Nueske’s slow-smokes our chickens over smoldering embers of Wisconsin Applewood until they are perfectly smoky and sweet. The flavor is incomparable but the best part about our plump Applewood Smoked Chickens and Chicken Breasts is that they’re ready to eat – no cooking is needed, so you don’t need to heat up the kitchen on a hot August evening. It gets surprisingly warm and sticky up here in Wisconsin during the dog days of summer and there are times when even folks from down south would be surprised at heat in the Northwoods. You don’t have to serve smoked chicken cold but it’s a great way to add protein to a meal without having to cook anything. A sweetly smoky, lightly salted chicken is easy to toss into a picnic basket and serve alongside a Thermos full of lemonade and cool slices of summer melon.
Besides picnicking, there are plenty of other summer activities where a meal with minimum kitchen time is appreciated by both the cook and the other members of the household. When it’s 90% humidity and 90+ degrees, no one wants to see the oven turned on. A cool, fresh salad is a good option for nights full of fireworks, swimming, or outdoor get-togethers. We’ve even tried adding our smoked poultry to salsa and we think it’s pretty tasty. Here are a few of our favorite recipes for our chicken (any smoked chicken can be substituted for smoked turkey and vice versa):