To be clear, I know that ham and chicken are two different things. I also know that you know that, or at least I’m pretty sure you know that. I hope you know that. You know that, right? I am only bothering to mention it because it seems odd to me to see both things in the same blog title, as if I’m referring to it as a single meal or something. All I’m doing is saving myself a little effort. I cooked both things simultaneously in the same smoker, so I thought I’d include them both in a single blog post.
And there ya go.
As for the ham, we had been craving a good, juicy, smoked ham and our weekend didn’t look too busy, so we picked up a spiral cut one from Costco and planned to do a Sunday cook. We frequently have sliced ham around the house for sandwiches, but it’s not nearly as good as one you smoke yourself. A spiral ham is technically already cooked and smoked, so it’s just a matter of reheating and seasoning to taste, and darkening up the rind a bit. I lit a whole chimney of coals, grabbed a couple small chunks of apple wood…you don’t need to add much more smoke…and then I cooked it slowly in a disposable pan at around 225 degrees for about three hours before glazing it. I wanted my internal probe to read close to 110 or so before i whipped up the glaze that came with the ham, but up until then, I periodically spritzed it with a mixture of apple juice and apple cider vinegar to keep it from drying out too much.
While I was waiting for the ham to be cooked enough to apply the glaze, I soaked six chicken breasts in a brine of water, salt and sugar for about an hour. After the hour was up, I removed the chicken breasts, blotted any remaining brine from them, and then applied a basic rub to half of them. The other half went unseasoned, destined for some wild rice chicken soup that we were planning to make. As for the seasoned breasts, they’d be available for whatever random meals during the week. They were there, so I thought I’d cook them. I put those all in in the smoker next to the ham when it was time for glazing, and then I continued to cook for another hour or so at the same temperature. When that time was up, the chicken were perfect and the ham looked mouth-watering and sweet.
I sliced off just enough ham to get us through dinner because we were both quite hungry, and quite frankly, we didn’t have the patience to wait. We served it on King’s Hawaiian rolls…one of my weaknesses, and it was damned good. After wiping the last of the crumbs away after our meal, we cut up the rest of the ham, and portioned up servings for a few lunches to have on hand for the rest of the week and then we froze the rest. The chicken was set aside for later consumption and soup, and that was our Sunday cook session.. We’d have more than enough soup and ham to get us through this week and next once all was said and done, if that’s all we ate, but when cooking in bulk, we do so with the intent of putting some in the freezer for a rainy day. With winter coming, the smoker and grill sessions will probably start being more sparse, and it’s always good to have something on hand to thaw out when the weather is unfavorable.