1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds

1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds

3 tablespoons Basic BBQ Rub (recipe follows)

1/2 cup BBQ Mother Sauce (see related recipe)

Prepare a smoker to cook at 250 F with 2 to 3 chunks of apple or cherry wood.

Using kitchen shears, cut the chicken in half lengthwise and remove excess skin and fat. Sprinkle the rub over both sides of chicken, then place chicken in smoker to cook for 21/2 hours, or until thigh registers 175 F on a meat thermometer.

Remove from smoker and lightly brush with the sauce, then return to smoker for 10 minutes to tighten up sauce. Remove from smoker and serve. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

ULTIMATE BBQ RUB: In a clean coffee grinder, place 1 cup turbinado sugar and pulse until lightly powdered. Transfer to a bowl. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 2 tablespoons granulated garlic, 11/2 teaspoons cayenne, 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, 1/4 cup light chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons paprika. Stir well. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Makes about 23/4 cups.

— Recipe "From Smokin' in the Boys' Room: Southern Recipes From the Winningest Woman in Barbecue." by Melissa Cookston (Andrews McMeel, $22.99)