BY GRAHAM RUSSELL
What do you get the man who has it all? What do you get your superhero? What do you get your DAD!? This year roll up your sleeves, get the smoke rolling, and smoke him a meal he will never forget! Head on over to Target and pick up one of Fire & Flavors new Rub Kits and prepare to get those paws dirty. A home-cooked meal full of love will outshine a tie any day of the week!
1 Whole Chicken
4 Honey Crisp or Granny Smith Apples
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 ½ Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Sprig Rosemary & Thyme (Optional)
Prep Time – 1 Hour
Cook Time – Between One or Two Hours (Depending on Size)
Servings – Four (or More Depending on Size)
Start by placing your bird breast side down. Using kitchen shears cut along each side of the backbone and remove it. Open the chicken up and flatten the breast bone with the palm/heel of your hand.
Season both sides of the chicken with Fire & Flavor Chicken Rub. Place in the fridge for at least an hour. If you like extra crispy skin (let’s be honest we all do!) sprinkle a little cornstarch on top of the bird before you season it. Give it a shot!
While the chicken is marinating place two handfuls of the apple wood chips in water. Let them sit for 30 minutes. Prepare your smoker or grill. Place wood chips in a vented foil pouch if using a gas grill or place directly on the coals if using charcoal. Spatchcocking the bird allows for a quick cook and being flattened makes it easy to grill with direct heat. For this recipe, we will be smoking it.
Remove the tops of the apples & save. Remove most of the core (leave a half inch of the core in the apple). Mix together two and a half tablespoons of butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Generously spread the sugar butter (sounds amazing, right?!) inside the apple. Place the top on the apple and spread a bit of the sugar butter on top.
When your smoker/grill is ready place the bird breast side up on the grates and add the apples. Mix remaining butter with fresh herbs & more chicken rub. After 15 minutes brush the bird with the herb butter and flip over. After 10 minutes carefully flip the chicken and brush with the herb butter.
After 20 minutes brush one last time with the butter and check the temperature. Cook until the bird reaches 165 degrees. Remove from the smoker and allow the chicken to rest for 15-20 minutes. The apples should be tender and oozing with sugary goodness. Remove from the smoker.
Break the chicken down once it has cooled. Serve with cinnamon apples, a good loaf of bread, and anything else Dad desires!
*For added flavor throw a lemon on the grill and squeeze the juice over the bird before or after you baste with butter.