Thursday, May 27, 2021

Chris Sussman's Smoked Spatchcocked Chicken with Spicy Alabama White Sauce

[FTC Standard Disclosure] Chris and I traded copies of our books, so while I didn't pay for this book, I exchanged something of equal value, so I would not consider this a sponsored post.

If a new BBQ or grilling cookbook has a few of my personal favorite types of recipes, then I'm making those first. 

Playing The Hits

Cooking the favorites makes sense for a couple of reasons. First, I have already tried them often and have a wide range of experiences for comparison's sake. Second, I like to see new spins on old favorites. Third, favorites are favorites for a reason; I want to eat them! 

In no particular order, some of my favorite recipes to find in grilling cookbooks are:

  • Meatloaf
  • Any kind of chicken with Alabama white sauce
  • Burgers
  • Wings
  • Steak with compound butter

The Four Fundamentals of Smoking

So when I got my hands on Chris Sussman's (The BBQ Buddha) first book, The Four Fundamentals of Smoking, it should be no surprise that one of the first recipes I cooked was his Smoked Spatchcocked Chicken with Spicy Alabama White Sauce.

Smoked Spatchcocked Chicken with Spicy Alabama White Sauce

This bird really hit the spot. It was lightly smoky, juicy, and mouthwateringly tangy. I knew it would be excellent because Chris Sussman is a skilled live-fire cook. I'll do a full book review later; this post is just about the delicious chicken.

The Grill Set-Up

Chris' recipe called for cooking indirect, low and slow at 250°f. I loaded a Kick Ash Basket full of lump charcoal, and just before the chicken went on, I added a Mojobricks Mini-Qube Competition Blend flavor near where the coal was burning. I used a spider rig and heat stone for my indirect piece and an Adjustable Rig for my grates. A ConvEGGtor and standard grate would do just as good.

Cruising to delicousness at 250°f.

Large Big Green Egg in a BGE Modular Nest
I like the new bands since I installed them earlier this Spring. I'm tempted to get the newer style of vent cap instead of my old school Dual Function Metal Top but "if it ain't broke......".

The Prep

There wasn't a lot of prep to do; Chris's book keeps recipes to the essentials (a good thing). First, I spatchcocked the bird as show in my video below. It is simple, especially if you have a good pair of poultry shears. 

Next, I seasoned it. 

Seasoning a spatchcocked chicken with The Gospel from Meat Church
Chris said to use your favorite bird seasoning. He used Dizzy Pig Wonder Bird. I didn't have that, so I used Meat Church's The Gospel since it's a good all-purpose rub.

Here's a trick I've learned when seasoning a spatchcocked bird. Holding it like this and letting it drape over your hand exposes all of the parts that like to hide from the seasoning. I do this and season the pits, groin, and back of the legs first...

Then lay that chicky down and finish the seasoning. No gaps in seasoning this way.

The Cook

The cook was simple and uneventful. Smoke to 150°f, apply the sauce and finish to 165°f.

Smoking a spatchcocked chicken on the Big Green Egg
You can see the setup pretty well in this picture. Spider rig holding a heat stone on the bottom and topped with a foil-wrapped drip pan. Above that is the Adjustable Rig and grates. In general, the more distance you get between your food and the heat diffuser on a kamado, your cook will be more even.

Smoking Goat Smoked Red is produced in East Tennessee
The recipe called for gochujaru peppers or to substitute red pepper flakes.  I didn't have the gochujaru, so I used Smoking Goat Smoked Red from Grainger County in East Tennessee. It's like a smoked red pepper flake; it gives a moderate heat with a mild smoke.-

Saucing the bird
Drizzle drizzle. When I use white sauce, I don't brush it on like a sweet BBQ sauce. Rather I drizzle all over it and let gravity do the work.

Back in until it hits 165°f.

The Results

This chicken was tender, smoky, juicy, tangy, and delicious - exactly what I want from a white sauced bird. It also has a nice little spiciness to it, a little hotter than my typical white sauce recipes, and I liked that a good bit.

Smoked Spatchcocked Chicken with Spicy Alabama White Sauce
As you can see, the sauce is not exactly white, it has a pinkish tint to it before it cooks onto the bird. It is reminiscent of Lane's Sorta White, which we like a whole lot.

Smoked Spatchcocked Chicken with Spicy Alabama White Sauce
B-b-bird bird bird, b-bird is the word!

Excellent recipe, Chris and you put together a winner with The Four Fundamentals of Smoking.