Summer barbecues aren’t just a tradition in my family. It’s a norm. No summer is complete without copious amounts of outdoor grilling and smoking. There is nothing better to me than gathering friends and family for an afternoon of easy entertaining.
To keep the easy entertaining theme going, I plated my smoked chicken that you see here, on Dixie Ultra® plates. If you are going to do paper plates, this is the only way to go. They’re sturdy and durable enough to handle two pounds of barbecue – I know, crazy! And say no to messes, because these plates are thick enough and coated, so no food oil or sauce seeps through.
Entertaining just got a whole lot easier, right?
Now for the chicken. Make sure you spatchcock it. Basically, you are just butterflying. Here’s how you do it:
- Place chicken breast-side down, with the legs pointed towards you.
- Using poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone and remove it, cutting through the rib bones as you go.
- Open the chicken out and flip it over. Press down on the breastbone to flatten it out.
- Use skewers to secure the legs and keep each side flat.
Cover the chicken in your favorite rub and place in a pan with a wire rack. Smoke it at 250F for about 3.5 hours, but make sure you check for doness thermometer. It’s ready when the temperature reads 165F when taken at the thigh. Small note: a fruity wood like cherry or apple works best for chicken, it’s a lot more subtle and not overwhelming like mesquite or hickory can be sometimes be. Of course, pair that smoky flavor with something light and crisp, like watermelon or coleslaw. The latter isn’t a favorite around here, so watermelon is always our default. Next to that, I like cooking up a side of chili since that can be made the night before and reheated on the grill.
Grab some beers or cocktails and you’ll be all set for easy summer entertaining as well.