I've gotta be up front, right from the start. This was actually 15 spice smoked chicken, not 16. It's not that I have anything against 16. In fact, I would have been more than happy to have truly been 16 spice, but the sad fact is that I was unable to locate one of the spices, hence 15.
It begins with Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill cookbook. Actually, that's not right. It begins with a dinner at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in August.
You see, I've not watched a lot of Bobby Flay's Food Network shows, and up until that point I had only flipped through his cookbooks - from a design perspective they didn't do much for me, so I never bought one, despite my ever increasing collection of cookbooks with celebrity chefs.
But after eating at Mesa Grill New York in August and delighting in the incredible spice blends (subtle, spicy, interesting) I had another look at the book. Again, the look didn't entice me, but actually seeing the recipes I had tried drew me in. IN the end, a quick visit to Amazon.com and I was the proud owner of the Mesa Grill Cookbook.
One more tidbit, the spice I didn't' have on hand was chile de arbol. After doing a quick check on the spiciness of the chile de arbol (15000-30000 scoville units) I determined that this one was more about the heat than the flavour, so I substituted additional cayenne in place.
I basically prepared the chicken in usual smoker fashion, but substituted the 16 (actually 15) spice blend as my rub. So quick rundown:
• Spatchcock chicken, rinse and pat dry
The end result was a wonderfully smoked chicken (as usual), with an entriguing taste. The spice rub reminded me of 5 spice rub, but a bit more complex (likely the additional 10 spices contributed to this).