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Tea smoked chicken

Updated Tuesday, 12th June 2007

Try out our recipe from the Ever Wondered About Food series

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Tea smoked chicken Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC


Tea smoked chicken

  • 1½ teaspoons szechuan peppercorns
  • 1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) sea salt
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) (1 fl oz) soy sauce

Smoking mixture

  • 100 g (3½ oz) white rice (any kind)
  • 100 g (3½ oz) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black tea leaves (for example, Darjeeling or, for a smokier flavour, Lapsang Souchong)


  • dried apricots (to be soaked overnight)
  • ½ pt (284 ml) boiling water
  • Earl Grey tea bags
  • Handful green beans, “just” cooked and split lengthways
  • 100 g (3½ oz) rocket
  • Pan fried oyster and shitake mushrooms
  • 250 g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes

Special equipment

  • Wok with rack and lid


Tea smoked chicken

  1. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the salt and pepper into a fine powder.
  2. Rub the mixture lightly over the chicken breasts and place in the fridge.
  3. Line the wok with a double layer of foil. Put the rice, sugar and tea into the wok and toss gently.
  4. Place a metal rack over the tea mixture.
  5. Remove the chicken from the fridge and sprinkle soy sauce all over it.
  6. Transfer the breasts to the wok rack (they should not touch the smoking mixture).
  7. Cover the wok tightly with a lid and place on a high heat until you see smoke rising from underneath.
  8. Reduce the heat to low and continue smoking for around 15 minutes.
  9. Turn the chicken over and smoke it for a further 15 minutes.
  10. Remove 1 breast from the wok and slice to check it is cooked. If not, continue smoking.

Apricot salad

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking tray. Brush with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10–15 minutes.
  2. Place the dried apricots in a mixing bowl, pour over the boiling water and add the Earl Grey tea bags. Leave overnight in the bowl to marinate.
  3. Remove the apricots and toss together with the green beans, rocket leaves, oyster and shitake mushrooms and oven baked cherry tomatoes.
  4. For the salad dressing, add a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the leftover apricot marinade and sprinkle it over the salad.

To serve

Cut each breast into 6 or 7 slices and serve with green beans and apricot salad.  

Did you know?

Pouring cold milk into hot tea makes the proteins denature and that leads to an inferior taste, so the milk needs to be poured first.





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