Smoked Paprika Bird

20171105_201204I thought to break up all this pumpkin madness, I would give everyone the bird.  Yes, that’s right, one plump and well seasoned yard bird.

I frequently see people at the market looking at the whole birds and then grab up just the parts, like boneless and skinless breasts and thighs.  Now, there is nothing wrong with buying up the parts that you want or need, but is seems like such a waste to pass by the whole bird loaded with all that flavor in favor of a processed bit that can easily dry out if you don’t treat it right.

So, today I present the whole bird and I have a few tips to help you make sure you have the best bird possible. The best tip I have is: truss your bird.  When you truss your bird, you are making it as compact as possible as to make sure that it cooks more evenly.  Also, it seals up that cavity to keep more of the juices inside to steam the bird so it’s less likely to dry out and become a tough bird.  We don’t like tough birds.

Trussing doesn’t have to be this grand affair where you’re standing on your with the kids timing on how long it takes to hog tie the bird.  I keep mine simple, fold the wings under and tie the legs up at the ankle joint using cotton kitchen twine and BOOM! Done and ready to move on.

My last tip, keep the oven temp low, about 325F to 350F.  Like all poultry, you want to get to that 165F mark and if you go at it with a high heat, that chicken will take less time, but the inside always takes longer and so you run a bigger risk of drying out and tender-fall-off-the-bone chicken will be harder to achieve with a whole bird.

Alright, let’s talk about flavor.  This recipe feature and flavored butter and the best thing is you can choose out any flavors you want to deliver in the butter.  Garlic and lemon, rosemary, sage, and thyme, or chili and lime.  Don’t be afraid to play around and have fun in the kitchen.  Tonight my kitchen went with smoked paprika and garlic.


  • 1 3lb bird, no neck or giblets
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp garlic paste (about 4 cloves worth, and I will how-to that in a future blog)
  • 1 tsp kosher sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Serves 4 to 6

Preheat oven to 350F.

Melt butter in small sauce pan.  When melted, remove from heat and add garlic, salt, smoked paprika, and pepper.  Set aside and let that infuse.


Meanwhile, rinse chicken in cold water.  Pat dry, really dry, and place in a shallow baking pan or cast iron skillet.  Fold up those wings and separate the skin from the breast meat.  Grab a spoon and put some of the butter mixture in there between the tissue and meat.  Rub it around before drizzling on top and rubbing that all about as well, making sure every square inch is covered in the butter mix.  Finally, whatever is left over, pour inside the cavity.  Don’t forget that needs seasoned to.  Truss those legs up and slide the pan into the oven.



Bake for about 2 hours or until a thermometer reaches 165F when probing the thickest part of the breast and thigh.

Remove from heat and let sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before serving.  Don’t forget to refrigerate any leftovers, IF you have any.

And please, as always, if you try it out share your photos and tell me what you think.


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