Welcome to my Food Journey

Curious Southern Cook on a journey to learn...and to create exceptional dining experiences. I love entertaining and preparing food for loved ones & friends and sharing those experiences with others. My wish is that you will be fed too. Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Smoked Lemon-Garlic Chicken

OK, I gave in.  It's August and 100+ outside here in the South (and Humid), but I wanted chicken... with a lemony, garlicky, smokey flavor, after work on a Tuesday evening.  I have never attempted to smoke meat before, let alone on my gas grill...but, I am hardheaded and was resigned to figure it out.  I had already searched out wood chips during lunchtime, so all I had to do was run by the grocery on the way home to procure the ingredients.  We didn't have dinner until 8, but it was well worth the wait. 

(Brining Solution)
Water, Kosher Salt, Sugar, Lemons, Garlic, Parsley, Tabasco 

I have brined chicken many times and it just made sense to do so in this case to help impart the lemony, garlicky flavor I was looking for.  I prefer boneless skinless thighs for this recipe which take less time to brine...about 30-45 minutes.


 (Left: Wood chips after soaking, Right: on the grill)

While brining the chicken, I soaked 2 handfuls of wood chips...a blend of
hickory, oak and apple woods.

(Top: Chicken just on grill, Bottom: almost ready to take off)
Note: Garlic and Lemon on the grill.  Grilled Lemon wedges to squeeze over Chicken throughout grill time, and grilled additional slices to use for plating.

(Platter ready to plate)

(Served over Couscous with Garlic and Lemon Slices)

Smoked Lemon-Garlic Chicken


Serves 6
Prep Time - 45 minutes
Cook Time - 30 to 45 minutes


3 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
2 Lemons quartered (to be grilled and used to baste)
1 Lemon sliced (to be grilled in the last few minutes and used as garnish when plating)
Parsley, 3 or 4 sprigs chopped

1 gallon water water
(I added half warm water with all ingredients then once combined, enough ice to make the gallon)
3/4 cup Kosher Salt
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
2 Lemons (for brining)
Parsley, 1 generous handful (I used the back of a knife to bruise slightly)
1 head of Garlic (cut in half around the equator)
Tabasco to taste (I used 8 generous squirts)

Wood Chips - 2 handfuls (I used a blend of Hickory, Oak and Apple)
Soaking Water


Preheat grill on high, brush grates (I have a 3 burner grill)

Make Brine - add all ingredients to a container large enough to accomodate Brine and Chicken (I used a 6 quart container)...stir until combined.

Add Chicken to Brine (make sure pieces are submerged), put in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes. 

Soak Wood Chips for 30 minutes.  Make Foil container (see picture above)

When Chicken has been brined for the 30 to 45 minute limit, remove from container, pat dry and hold for grilling.

Place the soaked Wood Chips in foil on a grill burner, turn to medium under the Chips.

Place Chicken, quartered Lemons and Garlic on grill
(I used a grill pan that I sprayed with non-stick spray) and turn to low under Chicken with lid closed.  Check after about 10 minutes and turn when first side is golden brown. 
(Keep water bottle close by to handle flare ups or if chips flame)
Continue grilling on low with lid closed until cooked through and baste periodically by squeezing grilled lemons with tongs over the Chicken.  In the last few minutes of cooking add the lemon slices to the grill.  Take up everything off of the grill and get ready to plate. 
(I served 2 thighs per person...with lemon slices and a section of the garlic over couscous)
After plating, sprinkle the chopped parsley over each serving.


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