When cooking meat, sometimes the expression "go big or go home" applies. That's certainly the case for Petar Marshall's Smoked Chicken Thighs Recipe. He engineered this recipe for people who have access to a Traeger Pellet Grill or a smoker, which improves upon regular grilled chicken by giving the meat a flavorful dimension.
Smokers cook meat at a low temperature for several hours, allowing the collagen to break down and providing tenderness. Smoked meats often fall off the bone because they've been cooked in this way. However, this method also has the potential to dry out your meat. To combat this, Marshall formulated a marinade to bathe the chicken in overnight. The marinade helps the chicken retain moisture during the smoking process.
Historically, people smoked meats to give them a longer shelf life and prevent bacteria from proliferating on the surface. Today, we know that there are many other benefits to smoking meat, including the signature flavor that the wood chips impart.
Unlike many smoking projects, you won't need to set aside an entire day to make this recipe from start to finish. If you use a device like a Traeger, you'll be done in two hours.
Give Your Meat That Extra Oomph By Smoking It
If you have access to a smoker, your meat-prep possibilities are endless. You can smoke almost any kind of meat, including brisket, pork shoulder, and ribs. Mashed recipe developer Petar Marshall would argue that chicken is a great candidate as well. To make his Smoked Chicken Thighs recipe, you will need to plan ahead. The night before, you'll want to submerge the chicken thighs in a marinade of vermouth, herbs, and brown sugar to infuse it with flavor and moisture.
The next day, the chicken is ready to go into the smoker. This is where the magic happens. Start your smoker at 200 F. The chicken will smoke for an hour and a half at that temperature, basking in the flavors and aromas of the wood pellets. Then crank the temperature to 400 F for direct heat. Cook the chicken for fifteen minutes on each side at this higher temperature to ensure it is done all the way through. If you use apple wood pellets, your meat will take on their characteristic scent and taste. The same goes for hickory, oak, or whatever variety you choose. Serve the finished product with rice, mashed potatoes, or vegetables.
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