Chef Justin Smillie’s Smoked Chicken and Seared Corn Recipe
August 5, 2016

Chef Justin Smillie’s Smoked Chicken and Seared Corn Recipe

This lovely smoked chicken comes from Justin Smillie of Upland — catch him at Harlem EatUp! where he will be a guest chef during the Dine-In alongside Chef Lance Knowling of Blujeen. Try pairing this dish with a vibrant Bordeaux Rosé for some energetic contrast or for something complimentary, a rich, oaked dry white Bordeaux from AOC Pessac-Léognan. 


  • 1 half free range chicken

  • 2 tablespoon (5 grams) super green, peppery olive oil, divided

  • 1 rounded cup (180 grams corn kernels) cut from the cob

  • 2 tablespoons (20 grams) Mimolette cheese

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (15 grams) quicos, Mitica brand preferred

  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) lime zest

  • 1/3 cup (85 grams) buttermilk

  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) labne

  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) tajin spice

  • 1/8 cup (10 grams) watercress, for garnish

  • Salt, to taste

  • Pepper, to taste



  • Salt the chicken at least one hour before cooking and up to 24 hour advance (the earlier you pre-salt the chicken, the better).

  • Grill the chicken over live hardwood charcoal. The grill coals should be at medium to medium high heat (approximately 425°F). The chicken will take approximately 16-18 minutes to cook.

  • Let the chicken rest for five minutes in a warm place.

  • In a cast iron skillet, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive olive and sear the corn kernels for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the mimolette and stir aggressively, melting the cheese.

  • Pour corn mixture into another bowl and stir in the quicos, the remaining olive oil, and lime zest. Season with salt and pepper.

  • In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk into the labne, then gently spoon the mixture over the serving platter. Sprinkle the tajin spice over the labne.

  • Cut the chicken into 4 pieces and arrange over the labneh mixture on the platter. Spoon the corn mixture over the chicken then garnish with watercress.


    Wine Pairings

    With this smoked chicken dish you can opt to both contrast and complement the flavors. A vibrant Bordeaux rosé would contrast, adding an energetic lift, and red berry aromatics and flavors with just the right amount of tannin for the protein in the chicken. Alternatively, a rich oaked dry white from Pessac Léognan would complement the complexity of flavors and the rich creaminess of the cheese, labne, and buttermilk.

    Craving more great Harlem EatUp! recipes? Find more here.


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