Attention buffalo chicken wing fans: You've officially been put on notice.
Putting a new spin on this game-day classic is Malcom Reed, National Barbecue Association (NBBQA) member, point-man for Killer Hogs BBQ competition team, and the muscle behind howtobbqright.com, with his recipe for smoked bacon wrapped buffalo chicken roll-ups.
SMOKED BACON WRAPPED BUFFALO CHICKEN ROLL-UPS
2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1lb sliced bacon
8oz cream cheese
8 Jalapeno Peppers (whole)
16oz Buffalo Wing sauce
BBQ sauce to glaze
Remove the skin from the thighs and trim out the bone. Remove any thick deposits of fat or tough membrane. Place the trimmed thighs in a re-sealable bag and pour Buffalo Wing Sauce into the bag, reserving 2 tbsp. for later. Marinate the thighs for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
In a small bowl, place the softened cream cheese and remaining 2 tbsp. of Buffalo Wing Sauce and mix well. Cut the ends off the jalapeno peppers and slice down the middle lengthwise. Use a small spoon to remove the seeds and ribs from the peppers (note: be careful with hands and eyes and wash thoroughly after handling peppers).
Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the pepper halves and place in the center of a thigh. Wrap the chicken around the pepper. Starting at one end, wrap the bacon around the chicken. Use two pieces of bacon per thigh. Use 2 toothpicks to secure the bacon to the thigh. This also helps the thighs keep their shape while cooking.
Once all thighs are assembled, fire up the smoker to 275-300 degrees. Place the thighs directly on cooking grate.
After 1 hour check the internal temperature and once it hits 165, remove the thighs from the cooker. Glaze with favorite BBQ sauce and return to the smoker for another 30 minutes. This allows the sauce to set.
The thighs should be 175 internal and the bacon will be browned perfectly.