Saturday, September 25, 2010
Rosemary Smoked Chicken and Apples
Here you see the setup. Sure, it sounds appealing, maybe even looks appealing. It certainly did to me. But let me break some things down for you before you try this recipe.
First, my intention was to get a massive amount of smoke directly onto the chicken. In theory, this would have been great. And, the smoke from rosemary is nice and compliments chicken well.
The setup, as you see, had a blanket of rosemary on top of aluminum foil. I coated the base with olive oil. Then, on top of the rosemary, I added some sliced apples. On top of that, the chicken. Here's a quick detour for the chicken flavoring: A handful of chicken breasts or chicken breast tenders, coated in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. I love paprika, so you see I coated it with a solid amount.
Now onto the setup.
When I placed the setup on the grill, it started working right away. Smoke! After a couple of minutes, though, the rosemary was breaking down and it became apparent that the chicken was soon going to be resting directly on burnt rosemary. I figured I'd let it play out.
As I suspected, the rosemary completely broke down into burnt matter and oil. It did not stick to the chicken as I thought it would, but that doesn't mean the flavor wasn't overwhelming.
The finished result was visually appealing, but the rosemary fragrance and oils were overpowering- to the point of being disgusting. The apples were worse, since they soaked up even more of the fragrance and oil.
Next time, I think the idea would succeed if I built a true barrier between the rosemary and the chicken, but allowed some - not all - of the rosemary smoke to penetrate the chicken. What I'm thinking is that I'd completely cover the rosemary with apple slices, since they imparted a natural sweetness to the chicken and helped defuse the power of the rosemary on the chicken...I just didn't have enough apples to create a barrier. I would not let the chicken rest directly on the rosemary.
You might be wondering why I just didn't set up my smoke box with rosemary and keep it simple...I wanted the direct smoke, that's it. Perhaps a better solution would have been to add some wood chips to the rosemary (or even put the chicken directly on top of the wood chips - that would be interesting).
Anyway, give it a shot. Here's the finished plate.