I have mentioned before that She Who Must Be Obeyed likes boneless skinless chicken breasts while I find them a difficult piece of meat to keep moist and tender. Well, orders were given so I went to work.
One of the things you can do to keep the breast moist is to brine it. However, I don’t like the texture of brined chicken. I find it a little pasty. I have discovered that if you use a little less salt and limt your time in the brine to 2 to 4 hours it is better to my taste.
The next thing is to cook it at a relatively high heat.
Lastly, I cook it in my Traeger Timberline pellet smoker. Pellet smoker move a lot of air around the food like a convection oven and this seems to give a moister more tender result in my opinion.
I started by making a brine of:
- 250 ml (1 cup) of cold water
- 75 ml (1/3 cup) soy sauce
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) brown sugar
I mixed these together. I find the soy sauce has all the salt I need.
I put the chicken in the brine, covered and refrigerated for about three hours. Two to four hours is fine. Turn the chicken in the brine occassionally.
While the chicken is marinating, take the zest from a medium orange and divide in two.
Juice the orange and mix:
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the orange juice
- 1/2 of the orange zest
- 25 ml (2 tbsp) hoisin
- 25 ml (2 tbsp) bbq sauce
Set aside in the refrigerator for the flavours to meld.
Make a rub with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of your favourite chicken bbq rub with the remaining 1/2 of the orange zest and set it aside.
Take the chicken out of the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. spread the rub mixture over the chicken.
Preheat your smoker to 400 F (205 C). You can also do this over indirect heat in a gas or charcoal barbecue but the times will vary depending your set up. Just cook it to the temperatures noted.
Put the chicken in and cook it to an iternal temperature of 150 F (65 C). That took 25 minutes in my pellet smoker but each varies in the amount of direct heat so it may take more or less in yours.
When the chicken gets to 150 F, brush it with the sauce mixture on both sides and cook for 5 minutes. Brush with the sauce and cook for 5 minutes 3 more times for four brushings in all.
The internal temperature should be over 165 F (73 C) which is minimum for food safety. I prefer my chicken with an internal temperature of 170 F (77 C) but remember the internal temperature will continue to climb a few degrees while the chicken rests.
Bring the chicken in and let it rest for 10 minutes and serve.
As usual, the pellet smoker made a great boneless skinless chicken breast. It was moist and tender. The rub and glaze have a nice hit of orange flavour, sweet/spicy from the bbq sauce, and some Oriental notes from the Hoisin.
She Who Must Be Obeyed was pleased as was I!
The Old Fat Guy
Orange Glazed Chicken Breasts
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 250 ml water 1 cup
- 75 ml soy sauce ⅓ cup
- 15 ml lemon juice 1 tbsp
- 15 ml brown sugar 1 tbsp
- 125 ml orange juice ½ cup
- zest from ½ orange
- 25 ml hoisin sauce 2 tbsp
- 25 ml barbecue sauce 2 tbsp
- 15 ml barbecue rub 1 tbsp
- zest from 1/2 orange
- Mix the brine ingredients together. Put the chicken breasts in the brine and refrigerate for two to four hours, turning chicken occassionally.
- Mix the glaze ingredients together and refrigerate while the chicken is brining.
- Mix the rub ingredients together and set aside.
- Put the chicken in a preheated 400 F (105 C) smoker until the internal temperature is 150 F (65 C).
- Brush both sides of the chicken with the glaze mixture. Cook for 5 more minutes. Repeat this three more times for a total of four brushings. Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is over 165 F (73 C)
- Bring the chicken in and let it rest 10 minutes before serving.