- 1 Package Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 3 Pieces Boneless Chicken Breasts
- 2 Quarts Low Fat Buttermilk (About 8 Cups)
- 1 TSP Lemon Zest
- 1/4 Cup plus 2 TBSP Table Salt (Non-Iodized)
- 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 1/4 TSP Pepper
- 1 TSP Paprika
- 1 TSP Sweet Paprika
- 3 Chunks Pecan Wood
- 3 Chunks Apple Wood
- Mixture of Apple and Pecan Chips
- Meat Thermometer
- Peanut Oil
- 6 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 1 Egg plus 1 Yolk
- 1 TSP Baking Powder
- 1 TSP Baking Soda
Combine 6 cups buttermilk and all ingredients below it in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix brine well using a whisk.
- Add chicken pieces, cover and place in refrigerator for 3-5 hours.
- Remove chicken from brine and rinse. Pat pieces dry and place on cooling rack or a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- Soak wood chunks for about 10 minutes.
- Soak wood chips 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse chunks and set aside.
- Rinse chips and wrap in aluminum foil.
- Poke holes on top of the aluminum foil (about 10-15).
- Large Dutch oven or cast iron skillet
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium mixing bowl
- Baking sheet
- Make mound of lump charcoal with electric starter or starter cubes in middle.
- Light the fire with vents wide open on bottom and top. After ~ 5-10 minutes use your ash tool to stir the charcoal into flat layer.
- Place smoke poach on center of charcoal.
- Place chunks on outside circle of charcoal.
- Place plate setter (legs up) for indirect cooking.
- Place grill on plate setter.
- Close lid and leave vents open until temperature reaches 275 degrees.
- When Big Green Egg is smoking, open lid.
- Place the chicken on the grill, insert meat thermometer or igrill probe to deepest part of breast meat, and then close the vents enough to maintain temperature of 275 degrees.
- Proceed to making gravy if using.
- When your probe reaches 125-130 degrees, remove chicken from Big Green Egg and place on a cooling rack.
- Let chicken cool for about 15-20 minutes.
- Cut chicken breasts into pieces (tenders).
- Place 4 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl.
- Place 4 cups flour on a baking sheet.
- Combine 1 cup buttermilk, 3 egg yolks, baking powder and baking soda, mix well.
- Heat 4-6 cups of peanut oil in Dutch oven or cast iron skillet.
- Using an instant read thermometer, check temperature until oil reaches 400-425 degrees.
- Place chicken pieces in flour (mixing bowl), coat all over. Shake pieces to remove any excess flour.
- Dip 3 pieces at a time into buttermilk, coat well then let excess drain off.
- Place chicken pieces in flour on baking sheet. Flip pieces over a few times until well coated.
- Using caution, place enough chicken pieces into Dutch oven or cast iron skillet so that each piece has plenty of room and isn’t crowding the other pieces. It is best to fry in batches.
- Cooking time should be anywhere from 5-10 minutes, as you are looking for a golden brown exterior.
- Remove chicken from oil and place on cooling rack.
- Wait about 5 minutes then serve.
- Make sure to give your chicken time to sit ~15-20 minutes before frying.
- Smoking time can vary, but your time should be anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour.