Smoked Cuban Chicken

Posted by on Monday, April 22nd, 2013

cuban chicken copy

If there is a single category of food that greatly pleases the male population it would have to be SMOKED MEATS!  We smoked 2 hens yesterday and fed 6 people.  By the time we packed 2 lunch containers with the leftovers, the carcasses were picked clean. Next time your local grocery store has a sale on whole chickens, pick up a couple.

Although we prepared our lady birds in our smoker, the birds could be roasted in the oven just as easily.  Here’s how to prepare 2 small hens for the smoker:

For the Brine:

  • 2 Large Zip-Lock Bags (I used 2 gallon size)
  • 1 cup salt
  • 6 cups water

For the marinade:

  • 1 cup lime juice (if squeezing fresh limes, zest them first and save the zest, also save a few of the squeezed lime halves)

To season the chickens;

  • CUBAN ADOBO DRY RUB SEASONING (click link for recipe)
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Lime zest (if you juiced fresh limes, zest them and use with seasoning)
  • Lime halves (if you used fresh limes and saved the squeezed halves)

The Brining step is OPTIONAL but sure makes a bird moister and tastier.  I was able to fit both hens into a 2 gallon zip lock bag.  I dissoved the salt in the cold water and poured the solution into the Zip-Lock bag with the chickens.  I then placed the bag inside a large bowl and set it all in the fridge to brine overnight.

Next morning I removed the hens and rinsed them slightly. I placed them inside a clean 2 gallon Zip-Lock bag and added the lime juice.  Fresh or bottled juice can be used.  I zested, halved, and squeezed 5 limes and had to add a little more bottled juice to make a cup.  I let the birds marinate in the lime juice for about 4 hours.  Then the birds were ready for the CUBAN ADOBO DRY RUB SEASONING

After the hens marinated, I removed them from the bag and patted them dry with a paper towel.  Then I used grapeseed oil (my personal oil preference) to spread over the birds.  This oil helps the dry rub stick to the birds.  Then I evenly sprinkled the CUBAN ADOBO DRY RUB SEASONING over the top and bottom and sides of the bird. I placed the birds on smoker rack and stuffed the inside with the leftover lime halfs. I finally sprinkled the lime zest over the hens and these little ladies were finally ready for the preheated smoker.

We have a digital thermometer designed for meat smoking.  Our firstborn is the expert smoker here. He inserted the probe of the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and monitored the temperature throughout the cooking process. When the internal temperature reached 165 degrees, the birds were done!  We then wrapped the birds in foil, and towels and placed them in a cooler (without ice) to keep them warm until the rest of our dinner was completed and all family member were present for dining.  It took about 3 hours for the birds to fully cook in the smoker. However I am pretty sure if they were baked in the oven at 375 degrees, the cooking time would have been faster.

Filed in Main Dishes | 2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Smoked Cuban Chicken”

  1. Curtis Flatton 22 Apr 2013 at 8:17 am 1

    If you need your brine ready quickly always use kosher salt. It will dissolve in cold water. If you want to use sea salt you will have to bring the water to a boil to dissolve it then allow it to fully cool so it doesn’t start to pre-cook your bird.

  2. juneon 23 Apr 2013 at 8:45 am 2

    hi tara! found your site when i was searching for a good “ranch packet” recipe. love yours! i’ve been following you ever since…you’ve got some great recipes!

    my hubbie LOVES to smoke meat, so i can’t wait to try this one. the flavors of the rub look great…and to add those flavors to fresh lime makes me want to crank up the smoker right now! too bad it’s under a few inches of snow. :(