Brisket is the undisputed king of Texas barbecue, but man cannot — or at least, probably should not — survive on red meat alone. Smoked chicken may seem bland and boring in comparison to the meaty trifecta of brisket, ribs, and sausage, but Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn knows that in the hands of the right pitmaster, smoked poultry nirvana is achievable. (Plus, with the cost of beef these days, an occasional swap for white meat might also help ease the burden on barbecue lovers' wallets.)
Vaughn rounded up his 20 top smoked chicken picks for TMBBQ, and three of them are locals:
The Slow Bone: The fried chicken at Jack Perkins' Design District barbecue joint seems to get all the attention, but Vaughn says the smoked is just as good: "It’s so juicy you’ll think it’s injected, but they just start with a good product and keep it that way."
Hutchins BBQ: At this TMBBQ Top 50 spot in McKinney, "The saltiness of the well smoked skin helps to flavor every juicy bite."
Ten 50 BBQ: The bronzed-and-beautiful version at Chili's founder Larry Lavine's sprawling barbecue complex is brined before it's smoked, "which keeps it more moist than the turkey."
Plus, if you're foregoing beef for chicken, you can probably afford (calorically speaking) to throw in some banana pudding. Per one of Vaughn's previous roundups, Ten 50 and Hutchins both have top-notch versions of the barbecue joint dessert staple.