I'm always looking for a good chicken recipe. I saw this one on Trisha Yearwood's Food Network the other day and thought I'd give it a try. I followed it pretty close except I put thyme in the sauce.... Chicken goes well with Thyme so I thought it might give it more flavor. I soaked my chicken overnight like it says, but after it was done soaking, I rinsed it well to get the extra salt off. Then I gave it a light sprinkle of a chicken rub I had in the cupboard, remember go light if you use other seasoning as the soak in the salt water gives it good salty flavor already. I also thought I would smoke mine, since I made it on a Sunday, and it smoked while I was a church and couldn't watch it close. This was delicious chicken and really moist. Went well with sauteed veggies and smashed potatoes! Enjoy
Recipe adapted from Trisha Yearwood
2- 2 1/2-pound frying chickens, split
4 tablespoons salt
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup peanut oil (I didn't have so I used grape seed oil)
1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Frank's
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
For the chicken:
Put the chicken halves in a very large bowl or deep pot and cover with water. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the salt in the water, cover and refrigerate the chickens for 6 hours or overnight.
For the BBQ sauce:
In a saucepan, mix together the vinegar, remaining tablespoon salt, peanut oil, hot sauce, black pepper, 1/4 cup water, cayenne and thyme. Bring this mixture to a boil, stir well and remove from the heat.
Drain the chicken and rinse, pat dry and place the halves on the grill, skin side up. Baste with the sauce and cook for 30 minutes. Turn the chickens skin side down and baste the top with sauce. Continue to grill the chickens for an additional 30 minutes, turning and basting the chicken every 10 minutes. Check for doneness by twisting a drumstick; it should move easily.
Variation: I smoked my chicken by heating my traeger smoker on high for 5 minutes to establish a fire. Then I turned the heat down to smoke and put my chickens on and closed the lid, I let them smoke for 1-1/2 hours. Then I turned the heat up to 300 and finished cooking for another hour to an hour to an hour and half until the juices ran clear and it registered about 170 on a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat; basting with the sauce every 20 minutes, and turning the chicken every half an hour.
Serve with steamed veggies and enjoy! Delish!
Cook's Note: If you cannot find small chickens, use larger ones (3 to 3 1/2 pounds) and quarter them.