How To Make Tea Smoked Chicken
Taste and Texture
Tea smoked chicken has a unique taste and texture. The chicken is tender and juicy, with a subtle smoky flavor infused from the tea leaves used in the smoking process. The smokiness adds depth to the overall taste, complementing the natural flavors of the chicken. It creates a delightful combination of savory and aromatic notes that make tea smoked chicken a delicious and memorable dish.
1 whole chicken (about 3-4 lbs)
4-5 tablespoons loose tea leaves (preferably jasmine)
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
4-5 star anise
4-5 dried red chilies (optional, for spice)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
3-4 green onions, cut into halves
Soy sauce for drizzling
Sesame oil for drizzling
Fresh cilantro for garnish
Brine the chicken:
a. In a large pot, bring enough water to submerge the chicken to a boil.
b. Add 1/2 cup of kosher salt and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Stir to dissolve.
c. Allow the brine to cool completely, then submerge the chicken in the brine. Refrigerate and let it brine for 4-6 hours, or overnight.
Prepare the tea mixture:
a. In a bowl, combine loose tea leaves, rice, star anise, dried red chilies, cinnamon stick, Sichuan peppercorns, and ginger slices.
Smoke the chicken:
a. Preheat your wok or a deep skillet on medium-high heat.
b. Line the wok with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
c. Place a rack or steaming tray above the tea mixture in the wok.
d. Remove the chicken from the brine, pat it dry with paper towels, and place it on the rack.
e. Cover the wok tightly with a lid.
f. Once you see smoke escaping from the edges, reduce the heat to medium-low and smoke the chicken for about 40-45 minutes.
Finish cooking the chicken:
a. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
b. After smoking, transfer the chicken to a baking dish and brush it with soy sauce and a little sesame oil.
c. Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until fully cooked (internal temperature reaches 165°F or 74°C).
d. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing.
a. Arrange the sliced chicken on a serving platter.
b. Drizzle with a little more sesame oil and garnish with green onions and fresh cilantro.
c. Serve with steamed rice or your favorite side dishes.