For the brine, I used my standard recipe, with a twist. For the liquid, I removed 48 oz of water and substituted four bottles of beer. You could use any type of suds. I used Yeungling lager. After preparing the brine and allowing it to chill overnight, the hens hung out at the spa for about six hours.
Next, I whipped up a batch of Alabama White BBQ sauce from myrecipes.com. My only changes to this recipe are:
1. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
2. Remove the sugar and substitute half of the water with apple juice for the sweet component.
For the stuffing, I decided on a bacon, mushroom, cornbread concoction.
1 day old wedge of cornbread, crumbled
1/2 rib of celery, diced
2 tbsp of sweet onion, diced
2 strips of bacon, diced
1/4 cup of mushroom, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp sage, depending upon your taste
Salt and pepper to taste
I started to brown the bacon, then added the celery, onion, garlic, and mushroom to sauté. Once the mushroom had started to caramelize, I removed from the stove, placed in the bowl with my crumbled cornbread, added my sage, salt, and pepper, and mixed well.
Once the six hour spa treatment was over for the hens, I rinsed them well with cold water and patted them dry. I then stuffed mine with the cornbread stuffing mixture, massaged the outside with some olive oil, and seasoned with some Dizzy Pig Raging River rub.
The hens went into a smoker that was rolling along at 350 F with a mix of apple, pecan, and hickory wood in the ash pan. After one hour, I applied the Alabama White Sauce to my bird twice to make a nice even glaze. After thirty more minutes, the hens were at 165 F internal temperature. Ready to remove from the smoker and eat.
Overall, I like how this hen turned out. The sauce mixed well with the rub. The meat was tender and juicy. I was surprised at how much flavor the beer added to my standard brine. It wasn't over powering, but it was detectable. I just may have to try a variation on this recipe in the future.
Hope, on the other hand, liked her plain stuffing and unsauced bird...
Thanks for stopping by,