Printer Friendly

From your barbecue ... smoked birds, big or small, to serve hot or cold.

Birds smoked in a covered barbecue make delectable attractions for holiday tables--to enjoy yourself or to present as a gift. Hot or cold, the smoked birds are splendid eating.

You can smoke birds as commonplace as chicken or as exotic as chukar, big as a turkey or tiny as a quail, lean as a pheasant or fat as a goose. Only the timing varies. With each bird, you get richly flavored, handsomely browned results.

You can use the slow-smoke method for a denser-textured, longer-lasting product (the process is a light form of preservation), or the fast-smoke method for birds that are juicier but don't keep as well.

First you soak the birds in a sugared salt-water brine. This has a curing effect on the meat and gives it succulence. Brining time varies with the size of the bird; bigger ones take longer.

Then, after rinsing the bird well to remove excess salt, you smoke it over a drip pan in a covered barbecue (or one with an improvised cover). You use a regulated amount of charcoal, adding wet hickory chips to smolder and give off a fragrant smoke that flavors the meat.

Here we work through the basic process; refer to the chart on page 240 for brining and cooking directions for various birds.

Order game birds through your meatman at least a week ahead or look for distributors in the telephone book yellow pages under Poultry or Game Birds; check prices before ordering.

Slow-smoked Birds 1 to 12 birds (see chart, page 240 Brine (recipe follows) 2 to 4 cups hickory chips Water

Remove neck and giblets from birds and reserve for other uses. Pull off excess fat and discard; rinse birds well.

Put an 8- to 13-gallon plastic bag in a deep 7- to 9-quart pan (one that birds will fit into); pour brine into bag.

Add birds to brine and squeeze top shut, expelling air; use a metal twist to close the bag tightly. Put container in refrigerator or cool area (65[deg.] or less) and let stand the number of hours on the chart.

Lift birds from brine, drain, and rinse well under cool running water; drain. Cover hickory chips with tepid water; let stand at least 20 minutes (use 2 cups chips for quail, 4 cups for remaining birds).

Meanwhile, stack and ignite 16 long-burning charcoal briquets on the fire grate in a medium-size (about 22-in.) barbecue. When they're well spotted with gray ash, about 30 minutes, push half to each side of the grate.

Place a drip pan (about 9 by 14 inches; you can fashion one of heavy foil) in the center between the two piles of coals. On top of each pile, place 1 or 2 more briquets and about 1/2 cup drained soaked wood chips. Set grill about 6 inches above the fire grate; if grill has openings for adding coals, position them over the hot coals.

Center the birds, breast up and slightly apart, on the grill directly above the drip pan--not the coals. Place an overn thermometer next to the birds (not over the coals). Cover the barbecue; open all vents. (Or fashion a domed cover out of heavy-duty foil, fitting it snugly around the rim of the barbecue; fold a 6-inch section back slightly from the edge to create a vent.)

After 15 to 30 minutes, the oven thermometer should read 180[deg.] to 200[deg.]. If it's higher, partly close lid vents or fold down foil to reduce heat. If it's lower, add 2 to 4 more briquets to each side of coals. Wait 30 minutes and check again, making adjustments to change temperature as needed. Keep the temperature between 180[deg.] and 200[deg.] for the entire smoking period. Every 30 minutes, add 1 or 2 briquets and 1/2 cup soaked wood chips (until all the chips are gone) to each pile of coals.

Smoke birds according to time listed for slow-smoking in the chart. Smoking gives meat at joints and just under the skin a pink color.

Using a wide spatula, lift birds off grill. Serve hot, cooled, or chilled. Present the smoked birds whole, then thinly slice or disjoint. Best to treat this way are turkey, goose, duck, and chicken. Pheasant, Cornish game hens, squab, and chukar make nice portions cut in halves--or slice the breasts and serve with wings and legs. Small quail can be eaten whole or halved. To store, wrap airtight and chill up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 6 months.

Brine. Combine 3 quarts cool water, 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar, 1-1/2 cups salt, and 2 teaspoons each ground white pepper and ground allspice in a noncorrosive container. Stir until salt dissolves. You can reuse brine within 3 days of the first use if you keep it chilled; add 2 to 3 tablespoons salt before adding the next bird. Makes 3 quarts.

Quick-smoked Birds

Follow directions for slow-smoked birds, but increase initial stack of charcoal briquets from 16 to 80; add 4 or more briquets to each side of coals when you add birds and every 30 minutes after to maintain a temperature of 350[deg.] to 375[deg.]. Smoke according to times listed for quick-smoked birds in chart.

Serve hot, cool, or chilled. To store, wrap airtight and refrigerate up to 10 days.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Nov 1, 1985
Previous Article:Poached or fried eggs with bold sauce.
Next Article:Sweet and tart chutney dressing for two salads.

Related Articles
On the desert or in your dining room, an Arizona barbecue for 6 to 16.
June menus: skewered satay and salad supper, quesadilla and salsa breakfast, shrimp and pasta picnic.
What about right-in-the-oven smoking?
To make barbecuing easier and neater.
Celebrating Thanksgiving with a bountiful array.
Where there's smoke, there's Texas barbecue.
Hawaii's huli chicken.
Barbecue's all-time greatest hits.
Smoked turkey: hickory perfumes western barbecue classic.
The Low-Fat Cook.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters