Tea-Smoked Chicken

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 min
Serves: 4

Turn your barbeque into a backyard smoker by following a few simple steps and pre-cooking the chicken in the oven first.


3 1/2 lb (1.6 kg) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
4 chicken thighs and 4 drums


1/2 cup (125 mL) dry sherry
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated fresh ginger
6 green onions
2 tbsp (30 mL) brown sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) EACH salt and pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) Chinese 5 spice powder (optional)

Tea-smoking packet:

1/2 cup (125 mL) green or black loose tea leaves (or from opening tea bags)
1 1/2 cup (375 mL) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) raw rice
2 cinnamon sticks, cracked
12 " X 12”/ 30 cm X30 cm heavy duty aluminum foil


To precook chicken before smoking

1 Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and add the chicken pieces to coat. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours, turning occasionally.
2 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Drain the chicken from the marinade and arrange in a layer in a large roasting pan and cover with a lid or foil. Bake for 20- 25 minutes or until juice run clear when pierced. Discard juices. (Can be made 1 day ahead to this point, and refrigerated.)

To prepare tea-smoking packet

1 Arrange the tea, sugar, rice and cinnamon onto 1/2 of the foil. Fold together the edges to form a 10” X 12”/ 25cm X 30 cm packet. Poke 6 or 8 holes in the upper surface of the packet with a sharp knife.

To smoke chicken

1 Preheat a gas barbeque on high. Place the precooked chicken onto one side and turn the heat off under that side. Place the tea-smoking packet onto the other side, turning the heat down to medium.
2 Close the lid and smoke the chicken (without peeking) for 25 minutes. Open the lid and turn the chicken pieces. Close lid and continue cooking (without peeking) for 20 more minutes.
3 Serve hot or cold