Smoked Fried Chicken

Or is it fried smoked chicken?

I love fried chicken. I am a fan of smoked chicken. I came up with the notion to combine the two a long time ago. I just have not had the chance to put this idea into fruition. Recently I found out that a place in Houston that does smoked fried chicken, but no places I can think of does this in the Austin area. Hint, hint.

This is not a recipe. This post is merely me experimenting and documenting it. You can adapt anything I do to your own personal taste.
Brined chicken
Salt and pepper
Smoked chicken
I brined the chicken overnight in salt and sugar. I did not want the meat to dry out especially with the two-step cooking process. I decided on thighs and legs because they are smaller and easier to deal with than breasts.  I dried the chicken the next day and seasoned them with salt and pepper. Cold smoking is the probably the best way to do it, but my current setup is a piece so I knew it was going to be impossible. I am greedy with smoke flavor so I left the pieces in the smoker for two hours. When I pulled them, the internal temperature was at 160 degrees. In the end it did not matter, but next time, I would remove them from the smoke bath earlier. Frying the chicken will bring the internal temperature higher anyways. 
Louisiana hot sauce and buttermilk dredge
All-purpose flour and cayenne pepper
Chicken ready to be fried
Frying chicken
The chicken rested and cooled down for a little bit. I double dredged the chicken to get a crispier and crunchier texture. The wet ingredients were Louisiana hot sauce and buttermilk and the dry were all-purpose flour and cayenne pepper. I prefer a lot of heat. The coated chicken hung out for 30 minutes on a wire rack before I threw them in the 350 degrees oil. We have an electric stove, and it sucks. We wish we had the choice of gas in our neighborhood. It is tough to maintain a consistent temperature. It took about nine minutes for the pieces to get to a golden brown color. The internal temperature was 180 degrees. I let them dry and cool down on a wire rack.
Smoked & fried chicken

The smoked fried/fried smoked chicken was delicious. There was a ton of flavor. Each bite had a deep smoke taste. The skin was crispy and crunchy. My wife made some homemade mashed potatoes, and I even pickled some jalapeños to complement the meal. It was fun to bring my idea to life. I am not sure I would do this again though. It was just too much work in my opinion. If someone else was doing the cooking, I would gladly eat it.

Until next time, happy smoking...

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