Smoked Fried Chicken
It's the best of all worlds. Trust me
- Chicken - cut for frying is best
- Coarse salt. Sea salt or Kosher salt
- Spices for brining - I use parsley, sage, thyme, a dash of cumin and cayenne powder. Experiment!
- Panko crumbs
- French's fried onion strips
- corn starch
- Frying oil
- Disposable aluminum pan (for the frying part)
- Brine one-two hours (NO MORE)
- Smoke 30 minutes
- Roast 30 minutes
- Fry 6 minutes
2 hours before cooking, make your brine with the salt and spices. A quarter cup of salt is just right, more will make your chicken too salty.
Add the spices to the brine, not too much of anything, 1/4 teaspoon of the light stuff, dash of cayenne. Stir the brine to dissolve some salt and mix spices. Add the chicken to the brine and let it soak for at least an hour but no more than two hours. Over brined chicken is mushy. That's bad.
Start your smoker on lowest possible heat, highest smoke setting. I use a Traeger on "smoke" with a pellet tube for extra smoke. Place the tin pan INSIDE the smoker/grill with 1.5-2 inches of good frying type oil in it. Yes, you're going to fry in the smoker.
Smoke the chicken parts for 30 minutes.
Turn the smoker/grill up to high heat - 400-450 is good. (leave the chicken in there, it's fine)
Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Aiming for mostly cooked here. While it's cooking your oil is heating up.
Pull the chicken out of the grill, dredge in fry mix, coat in egg wash, then dredge in the fry mix again.
Put chicken in the aluminum pan, 3 minutes on each side. If you have a lot of chicken you may need more than one pan, the oil doesn't regain heat very fast with this setup, not enough BTU's.
Pull chicken and put back in the smoker for just a few minutes to let some of the oil drain.
Ways to experiment
- Use different spices
- bread before smoking, or after. I've done both, breading before means you lose more as it shuffles around, but I got the best crispiness there.
- use different components for your dredge. Store bought fried chicken dredges work well, panko adds crunch, lots of room here to play.
- After frying, cover with bbq sauce for BBQ fried chicken. Holy chicken, this is good.
One of my kids said "How did you make chicken taste like bacon?". I rest my case.