steadily poured out of the foil pack, and now it seems about petered out. I used mesquite chips. I am most fond of hickory, but I feel that is pretty strong for chicken, and prefer mesquite over hickory here.
I didn't care for the look of the sauce on top of that once crispy skin, so I briefly laid them over directly on the coals to get a quick sear.
I slathered again and kept them skin side up, still on indirect heat until the instant read thermometer read 175 at the thigh, about another 15 minutes. Seemed a shame to waste the coals, so I split some Chinese eggplant, oiled and seasoned them, and cooked them up on the hot briquettes.
Don't they look incredible?
And they were the most delicious little poultry pieces I think I've ever had. Juicy, smoky, savory.
I think that I won't worry too much about what sort of white creaminess I use next time; some mayo, some vinegar, salt, pepper, etc, but the way I cooked them was really a success. And next time I'll slather it on before I even put them on the grill and see what that does.
I will definitely put a star on this page!