Today we had our first annual, appropriately social distanced, Father’s Day BBQ Cook-off. My husband, sons Bobby and Allen, and sister Sue competed to win the BBQ Champ Golden Apron. My husband won the competition with this recipe which is truly awesome. He used the recipe from HowToBBQRight YouTube BBQ personality, Malcolm Reed.
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and veins removed
8 slices high quality bacon (you can use regular or thick sliced, according to your taste and preference)
1 package cream cheese
All purpose seasoning (combination of kosher salt, black pepper and granulated garlic powder)
Your favorite BBQ rub for chicken (we use Mistler’s Rub for this)
1 stick butter
BBQ sauce of your choice (we use Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet and Spicy)
Preheat your grill smoker 275 degrees. Use mild wood or wood pellets for this. Mark used a competition blend of pecan, apple and cherry.
Prep the chicken thighs. Lay the chicken thighs flat on a sheet pan, interior cut side up. Sprinkle lightly with all purpose seasoning. Fill each jalapeno half with a healthy amount of cream cheese. Lay cream cheese side up on each chicken thigh. Sprinkle the cream cheese with BBQ rub. Turn the jalapenos over so the cream cheese is next to the chicken. Wrap the chicken around the jalapeno and then wrap each thigh with a slice of bacon. Place in a pan so that the chicken thighs fit snugly together, or use a mini loaf pan to give each chicken thigh its own space. Top each with a pat of butter.
Place on the smoker and cook at 275 degrees for about 1 hour. Remove pan from smoker and place chicken on a rack and sprinkle with a light coating of the rub. Place back in the smoker until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Remove from smoker and brush with BBQ sauce. Return to smoker for another 5-7 minutes to set the sauce.