Roast Chicken with Liquid Smoke…no one will think you didn’t make it outside.
I think “liquid smoke” gets a bad rap because it has a dumb name. Things might have been different had George Carlin tossed it in with his favorite oxymorons like military intelligence, freedom fighters, and business ethics. Carlin was so good at nudging us to take another look. I miss him. We need more of him in our world.
Mindy and I keep finding new stuff to do with liquid smoke. Stuff that works. Like Min’s delicious Smoky Eggplant Dip or this awesome roast chicken. Here’s a suggestion:
Next time you roast a chicken, pour 1/4 cup of liquid smoke into the cavity of the bird before cooking. Fat loves liquid smoke, it will absorb it nicely, and the chicken meat will taste slightly, not overpoweringly, smoky. And the house will smell great as the bird cooks. This method also applies nicely to ducks. See our Cheater Smoked Duck post.
Since 2006 or so when we were writing Cheater BBQ we’ve seen bottled liquid smoke expand it’s shelf space in every kind of grocery, supermarket, and specialty store. Wrights, Colgin, Reese, Lazy Kettle, Figaro, Stubbs…take your pick. They’re each a tad different and they all work. We’ve used plenty of liquid smoke but we’ve yet to end up with an over-smoked result, the way Benton’s Bacon tastes to us (way too much smoke). The key is to include the smoke during the cooking process. Dashing some on at the end doesn’t work. It needs time to get absorbed into the meat or vegetable.
Some folks won’t ever give up not liking liquid smoke (until a chef discovers it). This may be especially true among fans of barbecue. Funnier to me, though, is dissing liquid smoke, but loving bacon. Time to take a look at How Bacon is Made. You might take another look.