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Hey there Blue Martini,

While waiting for my Amerique to arrive I still am feeling a little bit of knowledge towards your question. My gut level feeling is that longer cooking times do not equate with a dryer product. One might think that a lower temperature would remove moisture much slower, and I'm also thinking that the enclosed environment of the sealed smoker would feed moisture back into the food, as it really has nowhere to go. In any event, the following is an indoor recipe that I've been making for a few years now, and everyone seems to go nuts over it. Wishing you (and me) many happy tasty cooks on our Amerique's!

Best wishes,

Sticky Chicken-AND- A tasty variation!!!

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 whole chicken, weighing approx. 3 1/2 pounds

1 cup chopped onions

Combine all spices (first 8 ingredients) in small bowl.

1. Rinse chicken, inside and out. Drain well.
2. Rub spice mixture over skin and the inside of chicken
3. Place in a resealable plastic bag, seal and refrigerate overnight. (I usually place the bird on a large plate, and cover completely with a saran type of wrap.)
4. When ready to roast, stuff cavity with onions.
5. Place chicken BREAST SIDE DOWN in roasting pan.
6. Roast uncovered at 250 (that's not a's really 250! Anything over 225 is safe as long as the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 155, which this does, and more) for about 5 hours. Baste occasionally with pan juices or until pan juices start to caramelize on bottom of pan and chicken is golden brown. (After making this crispy skinned, moist bird so many times, I find that the occasional basting is an unnecessary step-I let it go 5 hours without doing a thing!)

I believe this chicken serves 4, but I like to cut out the backbone, and serve this bird as a decadent meal for as 2, by creating 2 halves. I guess more normal folk, could quarter the bird. The onions are tasty to eat!

Now for an "over the top" variation to the onion stuffed bird, I like to make the following Old Fashioned Soda Cracker Stuffing, to replace the chopped onion. I am comfortable with making the stuffing in advance, but I only stuff the chicken when I want to put it into the oven, and I would never refrigerate the stuffing beforehand. Also, if you try this version, I would not use any of the spice mixture on the inside of the bird. I stuff the bird only in it's main body cavity, and I do not truss the bird at all. I don't mind if some of the stuffing pushes out into the pan, while baking. This part develops a desirable crunch!, and the "no trussing" is just another reason to call this a very simple recipe.

1 1/2 onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 shallots, minced
1/2 carrot, grated
1/4 tsp. Poultry seasoning
3 Tb. Butter

Sauté above mixture until all is soft. Let mixture cool and toss with 1 1/2 cups crushed soda crackers ( 6 oz. weight ), 1 beaten egg, and enough Chicken broth to make a soft, moist, but not soggy stuffing mixture. The original type of chicken broth recommended to me is the condensed kind where for soup, you add it's volume with a like amount of water, such as Campbells brand. It comes in a 10 3/4 oz. can. I use this condensed broth, undiluted, and you need less than one can. I also LOVE the flavor of garlic, so I mix in 1/2 ounce weight of crushed garlic to the stuffing.


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