Smoked Bone-In Chicken thighs
Health officials once again warned consumers about the dangers of washing raw chicken before cooking it, citing the risk of spreading harmful bacteria to utensils or other foods. In a tweet sent out on April 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked to a series of steps that can help eliminate the chances of food poisoning while cooking at home.
“Chicken can be a nutritious choice, but raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria. If you eat under cooked chicken or other foods or beverages contaminated by raw chicken or its juices, you can get a food borne illness, which is also called food poisoning.”
Some people take chicken thighs to 165ºF but I always take my chicken thighs and drumsticks to an internal temperature of 180ºF. Chicken dark meat is very forgiving and tastes great when properly cooked.
In the old days I seasoned my poultry like most other people. I simply seasoned the chicken on both sides of he thighs (back and on the skin). This method did virtually nothing for the flavor of the meat. That's why years ago I starting peeling back the skin of poultry and seasoning under the skin. The results were night and day!
Rub the chicken thighs on, under the skin, and the back with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil before doing the same with your favorite poultry seasoning. Replace the peeled skin and do the same with the olive oil and seasoning. For those who love to eat the skin like I do, this method helps to make the skin crispy.
Preheat your wood pellet smoker grill to 180ºF with cookinpellets.com Hickory wood pellets. Smoke the chicken thighs at 180ºF for 1½ hours before bumping the pit temperature to 400ºF. Finish to cook until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs reach 180ºF. Rest the chicken thighs loosely under a foil tent for 10 minutes before serving.