Smoked Chicken Thigh

115/18: Smoked Chicken Thighs

115/18 – Smoked Chicken Thighs with Saffron & Orange Blossom Caramel, Hazelnut Dukkah & Basil

So far I have cooked Shakshuka, Monkfish kebabs and Red Mullet* from the Berber and Q cookbook by Josh Katz. All three dishes have been fantastic with outstanding flavours which we have really enjoyed. Time for a meat dish and first on the list was Smoked Chicken Thighs with Saffron & Orange Blossom Caramel, Hazelnut Dukkah & Basil.

This recipe is from Beber and Q by Josh Katz – You can buy the book by clicking the link below:

Other dishes I have cooked from this book were:

110/18: Grilled Red Mullet*

109/18: Skewered Monkfish Kebabs

107/18: Berber and Q Shakshuka

023/18: Cauliflower Shawarma

The Meat:

570g of Chicken Thighs from Gartmorn Farm – £6.73. I have raved about this chicken on every post so far! They rear slow growing birds which have full, 24 hour access to acres of grassland and a pond! The birds are raised to full maturity which along with the slow growth and exercise results in some fantastic tasting meat. 

Smoked Chicken Thighs

The Prep:

First I made the Everday Chicken Rub: sumac, Aleppo chilli flakes, garlic powder, turmeric, salt, black pepper, coriander and soft dark brown sugar.

I got the sumac and Aleppo chilli flakes off Amazon, watch out for Aleppo chilli flakes as there are loads of fakes about. These appear to be genuine though!

Smoked Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs removed from packaging, skin left on and Everday Chicken Rub applied to the chicken using my spice shaker.

Smoked Chicken Thighs

Next I made the Hazelnut Dukkah: hazelnuts, toasted then lightly blitzed in the food processor. In a pan I lightly toasted coriander seeds and cumin seeds before grinding them in a pestle and mortar then toasting sesame seeds and adding everything together along with sea salt and black pepper. The recipe makes loads so there is plenty for other dishes!

The Saffron & Orange Blossom Caramel was made by combining orange juice, sugar and saffron water in a saucepan and heating until it was a caramel. Took about 15 minutes.

Smoked Chicken Thighs

Once removed from the heat I added orange blossom flower water. I hadn’t heard of this before but good old Amazon to the rescue again!

Smoked Chicken Thighs

The Cook:

As the chicken is smoked at 130C to 150C initially I filled the Kamado Joe firebowl up with Oxford Charcoal Oak Lumpwood and lit it in a single place with a flamer. Top vent and bottom vent both wide open then slowly closed as it approached the target temperature. A chunk of Apple from Smokewood shack was dropped in then the chicken was placed on top. I was using the Meater probe on this cook to keep an eye on the chicken temperature.

Smoked Chicken Thighs

40 minutes later and approaching temperature.

Smoked Chicken Thighs

Time to reheat the Saffron & Orange Blossom Caramel. I also removed a deflector plate and started grilling the chicken over direct heat to crisp the skins up.

Smoked Chicken Thighs

The chicken was basted with the Caramel whilst cooking and once the thighs were ready I added them to the pan and gave them a good covering.

Smoked Chicken Thighs

Ripped basil on top and some of the Hazelnut Dukkah.

Smoked Chicken Thighs

Time to Serve:

The food smelt amazing and the colours were glorious!

Smoked Chicken Thigh

Extreme close up!

Smoked Chicken Thigh


Another fantastic dish from the book. Each recipe I have cooked so far has blown me away with the flavours of each dish and this one was exactly the same. The chicken was really tender and had a nice smoke flavour from the apple. The saffron & orange blossom caramel was incredibly tasty and very moreish! In combination with the Hazelnut Dukkah & Basil it was awesome! Another recommended dish.

Cook Difficulty: 3/5 
Cook Duration: Medium: 3/5
Cook Equipment: Kamado Joe Big Joe
Cook Method: Indirect and Direct
Charcoal: Oxford Charcoal Oak
Smoking Wood: Smokewood Shack Apple
Cook temperature: 140C
Cook time: 40 minutes indirect plus 5 minutes direct
Internal temperature: N/A
Notes: 1: Make twice as much so there are leftovers for lunch!

This recipe is from Beber and Q by Josh Katz – You can buy the book by clicking the link below:



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