Recipe adapted from Thank You for Smoking by Paula Disbrowe (Ten Speed Press, 2019).
½ cup tamari
2 tablespoons Japanese whisky
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon gochujang (fermented Korean red chile paste)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (4-4½ pound) chicken, split in half lengthwise
In a mixing bowl, whisk together tamari, whisky, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, gochujang, and salt. Place chicken halves in a baking dish. Pour three-quarters of marinade over chicken; set remainder aside. Use your hands to coat entire surface of chicken pieces with marinade, flipping them three or four times. Let chicken marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium fire, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. When coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, use tongs to remove cooking grate and place a drip pan with 1 inch of warm water on the side with no coals. Add your smoke source (chips, chunks, or a log). Return cooking grate, allow to preheat, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled paper towel. Scrape grate clean with a grill brush, then wipe with oiled towel again.
When fire begins to produce a steady stream of smoke, place chicken halves skin-side down over direct heat and close grill. Vent grill for smoking and smoke for about 35 minutes, flipping chicken every 7 to 8 minutes and brushing on more marinade after each turn. Chicken is done when meat pulls away from bone easily and internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 175 degrees.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes, then cut into portions and serve immediately.