Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rick's Memorial Day Cherry Wood BBQ Chicken

It’s Memorial Day weekend and time to do some serious grilled chicken!  Graul’s Market had whole chickens for 97 cents a pound, so I picked up a roaster to cut up for some BBQ’d chicken.  I season my chicken with BBQ rib rub and then coat the pieces with mayonnaise (yes, that is my secret for my beautiful and juicy chicken.) Mayonnaise is basically eggs, oil and lemon juice, so the oil sears the outside which seals in the juices. The egg in the mayo forms a glaze that both stays put on the chicken and yields a wonderful color and sheen on the finished pieces.  I use cherry wood chips for the delicate smoke flavor and that is about it.  You don’t need to touch or baste the chicken while it smokes on the grill.  When the chicken reaches 170 degrees internal temperature, remove the pieces from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.  I guarantee you will be amazed at how good chicken on the grill can be!

Ingredients for the dry Rub (or purchase my BBQ rub from

2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated garlic
1/2 cup chili powder (I prefer Mexene Brand- order from
1/2 cup granulated onion
1/4 cup lemon pepper
1/4 cup coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons Accent
¼ cup Mrs Dash “Original Seasoning Blend”
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper


Combine all the spices in a re-sealable plastic bag and mix well.  Store in an airtight jar until needed.

Ingredients for the chicken:

1 whole roaster, cut up
1 cup dry rub (recipe above)
1 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s)
cherry wood chips for smoking


Light a charcoal fire.  When the coals are hot, divide and push the coals to the side and place a foil pan in the middle.  

Add water to the pan to catch the meat drippings and add moisture during the cooking process and return the grill grate to its normal position.  

Cut the chicken into pieces and rinse and dry them with paper towels.  

Sprinkle chicken liberally with the dry rub and press the rub into the chicken with the palm of your hand.  

Dip a silicone grill brush into the mayonnaise and brush the dry-rubbed chicken pieces liberally with mayonnaise.  

Turn the pieces over and repeat the process. Sprinkle with a little more rub and place the chicken on the grill over the water filled pan.  

Add a handful of wood chips to each mound of coals and close the lid.  

Let the chicken smoke at 350 degrees (without opening the grill cover!) for about an hour.  Open the lid and add a few more wood chips to each mound of coals.  

Read the temperature of the chicken breasts with an instant read thermometer; you are aiming for 170 degrees at the thickest part of the breast.  

Close the lid and cook an additional 15 minutes until the chicken is the correct temperature (170-175 degrees)  

Remove the pieces from the grill and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.  This will allow the juices to re-incorporate into the meat.  
Serve as is or with your favorite BBQ sauce (which I hope is Rick’s BBQ and Broilin’ Baste; available at )

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