Smoked Chicken and The Best Gravy Ever!!!
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 1 chicken
 
Ingredients
Maple Brine for chicken or turkey
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1½ cups Kosher salt
  • 1½ cups maple syrup (use the good stuff)
  • 2 fresh bunches of thyme (2 Tbsp. dry)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1-15 lb turkey or 2 medium sized whole chickens
Finishing touches for the bird:
  • Apple, sliced
  • Onion, peeled and sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs de Provence
Best Ever Gravy
  • Drippings from pan ( you can add water to this if the drippings are too thick, up to ¾ cup)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. flour (adjust flour if water was added to the drippings)
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 Tbsp. sherry
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except poultry in a large stock pot. Bring to boil and cook until salt dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  2. Once cool, put the poultry in the brine and refrigerate overnight. Turn once if possible.
  3. Prepare your smoker to a temperature of 215-225F. Remove the birds from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Loosely stuff the cavity with onion and apple slices. Rub the entire bird with olive oil and Herbs de Provence. Place in the smoker with an aluminum drip pan underneath and smoke for 7-8 hours or until the breast temp. is 160-165F. Remove and tent with foil for 20min. while you make the gravy. Pour the drippings into a gravy separator.
  4. For the gravy: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and when it is bubbling whisk in flour, letting the flour cook for a few seconds. Whisking rapidly pour in the drippings. Whisk in the stock and then let the gravy cook until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 4-5 min. Stir in the sherry and season with salt and pepper. Usually it doesn't need too much salt if any because of the brine. Pour into a gravy boat and serve with sliced turkey or chicken.
Recipe by Noshing With the Nolands at https://noshingwiththenolands.com/smoked-chicken-and-the-best-gravy-ever/