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Black Tea Smoked Chicken


8 pound chicken thigh-leg intact bones removed
2 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
2 Tablespoons salt
3/4 cup black tea leaves (Oolong is good)
3/4 cup raw rice
1/2 cup brown sugar
Soy sauce as needed
Oriental style chili sauce (optional)
De-bone thigh-leg sections, but leave bottom joint of leg intact by breaking bone with back of cleaver without breaking skin, then remove leg bones.


In an iron skillet roast peppercorns and salt to smoking until they snap, crackle, and pop. Let cool.
Spread thigh meat in suitable pan. Season with soy sauce and (optional) chili sauce. Layer and repeat process. Let stand 6 - 8 hours or overnight, refrigerated. Remove peppercorns and close skin on inside of thigh either by skewer or suturing. If desired add stuffing (peppers, sausage, roasted cracked peppercorns, more chili sauce, etc.) Gently steam 30 minutes (or 8 - 10 minutes at 15 lbs. pressure) depending on size of meat and density of steam to an internal temperature of 120° - 140°F. This process shrinks the skin and reduces the fat content. Too much heat breaks the skin.
Preheat Cookshack smoker. Build a small aluminum foil "boat" to fit wood box and fill with rice tea and brown sugar mixture. Smoke thighs on Cookshack Seafood Grill for one hour at 225°F until internal temperature of meat reaches 160° - 180°F. Serve sliced accordion-style with duck sauce and hot mustard at side rice and stir-fried vegetables of choice.
Yield: 8 portions