This chicken won the Fourth of July. The recipe, from Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook by Tom Adams, Simon Anderson, Jaime Berger and Richard H. Turner, sounded delicious on the page: A whole bird, rested overnight in chipotle and garlic pastes, maple syrup, butter, and Pitt Cue's aromatic, spicy-sweet house rub, which is slow-smoked until perfectly burnished. Yes, please. The wet rub comes together in a flash, if you already have the House Rub on hand (which you will if you made the beef ribs or any number of other recipes from the book). Once it's on the grill, it quietly smokes undisturbed for a mere hour and a half—a fast slow-cook, by these guys' standards. And then...you eat it. Holy Founding Fathers, that chicken is good! The incredibly succulent (trite, but just no other word for it) meat has pronounced, but not overpowering, smoky flavor. The rub imparts a sweetness and heat that is unmistakably "BBQ" (and then some), thanks to the complexly aromatic House Rub. Boom! Fireworks.
Why I picked this recipe: I loved the idea of a BBQ take on classic roast chicken.
What worked: Everything.
What didn't: I should've made two. Also, the dog grabbed the not-fully-picked carcass off the table, and I was sad.
Suggested tweaks: If you have the space on the grill, do it—and make a couple. You'll want leftovers for sandwiches the next day.
- 3 tablespoons chipotle chile paste
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 3/4 ounces roasted garlic paste
- Heaping 1/4 cup House Rub
- 1 free-range chicken, weighing 3 1/4 pounds
Blitz the chipotle chile paste, butter, maple syrup, roasted garlic paste, and house rub in a blender to a paste. Make slashes about 1/2 inch deep in the thighs of the chicken with a sharp knife, then rub the chicken thoroughly inside and out with the paste. Put it into a dish, cover, and leave overnight in the fridge.
Prepare a barbecue for smoking and set the temperature to 300°F.
Put the chicken, breast-side up, into a roasting pan that will fit inside your barbecue and smoke/roast for 1 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 158°F and the juices run clear when the chicken is pricked with a knife at the thickest point of the thigh area.
Remove the chicken from the barbecue and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with a green salad.