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1.) Swamp Fox - 05/16/2017
I thought I might try to smoke (grill smoke) some chicken breasts with the skin removed to get more flavor, and then lay the skin back over when my chips are burned out (for moisture).

I think most people probably keep the skin on throughout, but since the only way I'm eating skin is if I burn it crispy crunchy, I peel it off most chicken and I think that's where most of the smoke flavor is (so it's lost).

So if I want the chicken [B]meat[/B] to get the smoke instead of the chicken skin, I wonder what's the harm of adding the skin after my smoke's gone, which is well before the chicken is done.

(I'm usually cooking chicken on a hot fire, indirect, say 250-300.)
2.) Swamp Fox - 05/16/2017
Maybe I'd start with a low fire (150-200) for skinless smoke and then Lynyrd Skynyrd it when I add the skin.



3.) Swamp Fox - 05/16/2017
"Turn it up..."



LOL
4.) bluecat - 05/16/2017
Your chicken with skin on will get plenty of smoke flavor. Honest. I wouldn't take the skin off. No way. Once smoked, then remove skin. It will be inedible.
5.) bluecat - 05/16/2017
Let me know when I can post up some smokin' breasts.
6.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
By inedible do you mean too dry? I can get it too dry with the skin ON if I don't pay attention...LOL

I think I lose too much smoke to the skin. I don't see why I shouldn't try skin off at low heat for smoke and then crank it.
7.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
[QUOTE=bluecat;48893]Let me know when I can post up some smokin' breasts.[/QUOTE]


It's almost a free country. Do what you gotta do...LOL
8.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
.....
9.) bluecat - 05/17/2017
Well, I don't think you lose the smoke flavor. I think it would be overpowering without it. You can get it too dry with skin on but it's much harder to do.
Do you want me to post up my brine recipe? When you brine you know your chicken will be moist.
10.) bluecat - 05/17/2017
By inedible, I mean it will be bitter.
11.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
[QUOTE=bluecat;48897]
Do you want me to post up my brine recipe? When you brine you know your chicken will be moist.[/QUOTE]




Sure, why not. I brine pork. I'm just playin' with chicken.

The last breasts I did could have used a little more smoke (skin on) ...Maybe it's all relative. Maybe you could cook the chicken most of the way skin on, then remove for smoke to finish.


12.) bluecat - 05/17/2017
Are you smoking with wood or pellets?
13.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
Wood chips.

Pecan or mesquite.

Mesquite lately.
14.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
[QUOTE=bluecat;48893]Let me know when I can post up some smokin' breasts.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;48895]It's almost a free country. Do what you gotta do...LOL[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=bluecat;48897]
Do you want me to post up my brine recipe? When you brine you know your chicken will be moist.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;48899]Sure, why not. I brine pork. I'm just playin' with chicken. [/QUOTE]



Chicken is not a serious meat, unless fried.



15.) bluecat - 05/17/2017
So what is source of heat?
16.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
Charcoal briquets, indirect.
17.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
I just took two of the most gorgeous breasts off the grill...Well, okay...Maybe not THE most gorgeous...
18.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
.....
19.) bluecat - 05/17/2017
That might explain why I have a surplus of smoke flavor.
20.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
Once again, most of the smoke was in the skin, which I've been working to make crispier, and thus edible. Mission accomplished on that score. But as for the meat, I have half a mind to take the easy way out and slop some mop sauce on it, at this point.


21.) bluecat - 05/17/2017
Let us know how it goes. I'm not near my brine recipe but I believe it was 2 c sugar, 1 c salt, 2 gal water, spices to taste.
22.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
[QUOTE=bluecat;48907]That might explain why I have a surplus of smoke flavor.[/QUOTE]



LOL....I have no idea what that means...But you can never get enough...


23.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
[QUOTE=bluecat;48909]Let us know how it goes. I'm not near my brine recipe but I believe it was 2 c sugar, 1 c salt, 2 gal water, spices to taste.[/QUOTE]

Moisture was good. A brine or slightly lower temp might improve. Skin was beautiful. Smoke in the meat could have used a goose.

Tell me about the spice. I'm all about the spice.
24.) bluecat - 05/17/2017
I smoke over wood fire so always plenty of smoke. I add sage and tarragon, all spice, pepper etc. Whatever you like.
25.) bluecat - 05/17/2017
Do you need to rename your thread "Forged in Fire"?
26.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
I used to heat with wood and always had a good supply. No more. Maybe in my old age, LOL. But briquets for now, plus chunks where I can find them, or chips. I hear you on the bitterness. I think I just haven't hit on the the proper tweak. I'm close, though.


27.) DParker - 05/17/2017
Summary:

[INDENT]In spite of some smokin' breasts with great skin, Swampy is having trouble getting wood, but hopes the situation will improve as he gets older.[/INDENT]

Clearly I've been exposed to far too much political spin in my life.
28.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
LMAO...Hope springs eternal.
29.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
I think if I get some time tonight, I'll either try playing with the skin or doing some kind of semi-quick marinade.
30.) bluecat - 05/17/2017


There really are endless options.
31.) bluecat - 05/17/2017
[QUOTE=DParker;48925]Summary:

[INDENT]In spite of some smokin' breasts with great skin, Swampy is having trouble getting wood, but hopes the situation will improve as he gets older.[/INDENT]

Clearly I've been exposed to far too much political spin in my life.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;48927]I think if I get some time tonight, I'll either try playing with the skin or doing some kind of semi-quick marinade.[/QUOTE]

Translation: If Swampy gets some tonight, he'll be very quick.
32.) Swamp Fox - 05/17/2017
[QUOTE=bluecat;48929]

There really are endless options.[/QUOTE]

I didn't think of the dress-up angle...

Which reminds me: I need to check and see if I got any nibbles today on Match.com ...


33.) Swamp Fox - 05/18/2017
"I like my chicken like I like my women, with a little bit of fat on the end..."

----Rodney Carrington


Remember, Rodney Carrington. Not me.

Rodney Carrington.
34.) bluecat - 05/18/2017
Right, you're not fooling anyone.
35.) bluecat - 05/18/2017
However, the gristle [I][B][I][B]is[/B][/I][/B][/I] the best part.
36.) Swamp Fox - 05/18/2017
Some girls do need to eat a sandwich, but let's not get carried away, LOL


I ran out of juice at the end of the day today so I blew off the cooker tonight. I'll be back on duty tomorrow. I have a regional sauce that no one makes any more commercially as far as I can tell, so I'm gonna throw that at it as a marinade (I've never used it as a marinade before) and then maybe the day after that I'll make my own.

I'm gonna go through some mustard/tomato/sugar/garlic/onion/woo-woo sauce variations and switch over to hickory smoke and see if I can come up with something I like.
37.) Swamp Fox - 05/18/2017
So, this sauce is probably pretty strong as a marinade. Besides the acid from the tomato, there's also vinegar in it and I'm guessing mustard works on meat fiber as well, but I don't really know...It just seems right, LOL. How long do you vote that I soak my chicken in it?

Your options are from 15 minutes to three hours, but if anyone has a slower marinade or even an overnight marinade, let me know so I can try that tomorrow.
38.) bluecat - 05/18/2017
I'd go the whole 3 hours. I've done overnight marinades (Italian dressing type) with chicken and did not regret it.


Get more of the goodness into the chicken. I'll back out cause I know there's a host of people wanting to lend their .02. :-)
39.) Swamp Fox - 05/18/2017
What this site needs is more motherplucking chicken lovers.

Among all the entries I've received, your vote wins, so three hours it is.

I might also try to crank up the heat tonight. I can do breasts without drying them out on my little homemade cowboy grill, but I'm not having exactly the same luck with the firebox barrel. I've missed the zone (165*) both high and low and have still dried everything out, although sometimes it's only because of the microwave finish, I think, or it's on a breast I keep overnight in the fridge, whereas the fresh breast was acceptable).

Next project will be a brine that works with whatever sauce or marinade I land on.
40.) DParker - 05/18/2017
My current go-to chicken treatment when I'm wanting to take the lazy approach. It works as a dry marinade too:



I also have a fairly elaborate homemade concoction (that I shamelessly stole from a former coworker) that I use on grilled wings when I'm feeling ambitious. It's absolutely outstanding. I'll see if I can find where I put it and then post it.
41.) Swamp Fox - 05/18/2017
Thanks! I'd appreciate it!
42.) bluecat - 05/18/2017
Think twice DP before exposing your recipe to literally ones of people. :wink
43.) Swamp Fox - 05/19/2017
Progress report:


The marinade turned out to be more of a four-or almost five-hour marinade since I got distracted on a long phone call with Verizon, which also messed up my fire control. I had the cooker up at 325 or so but it dropped down to maybe 250-275 by the time I got the chicken on, and then I cranked it again, then it dropped again (Did I mention a looong phone call?) and then I cranked it again.


So basically I can't tell you anything about my fire...LOL...Except that I wasn't drinking and it was one of those rare occasions when I had coals left over at the end, which I used to cook some pork loin chops for sammiches for the weekend.

However, I must have done something right with the chicken because the one breast I ate last night was very juicy. I'll have the second one for supper tonight. The first one I marinated, and for science, I only basted the second one for comparison. If it's much drier than the first, I will add that to my report.

The one thing I do know is that if I'd been on the phone with DirectV instead of Verizon, nothing would have come out right...LOL.
44.) DParker - 05/19/2017
I wonder what would happen if you called Verizon while you had a roux in the oven.
45.) Swamp Fox - 05/19/2017
I have fire insurance for just such an eventuality...LOL
46.) Swamp Fox - 05/19/2017
Oh...And the flavor was good. Just a plain smoke is too bland for me on chicken. I wanted to try it for cooking purposes, though, so now I know.
47.) DParker - 05/20/2017
Since the skin texture is an issue, have you ever tried flash frying the chicken for just a minute after cooking to crisp it up?
48.) Swamp Fox - 05/20/2017
No, I never thought of that, though I remember your flash-fry of chicken wings.


This could be brilliant. I think I'll try it next time.
49.) Swamp Fox - 05/20/2017
Okay, so I take the split bone-in breast off the cooker. Let's assume it has a marinade or basting sauce on it. The goal is to crisp the skin, which is very moist at this point, possibly slipping off the meat.

Vote Now:

A. Throw it in deep oil in skillet skin-down. My skillets are not deep enough to totally immerse the whole breast. Should I bother to flip the breast after the top is done?

B. Sink the breast in deep oil in the Fry Baby or whatever it is that I have. I can get one whole breast in there, submerged. The dial goes up to 400, but I've never checked to see if I can actually get it that hot.
50.) DParker - 05/20/2017
I'd vote for option B, just because I don't like to hassle with flipping stuff over in a skillet full of oil...and you get less splatter and mess with deep frying. Just be sure to remember to blot the surface of the chicken dry with paper towels befor getting the hot oil involved...unless you've been looking for an excuse to talk with that cute nurse at the ER.

And you shouldn't need an oil temp any higher than 400F anyway.
51.) Swamp Fox - 05/20/2017
I was wondering about blotting, since the skin is usually pretty wet. But I guess that's mostly fat and juice rather than sauce, unless I basted late.
52.) bluecat - 05/20/2017
You are a master baster.
53.) Swamp Fox - 05/20/2017
I'm just here to learn...LOL
54.) Swamp Fox - 05/27/2017
Update:

I tried DP's suggestion to flash-fry a breast in my Presto deep fryer. (It's magic!) I cranked it up to 400 and sank a bone-in breast that had been marinated and mopped in the cooker. I let it swim for about 45 seconds, and Voila!--- This wasn't sufficient to crisp the skin.

But I also had the breast skin-down in the basket because I didn't know if I was going to cover the whole breast or not. Next time, I'll sink it skin-up and see if that makes any difference. But I think I'll also have to increase the time.

I will say the house smelled like a Chinese restaurant after that, though. Crispy duck? LOL

I did the same with some mopped-and-smoked boneless pork chops, and that didn't give me any crust either, but then again, there wasn't any skin to crisp there anyway.
55.) DParker - 05/27/2017
In retrospect...I think my "for a minute" advice was inaccurate. When I flash fry my wings I think I actually drop them in for 2 minutes. My apologies for the slip-up. And given that the skin on a breast is likely thicker than on a wing you might need to add another 30-60 seconds on top of that. Also note that with my wings, they've just come out of the smoker, so the skin is good and dry.
56.) Swamp Fox - 05/27/2017
Thanks for that. I think Test Subject Number One after this will get a three-minute dunk and we'll go from there.

There must be a lot less fat in a wing skin than in breast skin, for the weight or area, I bet. I can't image what I'd have to do to a breast to get the skin to be anywhere approaching "dry" with indirect heat. I guess a lot of times the top side of the skin skin might be dry but the underside is very wet, so I don't know if that really qualifies. I'm sure I've managed somewhat dry skin at some point, especially without a sauce, but I can't think of any time that the chicken wasn't directly over the fire.
57.) DParker - 05/27/2017
[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;49157]I guess a lot of times the top side of the skin skin might be dry[/QUOTE]

Yeah, when I say the skin was dry the surface is really all I could evaluate in that regard. But I would think that even that makes at least some difference.
58.) Swamp Fox - 05/27/2017
I just dunked a breast I cooked the other day, for four minutes at 400. This was too much if I were cooking for a glamour magazine, as I charred the skin black as night...But it was crunchy! And very edible! (If you're a red-blooded American.) The meat was warmed almost throughout, but there was a cool spot.


I think I'll dial the next one back to 3 minutes as originally planned. It wouldn't surprise me if the sweet spot for the skin is around 3:30. I'm more concerned about a good skin than rewarming the meat.
59.) DParker - 05/27/2017
It's like sighting in a new scope...except it smells better.