Of course, you can just buy your chicken curry salad. But making it yourself is much better. And then you know exactly what’s in it. This delicious smoked chicken curry is at least full of chicken as it should.
Because we will smoke the chicken low and slow, we want to add some extra moisture to it. That is why we are going to wet brine the chicken. The brine allows the salt to penetrate deep into the meat, making it better to retain moisture during preparation. That salt also brings extra flavour and breaks down the connective tissue so that we don’t have to overcook the chicken before we can start pulling it.
We brine the chicken, in water with curing salt, for about 4 hours in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator. It would be best if you didn’t brine any longer because the meat will become too salty. While the chicken is brining, you can make the dry rub, remove the smoker from the shed and clean the grates.
You have countless recipes for curry spices. Not really countless but you know what we mean. In our curry spices, we have a little ginger and chilli powder. We have no salt in this mix because we already had enough in the brine.
The yellow colour is due to the turmeric. Turmeric is an Indian root with a slightly bitter taste that has been processed into a powder. The taste is not very present, but turmeric is mainly used for the yellow colour. Watch out for your clothes and the white kitchen cupboards. Turmeric is excellent for food colouring and stains the rest too.
You mainly apply the curry under the skin. Make a cut so that the skin comes loose and rub the curry into the legs with your fingers. try not to tear the skin as we did. You don’t have to let the curry rub soak in for long. Because the chicken is in the smoker for almost 4 hours, it gets enough time for that.
We throw the chicken in our Masterbuilt 560 smoker. We throw a chunk of cherry smoke wood between the charcoal. Cherry gives the chicken a beautiful brown-red colour and a mild smoke flavour. If at some point no more smoke is coming from under the lid, you can throw an extra chunk on the coals or in the ash pan. The glowing embers will make the chunk smoulder. This way you can add smoke very dosed.
Then we put the chicken on the grates. Set the temperature to 120°C (248F) and stick a core thermometer in the breast. All you have to do is close the lid and open a beer. The Masterbuilt does all the work, and you will be notified through the app on your phone when the chicken is ready.
In the meantime, all you have to do is make the curry sauce for the chicken curry salad. Don’t be afraid that it’s to much work. You can, of course, have someone else do it. That bottle of beer does not empty itself.
The chicken is ready after about 3 hours. Check the temperature in different places. It should be about 85°C (185F) everywhere. Then the meat will be wonderfully tender, and with a little luck, the skin will be a bit crispy here and there.
Let the chicken rest for half an hour before pulling it. Then the moisture will redistribute itself through the meat. This way, you will not have the problem of being left with dehydrated chicken and a puddle of water at the bottom of the tray. You also don’t want the chicken curry salad to be too warm.
Use your fingers to pull all the meat off the bones. Feel everything carefully so that you are sure that no small bones are left behind. We sort the bones, the meat and the skin in the container. We finely chop the crunchy pieces of skin and mix that through the pulled chicken. The skin is often the best part of the chicken.
When the chicken is pulled, we mix it with the curry sauce you made while waiting. Make yourself a sandwich to try and keep the rest in the fridge. With a whole pulled chicken, you can easily make 10 of these sandwiches.
- 1 whole chicken
- 100 grams of brine salt
- 1 litre of water
For the curry powder
- 2 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp ginger powder
For the curry sauce
- 6 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp curry powder
- Salt to taste
- Mix the brine with half a litre of water and bring it to a gentle boil. Put one and a half litres of water in the fridge. When the salt has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and mix the brine with the cold water.
- Place the chicken in a ziplock bag and add the brine. Before closing the bag, squeeze out as much air as possible and put the bag in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
- Mix the ingredients for the curry. Remove the chicken from the brine. Pat the outside dry with some kitchen paper and rub about 2 tablespoons of the curry over the meat under the skin.
- Prepare a barbecue with an indirect temperature of about 120°C (248F) and some cherry smoker wood. Place the chicken on the grid and close the lid.
- Cook the chicken to a core temperature of 85°C (185F).
- Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the curry sauce and put it in the fridge until the chicken is cooked.
- Remove the chicken from the grates and let it rest for half an hour. Then pull the chicken and mix the meat with the curry sauce.