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.
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 cookbookand 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 With Cheese and Ham 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….
all 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 sandwiche 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. Store them covered in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
So go ahead and get the smoker out this weekend and smoke up these stuffed chicken thighs with cheese. Or just roast them in the oven! Either way you cook them, enjoy and please tell me how to like the recipe in the comments below!
Want more smoking recipes like this? Check out some of most popular smoking recipes on the blog right now: Smoked Jalapeño Poppers with Bacon, Apple, and Brie, Smoked Porchetta Pork Loin, and Smoked Meatloaf.
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
- Remove as much fat as possible from the chicken thighs, then place thighs skin side down on a cutting board and slightly flatten 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 1/2 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:
- Scrap the fat from the skin of chicken thighs and wrap back around the meat before smoking/cooking.
- Can stuff chicken thighs ahead of time. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to cook, for up to 6 hours.