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Honey and Sage Smoked Chicken

Hot smoking is fun to do in your own backyard on your BBQ. It does need a bit of time, patience and understanding though. Low and slow is the way to get great results.

December 1, 2018

Honey and Sage Smoked Chicken

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honey sage smoked chicken

ingredients for six


80gm honey
5gm sage leaves
1 x medium clove garlic
20gm salt flakes
12 x black peppercorns
1L water


750gm chicken breast boneless, skinless
40gm honey

crisp sage salsa verde

60gm shallot
40ml red wine vinegar
50gm flat leaf parsley
100ml extra virgin olive oil
½ to 1 tsp salt flakes
24 to 36 sage leaves
400ml vegetable oil

garlic broccoli rice

½ cup brown rice
½ tsp salt flakes
3 x spring onions
1 x medium clove garlic
2Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400gm broccoli
1 tsp salt flakes
2 x pinches black pepper


  1. Brine chicken one day before cooking. Place honey, sage leaves, smashed garlic clove, salt and peppercorns in large jug or deep bowl. Pour over 500ml just boiled water and stir to dissolve salt. Top up with cold water and leave to cool completely to make volume up to 1.1 litre liquid.
  2. Submerge chicken breasts in cooled brine. Cover and refrigerate for about 24 hours.
  3. Light BBQ. Place smoking box full of woodchips on grill for about 10 minutes, until chips start to smoke.
  4. Meanwhile, remove chicken breasts from brine and place on cooling rack, spaced apart from each other. Place rack over roasting pan half filled with hot water and place in BBQ on rack next to smoker box. Extinguish half flame under roasting tin if possible and turn heat to medium.
  5. Smoke chicken for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on size of breasts. Chicken is ready when springy to touch and golden. Towards end of cooking, brush some extra honey on chicken. Remove meat from BBQ, rest on covered plate for 5 minutes.
  6. While chicken is smoking, make salsa verde. Finely chop shallot and soak in vinegar for 10 minutes. Chop parsley leaves and tender stalks into medium size. Mix with olive oil.
  7. Heat vegetable oil in small but deep saucepan to 180°C. Pat sage leaves dry and cook in batches for a couple of minutes or so, until still green but oil has stopped bubbling. Remove from oil and place on absorbent paper. Leaves will crisp up once out of oil. Set 12 leaves aside and crumble the rest into parsley.
  8. Add salt and pepper to salsa verde. Drain vinegar from onions and add onion to herbs. Stir and taste for balance of flavour – if too sharp, add a touch more salt.
  9. Boil 500ml salted water. Add rice and stir. Cover and cook according to directions on packet, until tender. Drain.
  10. Place large frying pan on medium heat. Cut spring onions into 1cm slices. Crush garlic. Add to frying pan, season with ½ teaspoon salt flakes and pinch pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile roughly chop broccoli florets and stalk. Place in food processor bowl and process until chopped to about the size of a grain of rice. Add broccoli to frying pan. Season with ¾ tsp salt flakes and good pinch cracked black pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes over gentle heat until just starting to soften, no need to colour.
  12. Mix broccoli with warm rice.
  13. Brush final amount of honey on resting chicken then cut into ½cm thin slices.
  14. Place broccoli rice on plate, top with chicken and finish with spoonful of salsa verde and 2 crisp sage leaves perched on top. Serve.


  • All salt used in our recipes is Murray River Salt Flakes, if using granular salt, cut down amounts accordingly.
  • We used hickory chips to smoke the chicken.

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Meet the team

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell
Tracey Cotterell


Tracey has been in the food industry since completing her Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management in 1982 in the UK. She worked for an outside catering company in London, then joined her parents in rural West Sussex running

View Tracey’s full profile.

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell


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