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Asado de Pollo Ahumado

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    Asado de Pollo Ahumado

    Who doesn't love a properly smoked chicken? Last year I began to develop what I consider (at least for my tastes) the perfect smoked chicken. My usual rotation has grown quit large over the past 5 years, so its unusual for me to prepare the same recipe more then a couple of times a year by default. But smoked (and sometimes roto) chicken is something the family always asks for, so I find myself doing it more often than not. Thus my desire to perfect the recipe.

    So what constitutes a good smoked chicken? First it has to take on a smokiness that melds with the flavors of the tender meat, the marinade and the seasonings. It has to be there on the palate but not prominently so. The meat itself has to be juicy and not dry. Juices have to almost burst from the chicken when it's carved. Overdone and you may as well be eating sawdust.

    And of course there's the skin. I think all of us crave that crunchy skin. But to be honest, in smoked chicken I sacrifice the extreme of crunch for that of bite through. I don't want it rubbery but I want the low and slow flavor to develop and have a skin that doesn't just fall off the meat, but bites through with the meat each time. If crunch is what you are after, then roto chicken is the way to go. That said I've developed a hack that gets it most of the way there (more later).

    Marinating chicken is also a must for me. Wet brining helps but for migrating flavor deep into the pours of the bird, a good marinade works best. And for me, the Mexican asado marinade has become my go to. Citrusy and savory, it complements the chicken better than any marinade I've tried. That and a low and slow smoking with fruit wood, and you have some fantastic smoked yard bird.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	asado 01.jpg Views:	111 Size:	6.00 MB ID:	964385

    Smoked Chicken Asado

    Course: Dinner, also great for left over lunches
    Cuisine: Mexican and American BBQ
    Makes: 6-8 servings
    Takes: 30 minutes prep, 24 hours marinade, 1-1/2 to 2 hours to smoke
    Special Equipment: Large Tupperware vessel for marinating or 2 each 2-1/2 gallon zip lock bags


    2 - whole, large roasting chickens
    1-1/2 cups orange juice (squeeze it fresh)
    3/4 cup lime juice (fresh as well)
    1 cup vegetable oil
    6-8 cloves garlic finely chopped
    1 adobo pepper chopped
    1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from the pepper can)
    1 seeded jalapeno finely chopped (optional)
    2 teaspoons Mexican oregano (or regular if you can't source)
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 small section (1 teaspoon) cinnamon stick broken into pieces
    1 stick (about 4 teaspoons) achiote paste mashed
    4 teaspoons kosher salt
    2 teaspoon black pepper

    Pre-Smoke Seasoning: Oakridge Secret Weapon (for color, flavor and the right amount of sugar for texture) or your favorite chicken seasoning.
    Post-Smoke Spritz : I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray


    1. Cut the chickens in half along the backbone and the upper breast plate. Optionally remove both the breast plate and the backbone, but that's flavor and a little extra meat so I just leave them attached. We're going to hang these so half chickens work the best. If doing flat on a conventional smoker then spatchcock at the very least.

    2. In a blender of food processor, blend together all of the remaining ingredients except for the pre-smoke seasoning and spray.

    3. In a large Tupperware or 2-1/2 gallon zip lock bags, place the chicken halves. Don't cram them together, the marinade has to work its way around each chicken half. Pour the marinade into each container to equally and thoroughly coat each chicken half. Seal and work the marinade around each one to help penetrate the nooks and crannies.

    4. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours but preferably over night. I always make mine the day before and leave it until cook time the next day. If you have time, at some point during the marinating process, flip the chicken around and re-work the marinade into each half.

    5. Day of the cook, fire up your smoker. I use a WSM with a hangar accessory. Do away with the water pan for this cook, effectively tuning it into a PBC. Obviously a PBC or drum is ideal as well. Think low and slow, somewhere between 225-250*F for the first hour or so of the cook. Add 3-4 small chunks of fruit wood; like apple, pecan or cherry, mixed in with the coals, not on top!!

    6. While the smoker is reaching temperature, take your chicken halves out of the marinade and pat them dry. Don't worry about getting into all the crevasses, some of that marinade left on the meat will provide flavor. Season with the Oakridge seasoning or seasoning of your choice.

    7. Hang the chickens in the smoker and leave them alone for at least the first hour. Monitor the internal temperatures with a thermo probe. When the breast meat reaches 155*F internal, carefully remove each half and spray them liberally with the butter spray. It's largely oil so it's perfect for getting the skin crispier. Return them to the smoker.

    8. Crank the heat up to about 325-350*F for the last 30 minutes or so. Closely monitor the internal of the breast meat with a probe or thermopen. When each one reaches 165*F-IT, pull them and rest them on your stove or countertop for at least 30 minutes.

    9. For those who want a crispier skin, try using the spray earlier in the cook, but avoid raising the temperature until the very end to avoid burning.

    10. Carve into pieces and serve with your favorite sides. Refrigerate the remainder and eat the next day for lunches. It's nearly as good cold as it it freshly smoked. Enjoy !!

    Click image for larger version  Name:	asado 03.jpg Views:	112 Size:	6.18 MB ID:	964384

    Get ready for some of the best smoked chicken out there. This chicken will make you a culinary hero !!!

    Give this a try and let me know what you think. Troutman is outta here !!!
    Last edited by Troutman; December 30, 2020, 10:34 AM.

    Sounds great - I'll have to take a whack at it.


      I will have to try this. Some tacos al pastor notes in here, which I love. I've been looking for a recipe for my first whole chicken on the PBC.... I think I just found it.


        Very nice, I will definitely try this...thx.


          Great write up! And the yardbird looks great! The Secret Weapon rub is great on chicken! I like your add of the butter spray here and nice touch on the adobo!! I usually have adobo sauce in the fridge now with the recipe I make up and made adobo chicken a few weeks ago, but not like this.

          I also have an old Coleman smoker that’s like a WSM, I’ll have to pull that out of the shed and give this a go!

          thanks for posting my friend!




            Jus Me???

            I Think it all looks like some deliciously done yardbird that I would like, very much, to be face-first into, as depicted.


            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              Can ya jus imagine alla th tacos????

            • mnavarre
              mnavarre commented
              Editing a comment
              Considering that adobo looks very similar in flavor profile to the Pollo Adobada I buy from the Mexican market around the corner, yes, yes I can. In fact I can imagine tacos tomorrow night.

            Sounds delicious! Absolutely on the list. Suspect I'd mow through that like a Scag through fescue!


              So I was in search of a flavorful Southwestern/Mexican marinade for experimental dish I was making with boneless chicken breasts and poblano peppers. I came across this post, and while I didn't have everything I thought it would still work. I have to say it worked great!

              My omissions were the achiote paste and cinnamon stick. I also substituted roasted poblano pepper for the ancho. I pounded the chicken breasts, then marinated them for about 6 hours. I set my Weber up for indirect cooking at about 325 degrees. I used Butcher BBQ Sweet Chipotle rub and stuffed the chicken breasts with roasted poblano peppers and monterey cheese. I cooked them to 165 with a few chunks of cherry wood. The finished dish was a well received. Thank you for sharing this recipe Troutman !


                My mouth is watering just looking at this


                  Nice write up. Thanks. Can't wait to try it.


                    Somehow I missed this when it was first posted. Thanks for the nice writeup, Troutman . I make PBC split chicken about twice a month or more, so I'm going to try this recipe.



                      Now that I have the hanger kit I'll give this a go


                        Adobo pepper? Do you mean chipotle in adobo?


                        • Troutman
                          Troutman commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Correct the chipotle pepper (or 2) in those little adobo cans, along with a few teaspoons of the adobo sauce. Love that stuff !!


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