These easy Smoked Stuffed Chicken Thighs with cheese and ham will take your BBQ smoking to the next level! Recipe from Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke cookbook.
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Hi there, y'all! I'm back after being MIA with posting the last 2 weeks on TEA. I took a much needed break to spend a little down time with family and friends. This break consisted of lots of grilling and chilling, like this BBQ pork belly.
Truth: that BBQ pork belly was one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth! I'll be making it again very soon, so be on the lookout for it to appear on here as a summer blog post.
I've also been cooking tons of recipes out of my Steven Raichlen's Project Smoke cookbook and this smoked chicken recipe has turned into one of my favorites.
After what seemed like a month of crappy, cold, rainy weather here in New England, finally the clouds parted, the sun came out, and I was able to get my grilling and smoking on again.
Smoked Stuffed Chicken Thighs are a low carb Cuban Sandwich
Let me tell you how much I loved making these delicious bbq chicken thighs. When I first got my book, I thumbed through it and earmarked this recipe immediately because it has ham, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard in it.
Almost all the flavors of a delicious Cuban sandwich!
In this instance, chicken is replaced by roast pork to make a low carb version my all-time FAVORITE sandwich in the whole world!!
Tips on how to smoke chicken
Stuffing anything always seems so time consuming and difficult, but buying boneless chicken saves a ton of prep time.
One extra step I like to do when smoking any kind of skin-on poultry is to remove the excess fat from the skin.
Usually I take the skin off of each piece, then scrape off any fat with a knife, then I wrap the skin back over the chicken.
Yes, it takes a little extra time to do this but removing the fat allows the skin to really crisp up, instead of being flabby after smoking.
You can also finish the smoked chicken on a hot grill to make the skin extra crispy.
No Smoker No Problem
For all the non-smokers out there, this smoked chicken recipe can easily be baked in a preheated 400F/204C degree oven, for about 40-45 minutes.
It just won't have a smoked flavor, but it's still bacon wrapped oven roasted chicken!
Make clean up super simple too by lining a baking sheet with foil before roasting the chicken.
No pans to wash is always a win-win in my household!
Smoked stuffed chicken thighs are wonderful to make for a party because they can be made ahead of time. Just store them covered in the refrigerator until ready to smoke/cook.
Want more smoking recipes like this? Check out some of the most popular smoking recipes on the blog right now:
So go ahead and get the smoker out this weekend and smoke up these Stuffed Chicken Thighs with cheese and ham. How you enjoy and please tell me how to like the recipe in the comments below!
Smoked Stuffed Chicken Thighs With Cheese and Ham
- 8 large skin-on boneless chicken thighs , about 6 ounces each
- 8 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 8 ounces Gruyère cheese , cut into matchstick slivers (can substitute swiss cheese)
- 8 ounces good quality sliced smoked ham
- 16 dill pickle slices
- 16 slices thin sliced artisanal bacon , about 1 pound
- coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
additional items: butcher's twine and apple wood chips
- Trim up the thighs by removing as much fat as possible from the meat. Place the thighs skin side down on a cutting board and slightly flatten/fan the meat out.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of mustard on the meat, top with a piece of the ham, the cheese, and the pickles, then roll up the thighs tightly to encase the stuffing. Season the outside of each with salt and pepper.
- Wrap each thigh with one strip of bacon, then wrap another strip around the opposite side, and tie each with a piece or two of butcher's twine.
- Preheat smoker to 300F/148C degrees and add the wood as specified by the manufacturer.
- Place the prepared chicken thighs skin side up on the smoker rack. Smoke the chicken for about 1 ½ hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165F/73C degrees, and the outside is browned. Remove the twine before serving.
To crisp the skin after smoking:
- Grill each thigh over medium high heat until crispy on all sides, about 3-5 minutes each side.
Oven baked method:
- Preheat oven to 400F/204C degrees. Place chicken thighs skin side up on a baking sheet and bake until the internal temperature reaches 175F/79C degrees, about 40-45 minutes. Remove twine before serving.
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- For a crispier skin, scrap the fat from the skin of the chicken thighs and wrap back around the meat before smoking/cooking.
- Can stuff chicken thighs ahead of time and smoke later. Store the stuffed thighs in a covered container in the refrigerator, for up to 6 hours.
- Store leftover stuffed chicken thighs in a tightly covered container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
- Try serving the chicken with this super easy crock-pot BBQ sauce!
I'm smoking my chicken thighs right now! Beautiful day! So I did a little bit of a switch.. I wad actually looking for a time and temp for my thighs and found this recipe.. I used the mustard and dill pickle idea but skipped the bacon although it sounds awesome.. So here is the twist, I used spicy capicola, pepper jack cheese and the pickles are buffalo style. I'm going finish them with a sweet BBQ sauce.. Should be awesome!
OMG, that sounds sooooo awesome Tim!!! And I'm stealing what you did and turning it into a new recipe! lol! jk. Please, please, please tell me how they turned out and how the flavors worked together. I'm dying to know. Also, how did you come up with those twist ingredients? Love that everything was spicy.
Welcome back Karrie! I hope you've relaxed, and you're ready to share with lots of fabulous ideas like this smoked stuffed chicken. This looks seriously amazing!
Her Hips. Her Thighs. She's got me hypnotized.
I will make you some green banana bread use you can to sandwich these left over thighs between if you can tell me who sings THAT song! lol!
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
Whoa, girlfriend! This smoked and stuffed chicken sounds fab! I'm totally digging the pickles in there. Who wants to be a non-smoker when you can have all this stuffed smoked cheesy chicken?!?! I'm definitely down with the no pan clean up though. Cheers!
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
Wow! This would take my BBQ to a whole new level! These look amazing.Love the pickle....the crunch and tang would be a pleasant surprise.
What a great recipe! I have a few of Steven Raichlen's books and he definitely knows his stuff!
Okay Karrie, now your talking the love language, chicken thighs, stuffed with bacon and pickles and smoked low and slow ensuring that skin that you tenderly and lovingly released the fat from the wrapped it back on would be so crisp and tasteful. I tried a stuffed german rouladen and it had bacon and pickle inside. All I have to say is OMG it was so tender and delicious. I am craving this so bad right now, but the monsoon we are having with very brisk winds and tremendous rain will keep me on the patience train for a bit. Great job on this one Karrie.
Have a great week and again yum!
These look AMAZING!!! I can't wait to make these. My husband will love these. I love the stuffing ingredients.
Milena | Craft Beering
I am buying this book. I love smoked chicken, smoked cheese, smoked fish... Chris got a huge charcoal - skoker last summer and we (he, I just sat there with a beer) smoked so many different meats. Even on sunny winter days:) Need a new arsenal of recipes! Thanks for the suggestion Karrie! Chicken you prepared looks amazing!
I love the stuffing! ???? a Cuban sandiwch stuffing! what a great idea!! love it. I love even more that you used thighs and not chicken breast, because they are my favorite chicken part
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
Hubby and I have stuffed chicken breasts all the time. I don't think we've ever stuffed chicken thighs (which I've been enjoying so much more lately).So, confession, I don't eat chicken skin (unless it's on fried chicken). I usually remove it. And I don't eat pork belly! Not saying that I wouldn't, but it's not something I go for. Crazy, huh? Stop screwing up your face and no judging, lol Anywho, if this stuffed chicken is like a Cuban sandwich then I know I would love it. Extra cheese in mine please Glad you had a relaxing break! XO