When I was a kid, some of our country cousins used to refer to Dublin (the grand metropolis that it was and continues to be) as the Big Smoke (Pronounced more like “de big shmoke”). In our company, they would speak about it with mock reverence; “Oh, your from de big shmoke, are ye? Isn’t it well for ye after all.” Time has passed and those from outside the Pale have their own smoke while Dublin, having banned the burning of smokey fuel is now the Big No Smoke. (Say it as “noo shmoke”, if you want to sound like country Irish). This reversal of fortunes has gone on long enough. Our government is about to ban smokey coal throughout the land. So it is time to re-claim the title of Big Smoke for the capital.
Now, if one is planning to use a big Bradley smoker for the first time, one needs to take precautions. I decided that I should have a fireman on hand. So, I may as well do my first smoking in the big Bradley smoker (also the Big Smoke) to celebrate my nice Laura’s fiancée, Paddy becoming a fully fledged fireman. What’s even better is that he and Laura had to come from County Waterford to supervise the proceedings. A fireman up to “de big shmoke”, to supervise a big smoking of two big chickens.
Keeping this very Irish, I concocted a “Hot Irish” brine. The ingredients for Smoked Chicken in Hot Irish Brine were as follows:
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
- A dozen or so cloves
- 2 lemons
- 250cl of good Irish whiskey
- 4 litres of water
- 1 teaspoon of hot paprika
You will notice that apart from the paprika and salt, the rest would make up a pretty decent hot whiskey.
I added the salt, sugar and whiskey to a saucepan and heated it until the sugar and salt dissolved and the alcohol evaporated.
I placed the water and cloves in a large pot and added the mixture. I then squeezed the lemons in and added the skins too.
The chickens were placed in and this was left to brine for 24 hours.
I then removed the chickens from the brine and patted them dry. Just before placing them in the smoker, I sprinkled them with paprika.
They were hot smoked in a 100ºC (220°F) atmosphere for 4 hours, until the internal temperature of the chicken meat reached 65°C (150ºF).
I let them rest for 10 minutes before serving with a nice green salad.
Thankfully, Paddy’s only observations were about how good the chicken tasted. It was good to have him on hand for the big smoke in the big smoker in “de big shmoke”. Congratulations Paddy.