Smoked Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa

So I have totally been guilty of posting lots and lots of desserts lately.  I would say that I am sorry, but you know I am not and I hope that is ok since you get to enjoy the treats.  I have soooo much to say and I cannot remember it all.  I definitely need to start using my Evernote app more because I am losing track of the plethora of sticky notes scattered around my house.  Seriously, at the rate I use sticky notes, I recommend you invest in their stock. On a serious note, from the deepest darkest caverns of my heart, THANK YOU so much for all your votes and support the last few weeks for the 2013 Annual Homies awards.  Not only did I win 2 of the categories, but my amazing friend Danielle from Against All Grain won the third.  We had a Paleo sweep which is huge.  You all helped me fulfill a dream of mine so thank you.

Smoked Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa

Second note I can remember is, there are some exciting new features coming to my website.  It is partially enabled right now and in the next month should be fully operational.  If you look up at the menu bar, you should see a tab that says Recipe Box, you can highlight it will your mouse and see the options.  Basically, any recipes, just like this one that have the save button get added to your custom account.  You can make shopping lists, meal plans, etc.  I am tirelessly working as well as two Cave Assistants to get all the recipes converted to this format.  I hope you love it but please be patient.

Smoked Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa

I just realized I have written two paragraphs and haven’t even mentioned this recipe, OOPS.  There is not much to say about it besides that it is DELICIOUS.  I can not believe I used to buy jarred tomatillo salsa.  Thank you to a local farmer who hooked me up with tons of fresh tomatillos, I got introduced to a world full of flavor and I love it.  I hope you can experience the same joy that I did when I created this.  The salsa paired with my delicious chicken from Primal Pastures sent my taste buds on a flavor roller coaster.  This recipe will definitely impress some guests and it is EASY.  That is all for now, can’t wait to read your comments.

Smoked Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa


5.0 from 6 reviews
Smoked Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 cup salt
  • ¼ cup black peppercorns
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
Chicken Rub
  • 1 tablespoon seaweed salt (can use sea salt)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Tomatillo Salsa
  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos husked and rinsed well
  • 1 large red onion cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • ½ packed cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno (seeds and all if you like heat)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • pinch of sea salt
Chicken Prep
  1. Combine all your brine ingredients in a large 2 gallon zip lock bag and stir well
  2. Place your whole cleaned chicken in the bag, remove as much air as possible and seal the bag (make sure its closed or you will have a bad leak)
  3. Place this bag in a large bowl and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours but up to 48 hours
  4. Remove from the refrigerator and pat dry an hour before you plan on cooking
Tomatillo Salsa
  1. Combine your tomatillos, onions, and garlic, and jalapeño in a food processor or blender and pulse until you get a salsa consistency
  2. Add in your cilantro, lime juice and sea salt and pulse until all incorporated
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve
  1. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees fahrenheit
  2. In a small bowl combine all of the above ingredients for the rub and mix well
  3. Generously apply the rub to the outside and inside of the chicken (you will have some extra rub, store in a ziploc bag for another recipe)
  4. If you have a leave in meat thermometer now is the time to put it in the breast of the bird and then place it on the smoker
  5. You want to smoke the chicken at 225 degrees until the breast reaches 180 degrees and refrain from opening the smoker as much as possible
  6. Once done, remove the chicken and let it rest for 10-15 minutes and then serve with the above tomatillo salsa
  1. If you want to roast this same recipe in the oven, brine it and season it as stated above
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and roast uncovered in a large roasting pan until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees in the breast
  3. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes and serve with the above salsa
  1. You do not need to brine the chicken for this step
  2. You can season the bird as stated above and then place in the crockpot on low for 6 hours and it will be all done
  3. If you want to smoke it, you can follow the instructions for using woodchips in the crockpot HERE.
  4. You will just only cook it on low for 6 hours

 ****Disclosure: If you purchase any of the products linked in this post or products through the links on the right side of my page, I receive a small percentage from the respected affiliate programs****

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  1. Hi George,
    I was wondering if there is any way to modify this recipe to make with chicken breasts??
    I don’t eat dark meat or skin so It would be such a waste, but I LOVE tomatillos and it seems like such an amazing recipe! Any suggestions?

    Thank you for all of your wonderful and delicious recipes!!!! :)

  2. I tend to mess up recipes, and in my usual fashion… I put the salsa all over the chicken before baking it in the oven. (After brining it ~36 hours.) It was wonderful!! One of the best things I’ve ever cooked! Haha…thank God.

  3. If you cook it in the crockpot (without smoking it), do you need liquid? I think my crockpot instructions recommend liquid for all cooking. If so, how much?

  4. Hi George, this looks fantastic! Do you approximately how long this would take in the oven w/ roasting pan? I don’t have a meat thermometer than can stay in the oven and I’d love an idea of when to start checking the temp.

    Btw, congrats on the Homies, homie!

        1. Forgot to tell you last week that this came out AWESOME! I’m making it again tonight, definite new family favorite!

  5. My chicken will be done in another 2.5 hours. How did your chicken get such brown skin? I used the rub in the recipe but my chicken skin does not look that dark..yet, anyway. I’ll take a picture of the chicken when it’s done. It does smell good in this house right now..can’t wait to eat!

  6. Just got done cooking and eating this. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe. The chicken was tasty. The skin of the chicken was extra tasty from the rub. I definitely will be making this again. As for the sauce, I really liked the sauce too. However, I think the next time I make it I will use less onions or just omit them completely. The onions were a little overpowering to me. But that is just me. I prefer cooked onions over raw. But it was still good. There are no leftovers. I definitely will be cooking this again.

  7. Made this one tonight. Salsa was fantastic, used a serrano pepper(a bit hotter I think). The chicken, I smoked at 200-225 for about 4hrs, along with 3# of chicken wings. The chicken was the best smoked chicken I’ve had to date. THe brining gets much of that credit I’m sure.

    Another great one George!

  8. I am making this as I type and my house smells so good! I’m doing the smoked version in the crock pot. What a great idea! I have the crock pot under the fan on the stove so my whole house doesn’t smell like smoke for a week. Then again… hmm… would that be bad? Can’t wait to try it! I’m going to cheat a little and use some tomatillo salsa I have from Trader Joes. Based on how good it smells already, I’m giving this one 5 stars!

  9. Did you buy out all of Primal Pastures chicken, George? Everything is sold out. LOL

    I admit, the only way I like dark meat is on hot wings, but buying a whole chicken would give me lots of bones for bone broth!! Hubs & the kidlet can eat the dark meat. ;P

    Thanks for the motivation.

    Have a GREAT day! :)

  10. Holy moses, George!!! This looks like another hit!!! Guess I know what I’m doing with the next chicken… this looks magnificent… my mouth is watering already. Your recipes have been FABULOUS… just did a modification to the chocolate ice cream recipe this morning, and am waiting for the gel bowl to freeze again to do another batch of ice cream (coconut milk, of course… with unsweetened finely shredded coconut, pineapple, and chopped macadamia nuts).

    Congrats on the Homies wins… so nice to see a Paleo sweep!!!

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