I was honored to be asked my opinion on some pre-Seasoned Chicken Leg Quarters that may hit local markets early next year. The Chicken Leg Quarters were seasoned with Garlic, Salt, Orange Citrus Flavor, Paprika, Spices, Onion Powder, and were Artificially Colored.
Used a time tested method of smoking the chicken for 2 hours before increasing the temperature to finish the cook and crisp the skin. Preheated the MAK 2 Star Wood Pellet BBQ Smoker-Grill to 180ºF (SMOKE Setpoint) with Hickory wood BBQ pellets.
After 2 hours of Smoke, increased the temperature to 325ºF until the Internal Temperature of the chicken legs reached 180ºF. Note how nicely the chicken browned. Removed the Chicken Leg Quarters and rested under a foil tent for 15 minutes. Time frame: 20 minutes preheat; 2 hours smoke @180ºF; 35 minutes @325ºF; and rest for 15 minutes.
The Money $Shot$ … A Chicken Leg Quarter served with Spanish Rice and Pinto Beans …
The Chicken was very moist and done to perfection with an exceptionally crisp skin but we unfortunately we don’t eat the skin anymore. Without the skin it came down to the natural chicken flavor which although delicious was … well plain chicken!! Had I taken bites with the skin I presume that the seasoning would have enhanced the chicken flavor. I will test my theory with a half chicken I have with the same seasonings.
I prefer to season under and on the skin but seasoning under the skin may not be a viable option for a commercial product. Chicken halves and/or parts are easy enough for me to prepare but not when mass produced. My recommendation would be to inject the chicken leg quarters with a solution of the seasonings to compliment the outer seasoning.