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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Tea leaves smoked chicken

Smoked food

Smoking is the process of flavoring or preserving food by exposing it to smoke from burning woods. Smoking is also an ideal way to deal with some special ingredients that come with heavy odor, such as river fish, which always come with the smell of dirt. By using the smoking method, it could easily remove the unpleasant smell of the ingredient, some more providing a special smoky flavor. Almost every meat and fish could be smoked as long as the size or the ingredients itself is easy to cook, one of the well known smoked items is the smoked Salmon which is always used for the bagel in breakfast menu.

Smoked chickenType of smoking.

There are three types of smoking, depending on the time and temperature during smoking.
Cold smoke is using the temperature around 20 to 30 °C (68 to 86 °F) to smoke an item, the temperature is relatively difficult to control for the entry level. Cold smoke doesn't cook the food as it always used as a flavor enhancer, to provide a layer of smoky flavor at the outer layer of the food. Also, cold smoked food is usually cooked again before consume especially meat, which is still raw inside. The famous cold smoke item should be the smoked salmon, cold smoke is able to preserve its fresh texture, color, and flavor, some more apply a smoky flavor to it.
Hot smoke temperature appears to be around 52 to 80 °C (126 to 176 °F), foods are fully cooked, moist and flavorful within this range and is typically safe to eat without further cooking or preheat although hot smoked food is always cooked again before consume. Furthermore, Hot smoked foods are often heated before serving, such as applying a grill mark on smoked Sausage, or caramelize a ham.
Smoke roasting/Baking or barbecuing or pit roasting/baking in North America, has the attributes of smoking combined with either roasting or baking. This method may only do in an enclosed smoker that can reach the temperature of 250 °F (121 °C) or above. Finally, this method should be done in a well-ventilated area such as at the backyard or garden to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Basic work of smoking.

Talking about the smoking procedure is actually simple, they are...
  • Seasoning
The smoked food original purpose is to preserve food, however, smoke alone is insufficient for preserving food although it is antimicrobial and antioxidant, unless it combined with another preservation method. Salt is the main seasoning used for smoking as it is a substance that could kill the bacteria effectively and also provide taste. The marinating and seasoning could do in two-way, the first one is to cure the food item in salt water, which is enriched with herbs and spices. The second method is coat the food item with a layer of salt, which then will flow under running water after few days of curing, to remove the excessive of saltiness.
  • Air-dry
The cured product will then air-dry in a room which is well ventilated and avoid direct sunlight or in a smoker. The appearance of the smoked product will grow bad after smoke if excessive moisture remains, some more the taste will turning sour when the smoke reacts with water. The product is ready to smoke as long as the surface is well dried.
  • Smoking
Commercial kitchen in 5 stars or luxury hotel are usually prepared their own smoked product with their own smoking machine, however, the smoking procedure could also carry out in the household, only require a pan, pot, or handmade smoker, and smoke chips or woods. In Europe, Alder wood is the traditional smoking wood, but oak is more often used now. Furthermore, the wood or chips of the fruit trees are also often used for smoking, such as cherry, apple, and plum, which provide some special aroma. In Asia, People used herbs or dried tea leaves for smoke roasting, which produce a distinctive smoke aroma.
tea leaves smoked chicken.
tea leaves smoked chicken. | Source

About this recipe

I have a lot of smoking recipe, and this one is one of the ones that you can do it at home, with just a pot, aluminium foil, and tea leaves. At the old day I left the hotel, I always want to smoke something for my dinner, but I gave up when I have no place to find the Wood Chips and Smoker, for now, this recipe could be done at any time.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 2 pax


  • 1 piece               Whole boneless chicken leg meat
  • as need              Salt, to marinate the chicken
  • as need              Crushed black pepper, to marinate the chicken
  • 4 tablespoon      Earl grey Tea leaves, for the smoke
  • 1 tablespoon      Sugar, for the smoke
  • 1 slice                 Lemon wedges, for the garnish
  • half handful        Water crescent, for the garnish
  • 1 tablespoon      Whole Grain Mustard, for the sauce

Let's smoke

  1. Leave the chicken back to the room temperature, marinate both sides of the chicken leg meat with salt, and crushed black pepper.
  2. Prepare a pot which is big enough to lie the chicken leg meat. Cover the lid with a layer of aluminium foil as well as a lie a layer of foil in the pot, to prevent burn.
  3. Scatter sugar and dried black tea leaves( Earl grey/ Darjeeling, or Chinese tea) in the pot, spread evenly on the aluminium foil in the pot.
  4. Prepare a 15 cm long aluminium foil, fold around 3~4 times, roll it up to make a donut shape ring as the stand for the chicken in the pot, prepare 6~7 rings, place all of them on the tea leaves.
  5. lie the chicken on the aluminium rings, then cover the pot with the lid, then being to smoke the chicken over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. (do not open at the half way as the heat might not able to reach the centre part of the chicken.)
  6. Remove the chicken from the pot after 15 minutes of smoking, check the doneness. Smoke for another 5 minutes if the chicken still remains raw.
  7. Slice the smoked chicken and lie it on the plate, serve with crescent salad, lemon and mustard seed, as your like.

Cooking with picture

Marinate the chicken.
Marinate the chicken.
Prepare a smoker.
Prepare a smoker. | Source
prepare a stand for the inner smoker.
prepare a stand for the inner smoker.
lie the chicken and begin smoking.
lie the chicken and begin smoking.
Check the doneness.
Check the doneness.
Cut after the smoked chicken is cooled.
Cut after the smoked chicken is cooled.
Arrange on plate.
Arrange on plate. | Source

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