July 16, 2014
Sorgum—you can think of it as the South’s maple syrup—is sweet yet earthy with a touch of spice that a dash of chile de arbol brings to the forefront. If you can’t find it, a combination of honey and molasses will do the trick.
Serves 4 to 6
½ cup plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
3 tablespoons ancho chile powder, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground fennel
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon chile de árbol powder
¼ cup canola oil
Sorghum-Chile Glaze (recipe follows)
1. To make the brine, bring 4 cups cold water, ½ cup of the salt, and the sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan and cook until the salt and sugar are dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
2. Put the chicken thighs in a bowl, add the cooled brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Remove from the brine, rinse well, and pat dry.
3. Combine all of the spices in a small bowl. Rub each chicken thigh with some of the spice rub, put in a zip top bag, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
4. Soak 1 cup apple or hickory wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
5. Heat your smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If using a charcoal or gas grill, set up a drip pan with water on the bottom grates and heat the grill to low for indirect grilling. For a charcoal grill, put half of the drained wood chips over the hot coals, add the cooking grate, and close the cover. For a gas grill, add the wood chips and rosemary to a smoker box or foil pouch, put on the cooking grates of the grill towards the back, and close the cover. For both grills, open the vents halfway and maintain a temperature around 250°F. Let smoke build for 10 minutes.
6. Add the chicken to the smoker or grill over the pan filled with water. Smoke for 40 minutes. Add the remaining drained wood chips, add more water if needed to the drip pan—and hot coals if needed—and continue to smoke the chicken until the temperature reaches 165°F, about 1 hour more. During the last 15 minutes of smoking, brush the thighs with some of the glaze.
7. Remove the chicken from the grill, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve brushed with more of the glaze and sprinkled with ancho powder.
Makes 3/4 cup
¾ cup sorghum
1 teaspoon chile de árbol powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the sorghum and chile de arbol; season with salt and pepper. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Excerpted from Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay, photographs by Quentin Bacon. Copyright © 2013 by Boy Meets Grill, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Clarkson Potter, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company. All rights reserved.