I realize that I haven't lived up to the barbecue portion of the blog's title, so I'm gonna make up for that with a double treat: barbecued chicken and bacon.
All right, it's not bacon wrapped chicken, but rather me knocking out two glorious treats at once.
I've discussed smoked bacon before, but here is a visual to go along with it. In this particular case I rubbed sea salt, pink salt, and sugar on the pork belly a week before smoking. Then when it was time to put it in the smoker, I took it out of the fridge and rubbed a bit more salt and brown sugar on the belly. It's hard to see it in this picture, but the brown sugar becomes nicely carmelized as it smokes.
It took a little longer than usual to bring the pork belly up to the right temperature (around 150), but after two hours it was just right. And it was indeed spectacular.
The chicken recipe comes from the book Smoke and Spice. This has been my go-to guide for smoking since I began doing it a couple of years ago, and almost all of the recipes have been great. For the chicken, I applied a spice rub consisting of paprika, salt, pepper, sugar and a bunch of other spices the night before on both chickens. First, I melted some butter and Worcestershire sauce and rubbed it on the chicken, on and under the skin, and then applied the rub.
When the chicken was ready for the smoker, I re-rubbed a bit of the spice. I also cut up chunks of onions and lemon and inserted them into the cavities of each chicken. Once in the smoker, I applied a lemon-butter mop that includes melted butter, chicken stock, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and the last bit of the rub.
After three and a half hours the chickens hadn't quite come up to temperature, so I put them in the oven to finish them off. I made some black sauce (Worcestershire sauce and vinegar) to go with them. In the end, they came out almost perfectly.