Chicken is often the most unforgiving of grilling meats, particularly white meat. Who hasn’t had to battle trying to find the balance between chicken with a slimy center versus tough as shoe-sole meat? Although unforgiving, chicken breasts do have the potential to absorb flavors like a virgin sponge. The secret to mastering the perfect chicken is not solely in the grilling & cooking recipes, but in the method.
White meat likes to take things slow, tender. Indirect smoking is this meat’s favorite indulgence. Apple-wood, its sweet mate. Let the wood soak in water for at least 15 minutes, but you may want to let it go up to 8 hours. (The larger the chunks the longer you will need it to soak.) As opposed to what many may say, the chicken doesn’t care about the spices. It simply wants the love. Spices are for you. Whatever you like. Garlic? Dry Mustard? Paprika? Sure. Just make sure to add salt. Let it sit for 15 minutes to an hour.
Pile the lit coals to one side. Place the apple-wood chunks on top the coals. After you have put the chicken on the grate opposite of the coals, place the lid on, making sure that the vents rest over the chicken.
Light the burners at one side. Wrap the apple chips in foil, poke holes in the foil, and then lay the apple-wood chips on the hot side of the grill. After you have put the chicken on the grate opposite of the heat, close the lid.
Let the smoke caress your chicken for 40 to 60 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 165. Time varies due to heat trapped beneath lid. You can lower the temperature in a charcoal grill by closing the vents. With a gas grill, you can turn down the burners. Wait at least 30 minutes before even opening the lid. No need to turn or burn. When done, pull it out and let it rest for 10 minutes. Enjoy.