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This succulent chicken recipe will wow your taste buds & smoking a whole chicken with wood-fired smoke makes it tender & juicy and bursting with flavor. When done well, it's one of my very favorites, and it's also one of the most forgiving meats to smoke.

Step 1: Ingredients:

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tsp. salt coarse

1 tsp. pepper, coarse

1 roaster chicken

Step 2: The Marinate, Absolutely Delicious!

In a small mixing bowl combine:

Step 3: ​Olive Oil

Step 4: Fresh Lemon Juice

For the 1/2 cup lemon juice, I used 5 medium lemons.

Step 5: Lemon Peel

Step 6: Pepper

Set the pepper mill on coarse grind. Then add salt.

Step 7: Rosemary

For rosemary, bundle the needles and slice across with a sharp knife or cut with scissors.

Step 8: Thyme

Holding a sprig of thyme at its top, slide your fingers down it, to the bottom, to strip off the leaves.Thyme leaves are usually small enough to use without chopping.

Step 9: Parsely

Gather the leaves in a pile,for a finer chop, use one hand to hold the tip of the knife on the cutting board while the other hand rocks the knife down and across the leaves.

Step 10: Garlic

Step 11: Red Pepper Flakes

I crush the flake in a spice mill.

Step 12:

Whisk ingredients together if you used a bowl.

Or:

Place cover on the jar and shake the jar vigorously to combine.

Step 13: Set Aside:

Set the marinate aside until ready to use.

Step 14: Prepare the Bird:

The following easy steps show how prepare the chicken for cooking. This method involves removal of the backbone from tail to neck so that the bird can be opened out flat .
Results in a shorter cooking time. It also gives easier access to the cavity and exterior of the chicken for seasoning purposes.

Step 15:

Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken, breast-side down, on a cutting board. Using poultry shears or kitchen scissors, cut along the right of the backbone from the tail to the neck.

Step 16:

Then, cut along the left side of the backbone, just as you did on the right side.

Step 17:

Remove any neck parts and gizzards.

Step 18: Tuck in the Wings

Fold the small tips of the chicken wings under the main wing bone so that the wings remain ''flat".

Step 19:

Press down to break the breast bone and flatten the bird.

Step 20:

Place the chicken in a 9 by 13-inch, non-reactive baking dish and add the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours, turning occasionally to evenly coat.

Step 21: Vacuum Seal

OR:
Using a vacuum seal bag. A vacuum sealer is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your meat is sufficiently coated and soaked before cooking.

Step 22:

Add the recommended amount of marinade, use enough marinade to coat the entirety of your food

Step 23:

Vacuum seal to close bag.

Step 24:

Place the chicken into the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. The longer you leave it in the refrigerator,the chicken will be able to soak in the marinade, resulting in better flavor.

Step 25: Hours Later:

Preheat the smoker to about medium (about 225°F to 250°F). Add wood chunks or chips to the coals after the smoker is heated.

NOTE:

Poultry is great with many different wood choices, hickory, apple, oak, pecan and maple. For this particular smoke, I used hickory.

Step 26: Meanwhile

Remove chicken from the refrigerator. Allow to bring to room temp. before smoking.

Step 27: When the Smoker Is Ready

Remove chicken from vacuum bag and place on grill rack.

Step 28:

Place rack into middle area of smoker. Insert the probe into the thickest part of your chicken, set the digital thermometer to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and when the bird reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the smoker will stop cooking and turn on warm mode.

Set your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The cook time will vary based on the size of the bird, but estimate about 30-45 minutes per pound.

Step 29:

I used a 6 lb. roaster chicken. I put the chicken into smoker at exactly 5:30 PM. Chicken was done at 7:36 PM.

Step 30:

If you love a crispy skin, transfer the chicken to your oven for the last 30 minutes or so. Place the bird in a 375 °F oven and cook until the internal temperature is 165°F.

Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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