Smoking is good for you

That’s right, you heard it here first. Start smoking!

Oh, did you think I meant cigarettes? Good lord no, I meant meat products.

All you need is a heat proof box, a heating element, and some combustibles.  Or, purchase your very own Big Chief Electric Smokehouse! Of course in true food stamp feasting fashion, I neither built a smoker nor bought a smoker — all I did was take pictures of my roommate’s smoker:

Now you’re in business. Note the mesquite woodchips…or were they apple wood? While you’re trying to figure that out, marinate a whole chicken in a briny mix of soy sauce, lemon juice, and star anise. Like so:

Now as far as I’m concerned, that looks good enough to eat already…but no, you’d probably regret that decision.

After several hours of marinating, you may now smoke that fool.  I bet you have some Asian spices lying around to add to the wood chips…but if not, I’m not sure it makes a difference. In this case we added star anise, dried chiles, and ground sichuan peppers:

Mix that loosely with the woodchips, wrap the whole package in tin foil, and place it at the bottom of your Big Chief, right on top of the heating coil.  After an hour or two in the smoker, preheat your oven to 375, remove the chicken from the smoker, and glaze it with some thick (aka black) soy sauce:

Once again, I could totally eat it at this stage. But no! Place the chicken on a roasting rack and deposit it into your oven for about an hour…

Doesn’t that look like one of those delicious ducks you see hanging in a Chinese restaurant? Thank you for smoking.

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About Thomas

Thomas currently tutors Chinese, writes blog posts, and works in the non-profit sector.
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