Easy Smoked Chicken (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)
Smoky, tender juicy chicken boasting of earthy garlic and vibrant fresh herbs making every bite absolute perfection. This is one of my favorite dishes to make because it is so easy, I always get the most flavorful chicken, and everyone loves it! It’s perfect for weekend barbecues, family dinner, or if you are wanting a smoked chicken for another recipe!
For Easter this year I decided to make smoked chicken instead of a ham or beef because I just like chicken more! This simple recipe only takes a few minutes to prep and the rest is easy giving you plenty of time to make some sides, bake a dessert, or sit on the patio with a glass of chardonnay. This dish is one of my go-to’s for an easy dinner where I want to spend a little more time making other things, or just relaxing.
Why Chicken is So Good For You!
We all know that chicken is a tasty and fantastic source of protein, but do you know why it is so good for you? Chicken, along with many other sources of animal protein, such as beef, eggs and fish, are a complete source of protein. This means that all nine essential amino acids are present and available to you when you eat these foods. When it comes to nutrients, anything labeled as “essential” means that your body cannot make or synthesize this nutrient, so it must be provided to your body by the foods you eat.
As mentioned above, there are nine essential amino acids that we must eat everyday to provide our bodies energy as well as the building blocks necessary in everyday functions such as growth and repair, immune support, and in the synthesis of our hormones and neurotransmitters.
The nine essential amino acids and their roles are :
- Histidine: necessary for the production of histamine and also plays a role in nervous system health
- Valine: necessary in energy production as well as muscle growth and repair
- Phenylalanine: building block for neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline), and in the production of other amino acids.
- Leucine: necessary in stimulating wound healing, muscle repair, and blood sugar regulation.
- Isoleucine: necessary in immune function and energy regulation.
- Tryptophan: necessary building block for serotonin.
- Methionine: necessary in detoxification, metabolism, and in your body’s ability to absorb selenium (supports thyroid health) and zinc (necessary in production of HCl in your stomach).
- Threonine: necessary in skin and connective tissue health.
- Lysine: necessary in hormone production and your body’s ability to absorb calcium (bone, heart, muscle and nerve health.)
So grab a whole chicken and let’s get cooking!
Easy Smoked Chicken Ingredients
1 Whole Chicken
1/4 cup Grass-Fed Butter or Ghee
2-3 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely minced
1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
How to Make Easy Smoked Chicken
1. Heat the smoker to 250-275 degrees
2. In a small bowl, bring the butter to room temperature.
3. Prep the chicken:
- Clip or tuck the wings
- Bind the chicken together with butchers twine or tie the legs together at the base of the breast, this will prevent the legs from burning or overcooking.
4. Add the garlic, parsley, salt and pepper to the butter and mix well to combine.
5. Gently lift the skin away from the breast and leg and spread 1/3+1/3 of the garlic butter under the skin of each side of the chicken.
6. Use the last 1/3 of the garlic butter and spread over the outside of the chicken.
7. Place on the smoker and smoke for 3-4 hours until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (I love using a digital meat thermometer for this).
8. Remove the chicken and cover with a piece of parchment paper and then a piece of foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
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Q: Do I have to let the chicken rest before slicing?
A: Yes! This gives the chicken time to allow for the juices to redistribute and settle, making the chicken super moist and juicy!
Q: Why did my skin turn out rubbery?
A: When smoked at a lower temperature for longer, the skin can dry out leading to a rubbery texture, be sure your temperature is set to at least 250 degrees and don’t overcook it.
Q: What is the best type of wood to use for smoked chicken?
A: This question doesn’t have a right answer because it’s all about preference. Try out a few variations of single woods or a combination and find what you love best! My favorite is apple wood!
What to Serve with Smoked Chicken
Bacon Potato Salad: The perfect potato salad full of salty olives and savory bacon making it the superstar of side dishes!
Poppyseed Apple Kale Slaw: You will love this fresh, crisp and summery poppyseed apple kale slaw! It is beautifully balanced with a creamy and tangy dressing, sweet-tart green apples, and earthy kale!
Buttermilk Sourdough Biscuits: Perfect fluffy and tender scratch biscuits that go with everything from brunch to barbecue!
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. – Amy
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I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.
Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.