Sarasota's Smoked Citrus Chicken

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"This is my recipe for a "simple citrus flavored" smoked chicken. I love this recipe because the flavor is just a natural smoky flavor - it isn't over powered with a strong spice rub. This way, I can use the chicken in many different recipes. Now, I will tell you that this takes some time, you have to have patience, but it is well worth it. I prefer to use my smoker, but this can also be smoked on a gas grill with good success. This is the base recipe which by the way ... can also be grilled. I will be posting my method-recipe for Smoking on a Gas/Propane Grill very soon."

Original recipe yields 4-8 servings
  • Rub: -- I make this up ahead and save to use on other grilled dinner; it last a while in the pantry
  • WOOD


  • Serving Size: 1 (1595.7 g)
  • Calories 694.3
  • Total Fat - 23.6 g
  • Saturated Fat - 10 g
  • Cholesterol - 847 mg
  • Sodium - 22470.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 56.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 6.2 g
  • Sugars - 34.5 g
  • Protein - 70.1 g
  • Calcium - 293.1 mg
  • Iron - 13.6 mg
  • Vitamin C - 89.4 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.5 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Brine ... Add all the water except 1 cup to a large pot along with the sugar, garlic and peppercorns. Add the remaining cup of water to a small pot along with the salt and bring to a boil, stir to dissolve (this can also be done in a large measuring cup in the microwave); then remove from the heat and cool. Add to the brining liquid and mix well. Make sure the water is cooled before adding the chicken. Add the cleaned chicken, cover or seal with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4-8 hours up to 24 hours or over night.

Step 2

Rub ... Add all the seasoning, including the sugar, but not the olive oil to a small food processor / grinder and mix well until you get a fine ground. This will make more than you need, but save it - it is great to use on all meats, fish, or vegetables.

Step 3

Chicken ... Once the chicken is out of the brine, rinse the entire chicken very well - including the cavity; dry it off, inside and out, and let it rest to come to "almost" room temperature.

Step 4

Seasoning ... Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Then add the onion, lemon, orange, and the fresh herbs. Tie the legs together - loosely.

Step 5

Rub ... Brush the olive oil on the chicken, then rubbing it in all over. Add a couple of tablespoons of the seasoning rub and massage it in, covering all parts of the chicken. Make sure to rub it in well.

Step 6

Smoke ... Set up your smoker as you normally would. For the wood, I prefer apple, but hickory is also a nice choice. Half way during cooking, I brush with my glaze, which is just a mix of melted butter, orange and lemon juice. I usually smoke mine 1 hour per lb which seems to be a good time frame; and I also try to keep the temperature around 225 which seems to work best for chicken. The chicken is done when the internal temperature is 165, I usually take it out, just before that, about 160. Cover with foil and let it rest before serving.

Step 7

Serve ... After the chicken has rested, slice and ENJOY! It is such a mild smoky citrus flavor. ENJOY with your favorite sides. Note: Since you went through all that work to set up the smoker, why not make at least 2 or 3 chickens - I do. I cut them up and freeze them in small baggies for dinners later on. Perfect "go to" food.

Tips & Variations

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