My first father-in-law, Boonie, used to cook chickens at every opportunity. He had what we called a Hamilton pit, here in central Louisiana. Don't bother googling it. Back in the day, oil drums were ubiquitous in Louisiana, and an enterprising metal fab guy found a market for used oil drums. He made barbeque pits out of those oil drums and sold them locally. Sold thousands of them. It looked kind of like this:
Boonie's method was to cook them "low and slow", meaning that he would get the pit to a low temperature and put the chickens down on the other end, away from the fire. He'd put them on the pit just after breakfast and they'd be ready for lunch. He never used a thermometer, so I have no idea of the temps, but think 275-300F for three and a half or four hours.
We lost Boonie several years ago, but his memory and his recipe live on. This morning, I took four chickens out the fridge, cleaned them good, and butterflied them by cutting down the spine. That's not necessary, but it saves room in my smoker. No seasoning really, just salt and pepper and some good pecan hulls in the smoker for flavor. I put them on about 8:00.
That's four birds, just old dead chickens, That tin-foil tray below them has some livers, with salt and pepper, and a little butter. Milady likes them, so I'll take them off in a couple of hours as an hors d'oeuvres
Yep, checked them at 10:00 and they look fine. Good color, plenty of aroma, and I took the livers off. Milady will be enjoying them soon. Adjusted the smoker racks to that I can slide a pan of beans over the chickens to get a little smoke and yum-yum.
I meant to get a picture when I took them off, but I forgot to bring the camera. They were a pretty pecan-brown color, the juices running clear, and the bones were falling out of the drumsticks.The beans were smoked for he last hour, and Milady made potato salad and yeast rolls. I fed twelve people, and folks took home leftovers.Even the dawg got his ration of perfectly smoked chicken. All I had to do was wash dishes.
Just another Sunday at PawPaw's House.