Tea Smoked. Again. Chicken.

Oh, we had some great food lately. With the days suddenly so much longer. Great British Menu pushing the boundaries of modern food. Us more in Brussels for a change. Market abundance with spring and all. A perfect mix for a foodie cocktail.

Mark made a spot on bisque. We ate perfect mash. A great carbonade a la Flamande. The most exquisite duck a l’orange. Why am I telling you all this, I hear you ask? Well … because none of this made it long enough for a foodie photo shot. Sorry!

However I drew the line at the Chinese tea smoked chicken!

Granted this is the ‘before’ photo, as the chicken legs were long gone before I could take an ‘after’ photo. We decided on this recipe for two reasons. The interesting wow factor: tea smoked! The volume factor: easy to make for a party of 20+ who expect an Asian influenced dinner. When we planned this party we looked for any and all recipes that could be cooked for a crowd. Rice aside. Looking through a very (!) 80s looking cooking book we agreed that tea smoked chicken legs sounded modern enough to make it to the menu. Meet Chinese and Oriental Cooking. Don’t judge a book by its cover that’s what I have to say.

It went down a treat. I know, difficult not to love chicken. Tea smoke it and you get ‘fancy’ chicken. A recipe to keep in mind if like us, you invite loads of people (good) but you only have 1 oven (bad).

Tea Smoked Chicken (serves as many as you like)

1/2cup – 125gr sugar
3tbsp tea leaves
2tbsp salt
1×1.5kg – 3lb chicken (we used chicken drum sticks, 1 per person)
freshly ground black pepper
1tbsp soy sauce
2tbsp sesame oil

Line a baking dish with sheets of aluminium foil large enough to completely enclose the chicken. Combine sugar, tea leaves and salt and spread out over foil. Place a roasting rack in the baking dish and place chicken on rack. Sprinkle chicken liberally with black pepper, bring foil up around chicken to completely enclose and bake for 1h.

Combine soy sauce and sesame oil. Open foil parcel, brush chicken with soy sauce mixture and bake, uncovered, for 20min longer until chicken is cooked through.

We don’t have the most chefy kitchen, yet it is a fairly well stocked kitchen. I often get emails on what utensils we use, gadgets, etc. Merging two households we have our fair share of stuff and for this recipe we relied entirely on the Ikea Koncis roasting tin.

So, what have you smoked lately? In kitchen terms, of course. A while ago, we also tried tea smoked trout on Glorious Food and Wine.

 

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  • Nick

    Is there a specific type of tea that you would suggest using here? I have seen this technique described elsewhere, and the use of the smoky Lapsang Souchong is often called for.

    Also, should I disable my smoke detector before I try this? Or, to put it another way, will I regret trying this out, as I do not really have any effective way of quickly clearing smoke from my kitchen? I suppose I could try doing tea smoking outside on my grill.

  • I haven’t tried doing any smoked cooking but this sounds really interesting. I will have to try it.

  • I wish I had a range hood that actually vented outside instead of simply recirculating. I am a little too nervous to try this dish… I don’t want to smoke up our place.

  • ok … smoke … we don’t have a smoke detector in our house (is this still legal?!) – BUT we cooked these in the oven. if you wrap the aluminium foil tight around the chicken legs then it’s all fine. it does take a little bit of checking and all … but it works. plus practice. we smoked our place up with the trout, but it was delicious! then we opened all the windows 🙂

  • Hi,

    I used a heavy-based wok… I smoked few pieces of Duck breasts. Rubbed some oil, black pepper/herbs of your choice & salt on the meat. Set aside. Line the base of wok with aluminium foil and also wrap the wok’s cover. Add tea leaves ( I used some lower quality Pu Erh leaves & a bit of uncooked rice (you can omit the rice if you want or use Genmai tea leaves is great too) Skin side down on a round rack. Put On your stove/burner’s heat at medium and cook duck meat until your liking… If you scared of alarm, just use the same method but instead of wok, you can use heavy based roasting pan on top of your BBQ set… I think that way, there’ll be less alarm from your neighbours as well.. 😀

    Cheers!

  • I use tea smoking as a technique and my smoking mixture includes black tea, brown sugar salt and star anise. Tea smoking really imparts a rich and delicious flavor, especially when done on the grill!

  • I absolutely love, love that photo!!!

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  • I’ve never tried tea smoking, but this sounds super easy, and I’m sure it’s super tasty! Gotta try it!

  • emmmily

    sounds great!
    at what temperature do you set your oven?

  • oven was at low heat first (150) then up at the end to brown the chicken (200) – it really does depend on the oven as this was more of a look and feel kind of recipe

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