Here in the Bluegrass state one can never over do bourbon! What started as a simple smoked chicken cook quickly turned into a smoked chicken brined in a bourbon and smoked over old bourbon barrel staves. The bourbon of choice for this expedition was a hand picked bottle of limited edition Buffalo Trace Nine Year Old.
1. Add ten cups of water to a large 20 quart stock pot.
2. Add about twenty ounces of your favorite bourbon to the water.
3. Mix in one cup of dark brown sugar.
4. Mix in a half a cup of kosher salt.
5. Quarter two lemons and add to the stock pot.
6. Add black peppercorns, garlic cloves, coriander seeds, star anise and bay leaves to the stock pot.
7. Allow the stock pot to simmer over low to medium heat for at least 30 minutes.
8. Before the brine comes to a boil turn off the heat and give it ample time to cool down.
9. Before dropping in two whole chickens add three or four full trays of ice to the brine.
10. Add two or three whole chickens and allow them to brine for at least 20 hours but no more than 30 hours.
11. Smoke the chickens at 350 degrees fahrenheit for four hours or until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees fahrenheit.
12. Once the chickens reach the appropriate temperature remove them from the smoker and allow them to rest for at least one hour before pulling them.