Smoked Chicken Quarters
Why is it so hard sometimes to find Chicken Quarters? It's easy to find Chicken breasts, thighs, wings, drumsticks, even liver but not quarters. Sautéed chicken liver and a sliced chicken heart is to die for but that's for another day! Found some nice fresh Foster Farms whole chickens at Costco for 99¢ a pound that was too good to pass up - especially in these days of shortages due to Covid-19 - so I picked up two double packs. Lately I've been lazy and just grab a few rotisserie chickens from Costco rather than cook them myself. Less than $5 for a plump rotisserie chicken is a great buy.
I chose to cut the chickens into different sections for future use. I cut my own quarters, breasts, and spatchcocks - make sure to always ensure that the chicken pieces are bone-in and skin on. This is very important when smoking chicken quarters or any other parts because it's keeps the meat from drying out and tasting like shoe leather.
To maximize your chicken flavor profiles, I always peel back the skin in order to gain access to the meat itself (See the photos above). I recommend that you start by carefully peeling back the skin of your chicken quarters and trimming any excess skin along with any large pieces of fat. Since fat often equates to flavor, you don't need to trim every little bit of fat from your chicken quarters.
Once you've prepped your chicken quarters, rub under and on the skin with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil. Season the under and on the skin using my Poultry Seasoning - page 170 of my cookbook - The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook. Wrap the season chicken quarters in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-5 hours.
- Preheat your Green Mountain Grills WiFi controlled Davy Crockett Grill or your wood pellet smoker grill of choice to 180ºF using CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix hard wood pellets.
- Smoke the chicken quarters for an hour
- Bump your Pit temperature to 375ºF and continue cooking for approximately 45 minutes until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the chicken quarter reaches 180ºF
- Rest the Smoked Chicken Quarters loosely under a foil tent for 10 minutes before serving