By the way, if you don’t have a smoker (we do it’s just busted) you can turn your grill into a smoker. Mr. Big Food took the water pan (a large metal bowl) from the busted smoker and placed it directly on the bottom of the grill in the middle of the hot coals and pushed the hot coals around the water pan which was filled with celery and onion and what-have-you.
Used in the Smoked Chicken Nachos recipe (Tex-Mex section), but excellent for many other dishes and occasions
STEPHEN PYLES’ SMOKED CHICKEN
3 lb chicken (about)
1 gallon water
1 C kosher salt
½ C dark brown sugar, packed firm
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped, or 1 tsp dried, crumbled
½ tsp black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients except chicken in a large stock pot and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before soaking chicken. Soak chicken overnight in refrigerator in brine to cover. Next day, prepare smoker (using hickory or pecan chunks) and smoke chicken for 1 ½ hours or until breast meat is firm but springs back when squeezed.