Ask any French chef worth his toque what his favorite meal is, and the answer will be a perfect roast chicken served with a laboriously prepared sauce. The secret is roasting the bones and caramelizing the juices that are then extracted in the lengthy stock-making process. Take my word for it, I haven’t met many home cooks who go to such lengths. In fact, most restaurant chefs don’t either, leaving that task to the lower ranks of their kitchen brigade.

My solution is to crack the bones of the intact chicken, then stab it repeatedly. The result looks like a chicken that ran into a truck. But by cracking the bones and stabbing, I can smoke the chicken whole and still get the flavor-rich juices from the bones.

I put the bird in a cast-iron pan in a smoker, so that instead of losing the fat, flavor, and juices to the coals, they collect in the bottom of the pan. Then I use them to baste and glaze the chicken to produce a crust as deeply flavored and crispy as any Parisian pullet. The brine adds flavor, of course, but it also preserves moisture, which is critical to keep the white meat from drying out while the longer-cooking dark meat finishes.