Buccaneer Smoked Chicken


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:

    4 to 6

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

This is a wonderful barbecue dish and travels well for picnics too. In the hills above Arima in the Northern Range, a village leader named Mr. Felix smokes his chicken using local hardwoods like tonka or samaan. For best flavor, I suggest using fruit woods, such as apple or cherry, if you can get them. If you don’t have a charcoal grill you can use a gas grill set on a low temperature or bake the chicken in the oven at 250°F for about two hours; however, you will miss out on the smoky flavor.


  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup green seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 6 cups fruit wood briquettes for grilling


  1. Rub the chicken with the lime juice and then rinse with water. Pat dry and rub on the salt and black pepper. Mix the green seasoning with the brown sugar and rub on the chicken. Place the chicken in a shallow nonreactive bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight, or up to 2 days.
  2. Soak 3 cups of the wood briquettes in water for 1 hour.
  3. In a charcoal grill, create a smoldering fire on only one side of the grill pan, using the 3 cups of dry wood briquettes. Once the embers are glowing, place the chicken on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until grill marks form.
  4. Move the chicken to the opposite side of the grill, away from the fire. Add the 3 cups of damp briquettes to the fire and let smolder. Close the grill lid and allow to smoke for about 1 hour. If necessary, occasionally spray the fire with fresh water during cooking, using a spray bottle—just enough to maintain smoke without putting out the fire.
  5. Remove the chicken and serve with Foo Foo, Callaloo, Trini Coleslaw, Pigeon Peas and Rice, and/or Fried Sweet Plantains.