I have always been a big fan of smoked chicken. My dad is the one who taught me all about smoking food and many of those memories involve injecting a bird then patiently waiting for it to turn golden brown and delicious. When injected and cooked properly these chickens are so incredibly moist with unbeatable flavor. This time I decided to make my own citrus-rosemary butter to inject it with, also, stuffing the cavity with more lemon and rosemary to really reinforce the flavors. The best part, the lemon will steam inside the chicken giving it great flavor on the inside and aiding in keeping the chicken moist. Pair these delicious delicate flavors with Traeger's famous "Chicken Rub" and you're in flavor heaven.
Citrus Rosemary Chicken
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 1/2 hours
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory
1 5 lb roasting chicken
1/2 stick butter
2 sprigs rosemary
2 cloves garlic
Traeger Chicken Rub
Start off by throwing a stick of butter into a sauce pan with the zest of one lemon, 2 garlic cloves crushed and 1 sprig rosemary taken off of the stem. Heat on medium until all of the butter is melted, the kitchen should be very fragrant with lemon and garlic. Once it is all melted and incorporated, add 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and stir in until dissolved. Take your butter mixture and strain it so you're only left with butter that can be loaded into an injector without plugging it up.
Now that your injector is ready, let's get the chicken prepared. I always take my chickens out and rinse them off, discarding any bits that might be inside. Pat it dry with a towel and prepare to inject. You want to make sure to inject the bird all over, using all of the butter injection. I always use quite a bit in the breast being as that white meat tends to need a bit of extra help with moisture. Once you're all injected we can take this time to cut our remaining 1 lemon in half and taking out our last sprig of rosemary to stuff the cavity.
Now would be a great time to warm up your Traeger. Open your grill's lid and turn the grill to the smoke setting. Leave the lid open for 4-5 minutes until the grill heats up then turn it to high. Now, back to the bird. So far we're cleaned and injected. Now take the remaining rosemary and throw the whole sprig into the cavity of the bird, as well as the lemon halves, both should fit. Ok, cleaned, injected, stuffed. All we have to do now is season it well with our Traeger Chicken Rub and we're all set. Don't be shy with this stuff, this rub will make this dish!
Now all there is to do is turn your Traeger to high, then throw this beauty on the grill and let it cook for an hour and a half. Or until the internal temp. reaches 170 degrees.
I wish I could see the look on your face when you open the lid and see this finished product. This chicken will be a beautiful brown and when you go to slice this chicken it will be so incredibly tender you could almost use a spoon to cut it. This will be one of the most tasty and moist chickens you may ever eat.