Spatchcocked Smoked Chicken with Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce
1 3-4 pound whole fryer chicken
2-3 Tablespoons Homemade Sweet BBQ Rub (recipe below)
1/2 cup Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
Place your chicken breast side down on a large cutting board. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut up both sides of the back bone, from tail to neck. Remove the backbone completely and turn the chicken over to the breast side. Carefully spread apart the back and press down gently on the breast until the bird lays nice and flat on your cutting board. Tuck the wing tips behind the back and adjust the legs until they are fairly symmetrical.
Pat down your chicken with a paper towel and then drizzle with the olive oil. Rub all across the skin. Season your chicken all over with the sweet rub (even the back side!)
Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees for indirect cooking with a light wood smoke (I use pecan pellets in my Louisiana smoker). Place your chicken on the smoker and cook for 4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees in both the breast and thigh meat.
Brush the chicken with the Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce (or sauce of your choice) and cook for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving,
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (hot or mild, whichever you prefer)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients for the rub. Stir well to combine and store in an airtight container. The spice mix will last in your cupboard for up to a month.
Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 cup fresh or frozen sweet cherries pits removed
1 chipotle pepper
1 tablespoon adobo sauce taken from the can of chipotle peppers
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
zest and juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, stirring often. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool before transferring to a blender. Blend until the sauce is smooth.
Store the sauce in a tightly sealed jar or container. Will last for 1 week in the refrigerator.