Father's Day Yardbird


We held a small dinner for my brother-in-law’s first Father’s Day and I made him his favorite dish, chicken. We were talking after Sunday Mass and I told him of my plan to roast a chicken, to which he proclaimed half a chicken was enough to feed him and we might need two chickens for dinner. He owns a landscaping business and works up a HUGE appetite. Ask and you shall receive.

I bought two Smart Chickens from my local grocery store and injected them, instead of soaking them in a brine for 24 hours, since I was short on time Sunday. I also tried to limit the amount of smoke on the chickens since my wife, mother-in-law and sister-in- law are not big on smoke flavor. I used Best Choice hardwood briquettes as my only fuel source, since it is probably re-branded Royal Oak, and was very pleased with the results no matter what the brand. I got a tiny bit of smoke flavor and the briquettes worked nicely.

Here is the recipe for the  injection I used:

  • 1 Cup Coors Beer
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 teaspoons Better than Bouillon Chicken
  • 1 teaspoon Left Over Rub (any Cajun style rub will work as a substitute)

I used an equal amount of injection for each yardbird, focusing on the breasts, drums, and thighs. I injected about 30 minutes before putting them on the smoker, just enough time to preheat my charcoal and then the drum smoker. I also sprayed the outside of each bird with a butter flavored spray and used the Left Over rub for seasoning.

I cooked the birds in my drum smoker at 300° for 2 1/2 hours. I took the internal temps of the chicken breasts up to 175° and the drums were 180°. I also used the wiggle test on the drums and juice ran clear from the hole made by the temperature probe.

I’ve smoked a few turkeys and some chicken pieces before ( breasts, drums, and thighs) but I’ve never made whole chickens. I am a yardbird man myself and this was the best chicken I’ve ever had, hands down best!

My in-laws made a request I make this more often and I see no reason not to since it was so easy to make, tasty, and accomplished in such a short amount of time.

I hope you had a happy Father’s Day,