The trouble with charcoal or how I redeemed myself through chicken thighs
About that charcoal that wouldn’t light. Remember that bit where I said I was armed with sketchy information? Yeah, that.
The smoker is assembled. I’ve got my meats all prepped and rubbed and ready to go. The fuel is lit and we finally get up to the requisite smoking temp. Ribs on. The smoke smells fantastic and we go inside to prep the chicken thighs. Only thing is, we can’t maintain proper temperature in the smoker. Add more coals, poke them with a stick for good measure. Aaaaaaaaand, nothing. Upon further research on the interwebs we not only learned how NOT to make salsa but that our whole fuel setup was dodgy at best. Chalk it up to the learning curve, have a cocktail and move along. Nothing to see here. Day two will be much better.
And day two was exponentially better. The coal setup was spot on this time. The temp was maintained beautifully. Now all we needed was something sexy to put in the smoker and we’re golden. So how about those chicken thighs we were prepping? Each thigh was boned out, skinned and trimmed into as uniform a shape as possible.
But what about all the leftover skin? Here comes the truly exciting and pain in the butt part of it: get your trusty knife and scrape all of the fat off of the inside of the skin. Yep, all of it. Be careful not to scrape so hard you rip the skin – it’s pretty forgiving but it will rip under duress. Please note that if you’re doing this on a crazy hot day, the fat will render itself out of the skin while you’re scraping, making it nigh impossible to get a handle on the slippery little bits of flesh.
OK – so our chicken is trimmed, we’ve liposuctioned the skin and we’re ready to assemble our pieces. We sprinkled our seasoning mix over the meat and then its on to bundling. Think of it as a delightful little poultry present – folded up chicken wrapped in skin so it forms a little square.
Now it needs a bath. In butter. Well, margarine but butter sounded sexier.
Some more seasoning mix was sprinkled on the top for extra awesomeness before the chicken hits the smoker to braise in its own buttery goodness. When it comes off heat the submerged skin needed a little help as it was a little…well…flubbery. A quick grilling to crisp up the skin on the bottom followed by a glaze with your favorite sauce and you have these:
Tender, smokey, juicy and slicked with the sweet/spicy glaze. I may be catching on to this smoker thing.