Chicken Involtini – THUROS Tabletop Smoker

Chicken Involtini

Chicken Involtini has been a favourite in our house for a long time. I have made them with a few different fillings but sometimes the most simple ones work best so today I am simply using some fresh Basil leaves and some finely grated apple smoked cheddar.

 

Ingredients

3x Large Boneless Chicken Breasts

1x Bunch of fresh Basil

50 grams Apple Smoked Cheddar, Finely Grated

3 slices of Prosciutto

 

Method

Place each Chicken breast between a sheet of baking paper and use a rolling pin to flatten it out. The baking paper will avoid the chicken sticking to your cutting board and help hold it together. The chicken should be an even thickness and roughly doubled in size when you are finished.

Remove the chicken from the baking paper and place them on a chopping board. Square up the edges of your chicken so that it is in a rough rectangular shape – this will make it easier to roll.

Add the fresh Basil leaves and grated cheddar over the surface of the chicken then roll them up as tightly as possible.

Finally, wrap a slice of Prosciutto around each chicken breast to hold them all together.

I made these Involtini in my THUROS Tabletop Smoker, set to a temperature of around 130C. If you are cooking these on a regular grill, you will want to use the indirect method at the same temperature. I added some Cherry wood chips to the smoker from Smokewood Shack as they give the Prosciutto a great colour and I love the flavour of fruit woods with Chicken.

Smoke the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 75C. In the THUROS, it took around an hour to hit this internal temperature.

I served these with a Risotto al Verde but you could also try a pasta dish with them. You can change up the fillings to suit your taste. I’ve made them with Spinach and Blue Cheese before and they were just as awesome!

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Sticky Glazed Chicken

This Sticky glazed Chicken if full of flavour and really packs a punch. For this recipe I am using chicken quarters but you can use chicken breast, legs, wings or a whole chicken and still achieve the same awesome results.

Ingredients

1 Large Chicken, quartered

Brine

1ltr Boiled water
100g Fine sea salt
150g Dark brown soft sugar
1tbsp Garlic puree
4 Cloves
2 Fresh bay leaves

Glaze

25g Butter
1 Medium white onion, Diced
1/2 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tbsp Garlic puree
50g Smoked paprika
500g Ketchup
100g American Mustard
150mls Cider Vinegar
100g Treacle
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
100g Soft brown sugar
Salt and Pepper, to season

Rub

1tsp Fine sea salt
2tsp Ground black pepper
1tsp cumin
1tsp garlic granules
1tsp Dried oregano
1tsp Smoked paprika

Preparing the Brine

Chicken is a lean meat so there aren’t a lot of fats to break down and add flavour. This has one disadvantage and one advantage. The advantage is that we can roast it quickly but the BIG disadvantage is that you can easily dry the meat out. To get around this, you should brine your chicken. This will pack the meat full of moisture and flavour. Add all the brine ingredients to the boiled water and stir until the sugar and salt has dissolved to make a brine concentrate. Place your chicken in a large pot, pour the brine concentrate in and then top up with cold water until the chicken is submerged. Don’t worry if the chicken isn’t completely covered, it will still work. The chicken will need to stay in the brine for at least 3-4 hours or ideally overnight so stick it in the fridge and forget about it.

 

The Glaze

While the chicken is brining in the fridge, lets make up the glaze. It is sweet with a little kick of spice and makes a great dipping sauce as well. Melt the butter in a saucepan and sauté the onions until they are soft. In a separate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together and then add them to the saucepan with the onions. Next add all the dry ingredients and give the sauce a mix. Simmer over a medium heat until the sauce thickens, then remove the pan and allow to cool.

 

Preparing the Chicken

Remove the chicken from the brine and discard the liquid. Pat the quarters dry with some kitchen roll and then, using a sharp knife, make large slashes across the skin. This will help the rub soak into the flesh of the chicken.

Mix all the ingredients for the rub together. Apply it to the chicken evenly making sure you cover all sides. Press the rub into the meat and leave it for 10-15 minutes to absorb the flavours.

While the chicken is marinading, set your grill up for a medium to high indirect heat (around 180 degrees C, about 2/3 Chimney starter of Briquettes should do it). As soon as your grill has reached temperature, place the chicken opposite the coals. Place some large wood chunks on the coals and close the lid leaving the top and bottom vents fully open. Keep adding the wood chunks throughout the cook to keep the smoke going.

When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 65 degrees C, it’s time to apply the glaze. Brush the top of each piece of chicken liberally with the glaze and replace the lid. you will need to apply the glaze a few more times as the chicken cooks to an internal temperature of 75 degrees C.

Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes under foil when you lift it off to allow the juices to settle back through the meat. Serve it up straight away with your favourite sides ( I’d recommend a good home-made Mac n Cheese)

 

Rotisserie Chicken

Cooking chicken on a rotisserie is one of the easiest ways to make succulent, juicy chicken on your barbecue. As the rotisserie turns, all the juices that are being squeezed out as the meat cooks are being basted over the skin of the chicken making it crispy. As the skin becomes crispy it will hold all those juices inside the meat making it extra moist.

I made this rotisserie chicken on my Weber Spirit E310 Original with the Weber Rotisserie. Rotisseries are available for most charcoal and gas barbecues whatever brand you use. If your particular brand doesn’t have a rotisserie accessory, you should be able to find an after market attachment that will do your Job.

A Killer Roti Chicken Rub

To pack as much flavour into that skin as possible, you want to use a rub that is packed with flavour but will also give you a great colour when finished. If you were roasting a chicken in the normal way, you might be tempted to try and get some of that rub under the skin or into the meat by slashing the thighs and breast but I wouldn’t recommend this for a rotisserie chicken. If you pierce the skin you are just creating a way for juice to escape and end up in the drip pan rather than in your chicken. The rub I use isn’t an overly powerful rub so you can afford to put plenty of it onto the chicken without it becoming overpowering.

20150808_124615To make the rub you will need:

5 fresh bay leaves, finely chopped
2½ tbsp ground black pepper
2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp garlic granules
3 tbsp smoked paprika
1½ tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
Zest of ½ lemon

Mix all these ingredients together and add them to a shaker. You can add the rub using your hands but a shaker will make it easier to get an even covering. Coat the entire chicken with the rub making sure to cover all the creases around the legs. Turn the chicken over and make sure to cover all sides.
RotiChicken01

Take the rubbed chicken and mount it onto the spit taking care not to rub off any of the seasoning. You will want to pre-heat your barbecue to about 200°C (390°F) and set it up for indirect cooking. To do this on my 3 Burner Weber I set the two outside burners on full and left the middle one off.  This temperature is a little higher than you would normally cook a chicken at but as the chicken will be rotating constantly you should get an even cook. If the chicken was sitting on the grill, the area’s closest to the heat would cook too quickly. We want the skin to crisp up as quickly as possible so the higher temperature will help.

RotiChicken03Once you have your spit in place and running, close the lid and forget about it for a while. Cooking times can vary depending on the size of your chicken. A small – medium chicken can cook in 75 – 90 minutes but a large chicken can take anything up to 120 minutes. The easiest way to tell if it is ready to lift off is to check it with a temperature probe. When cooking a whole chicken you should check both legs and both breasts to ensure they have reached an internal temperature of 82°C (180°F). This is a standard temperature for any poultry cooked on the bone. We will be resting the chicken after we take it off so remember it will continue to cook for a period after it is removed so you can lift the chicken off at 80°C (175°F) and immediately wrapped it in foil. This will allow the chicken to come up to temperature and also as the meat stops cooking it will reabsorb all of those juices that have been squeezed out.

RotiChicken05

After the chicken has rested for 20 minutes or so, carve it up and serve it straight away. The second you cut into that meat it will start to dry out so ideally you want to carve this bad boy at the table (plus it look pretty damn impressive as well.) I served this with a spicy Mexican bean rice to finish off a really quickly, hassle free meal that tastes fantastic.

RotiChicken06

Enjoy