By Gary W. Black
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner
Cooking chicken in Northeast Georgia is a tradition. I started as a ninth grade FFA member stacking cement blocks, lighting charcoal and flipping racks (50 halves at a time). I now more frequently cook 50 halves at a time in an upright smoker fired by wood. The "ag teacher" recipe over charcoal or in a smoker is still the best and almost foolproof. At home my favorite wood is pecan.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Yields: 50 halves. Sauce can be changed based
on quantity of chicken. Just keep equal portions
50 medium-sized chicken halves, salted both sides with Kosher salt
16 oz. Canola oil
16 oz. apple cider vinegar
16 oz. Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
16 oz. REALemon concentrate
16 oz. Texas Pete hot sauce, or substitute
Coarse-ground cracked black pepper
Prepare sauce by combining all liquids. Heat to boil, then remove.
Place chicken halves cavity side down on smoker rack. Sprinkle pepper on top. Cook three hours at 250-275 degrees. After one hour begin mopping or spraying sauce liberally at 20 minute intervals. Test by eyeball method of easily twisting leg quarter and/or affirming 165 degree internal temperature. Serve immediately or place in lined cooler, coat with balance of sauce, close cooler and allow additional time (15-30 minutes) for steaming. Enjoy!