Oh hello there Chickadees. Spring is definitely in the air around here. And we can not think of a better way to ring in Springtime than to break out the smoker. The Lemon Herb Butter is something that I like to make ahead of time and keep on hand in the freezer. When I need to use some, I just take it out of the freezer, cut off a few slices and there you go! This smoked chicken recipe uses the Lemon Herb Butter (the recipe for the butter will be posted in the recipe section later) and is tender and full of flavor!
Lemon Herb Chicken Smoked with Pecan Wood
Getting the chickens prepared is the hardest part of the whole ordeal. Select the best whole chickens that you can, remove the neck and gizzards, and pat dry with a paper towel. Save the necks and gizzards for making homemade broth! Just put them into a large sauce pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let simmer until done. Perfect for making anything from homemade soups to Alfredo Sauce.
With your fingers, gently separate the chicken skin from the breast meat. Take a few slices of the lemon herb butter and push between the layer of skin and breast meat. Salt and Pepper generously ALL over. Cut two lemons in half and place inside of the cavity of the chickens. You want to see those birds all trussed up. This helps them to cook at an even rate and prevents the legs from getting done before the rest of the whole chicken.
Using an electric smoker (you can also use a traditional charcoal or gas grill), prepare your pecan wood chips by soaking them for about 30 minutes prior. Get the smoker going and wait until you see the chips producing smoke before you place the birds in. Watch the temperature of the smoker and cook the birds, slow and low.
For 3.5-4.5 pound whole chickens, cook between 275-350 F degrees for 2-3.5 hours. The internal temperature should be right at 170 degrees. There are several helpful guides to smoking meats available online.
Once you have taken the birds off of the smoker, allow them to rest for about 10 minutes and then remove the string.
Golden, crispy, smoked chicken. Cooked to perfection!
After the chicken has been allowed to rest, serve immediately. When you slice the chicken breast, you can see deliciousness of the herbs nestled between the skin and meat. And the pecan wood smoke gives it just the right amount of smoke flavor without being over powering.
Smoked Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo or Smoked Curried Chicken Salad are just one of the many things that you can make with these lovely Pecan Smoked Chickens. The ideas are endless!