Miners Mix Smoked Duck (Goose, Chicken or Turkey)

To all the charcoal purists out there, this is a recipe to use on the gas grill. I find birds done this way are far better than what comes off a charcoal grill due to the better heat control over a longer period of time. Ideally you need at least a 2 burner gas grill so that you can place the bird over the unlit side and cook with the other burner for indirect heat. I've done many many chickens and ducks this way, plus a goose or three, and turkeys up to 12 lbs or so.

Thaw and rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out. Do not dry the bird totally, you want it to remain wet on the surface so the rub will stick. Rub the outside surface of the bird liberally with Miners Mix Poultry Rub. At the neck cavity and around the guts cavity use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the meat and then sprinkle rub into those areas under the skin. It helps to stand the bird upright or upside down to accomplish this feat of culinary gymnastics. Sprinkling the rub under the skin imparts more flavor to the meat.

Skewer the bird on the rotisserie and use kebab skewers to secure the wings and legs if needed. I usually place the hind end of the bird closest to the heat source because the thighs take the longest to get to 165F and the breast meat stays moist because it's farther from the heat. If desired, you can place several sprigs of fresh rosemary in the body cavity before placing on the rotisserie (recommended!)

I make a drip tray from foil to place under the bird because there'll be lots of great juice and grease issuing from the bird that will make a mess all over your patio if you don't arrange some collection method that will keep the wife happy. Expect about a cup/chicken, 1.5 cups/duck and 2 cups/goose. Light the burner opposite the bird and start her a-spinnin' on that rotisserie

For a smoke taste, wrap in foil pieces of oak, almond or other fruitwood, or whatever wood you prefer to use to smoke meats. MAKE SURE THE WOOD IS SAFE TO SMOKE WITH BECAUSE SOME SPECIES ARE TOXIC. I SERIOUSLY DOUBT THAT SMOKING WITH OLEANDER OR POISON OAK WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA, FOR INSTANCE! I usually bundle 3-4 pieces of oak branches about 1.5" dia and maybe 5-6" long together in a foil pack. Punch a couple of small holes in the foil pack and place over the burner such that the flames don't directly touch the foil pack. My stone-age gas BBQ uses cinder rocks; I place the pack directly on the cinder rocks.

Keep the burner on high until smoke begins to come out of the holes you punched in the wood/foil pack. Every 5-10 minutes, open the lid of the BBQ and check for smoke coming out of the holes. When you see that the wood is beginning to smoke, turn the burner down as low as it will go. Once she starts smoking heavily, the smoke usually lasts for about an hour and sometimes I'll even add another pack for more smoky goodness. It'll take about 2.5-3.5 hours to completely cook a 6 lb chicken to 165F. It'll be a beautiful dark mahogany color. When it gets close to temperature, remove the smoke packet and turn up the heat medium to crisp up the skin. When done, remove the bird and place on a platter for slicing. The next day, when the foil smoke pack is cool, the wood inside has magically turned into charcoal that can then be used in a charcoal BBQ.

BE SURE TO SAVE THAT JUICE AND GREASE! Skim the grease off and freeze the juice and grease separately. Both will have a wonderful smoke flavor that complements au-gratin potatoes or stove top stuffing, or can be used in gravy. Substitute the smoked grease in recipes that call for butter or margarine to give a smoke flavor.