Deep in the Heart of Texas
Backyard Barbeque Chicken
Yield: 12 servings
- 3 whole chickens (3-4 pounds each), cut each chicken into eight pieces
- 3 Tablespoons canola oil
- Dried thyme to taste
- Crushed red bell pepper flakes to taste
- 2 quarts barbeque sauce*
- Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Make sure the whole chickens are rinsed under running water. Cut each chicken into eight pieces, brush with vegetable oil and season to taste with salt, pepper, thyme and red pepper flakes on both sides. Set aside.
A clean grill is a happy grill. Make sure old ashes are discarded and grates are brushed clean. Add wood charcoal and ignite. When charcoal has burned to white ash, add chicken quarters skin side down. The process now is to render as much grease from the skin without burning the skin or causing the grease to flare-up on the fire and burn the skin. Take your time and be attentive to the cooking of the chicken. Do not overload the grill. Chicken may have to be cooked in batches depending on the size of your grill.
At this point, add water-soaked hickory chips (a small handful at a time) to the edge of the fire. This will start the smoking process. Seal in the smoke with a lid or the top of the grill. Remember to keep an eye on the chicken and turn when skin is rendered, about 8-10 minutes. If the smoke dies down, add another handful of hickory chips.
Grill and smoke chicken for about 15 minutes making sure the meat is cooking evenly on both sides. Check chicken for doneness. Then begin basting each piece of chicken with barbeque sauce. Don't be afraid to brush on a lot of barbeque sauce heavy and keep turning each piece to prevent burning in one area of the grill.
Remove barbequed chicken from grill to a platter and serve family style. You may find one whole chicken is just not enough to satisfy "A Big Texas Appetite."
*Chef Fearing recommends his Smokey Bacon BBQ Sauce, which can be purchased through The Mansion on Turtle Creek. To order or for more information on a variety of Dean Fearing's sauces, please call (214) 520-5846.