Place the water in a large non-reactive container.
Add the salt and sugar and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved
Add the orange slices, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Give this a quick stir.
Submerge the chicken breasts in the brine mixture.
Cover the container well with plastic wrap.
Place the container in the refrigerator or inside a cooler with ice.
Allow the chicken to brine for 2 hours.
While the chicken is brining, mix together the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and citrus zest in a small bowl. Set this aside.
Remove the grilling rack from your Traeger grill.
After 2 hours, remove the chicken from the brine and rinse it well under cold running water being careful not to remove the skin.
Pat the chicken completely dry with paper towels.
Rub the breasts all over with the dry spice mixture.
Place the breasts, skin side up, on the grill rack and allow them to rest.
Prepare the Traeger pellet grill by filling the hopper with enough wood pellets to last 2 hours.
Then, turn the smoker on with the top open until a flame is established, approximately 5 minutes.
Close the lid and set the temperature to 250˚F.
Preheat the smoker for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the grill rack with the seasoned chicken breasts on it inside the smoker.
Insert the attached probe thermometer in the thickest portion of one of the breasts.
Close the lid and smoke for approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
At 1-1/2 hours, check the internal temperature of the meat with the thermometer.
You are looking for 160 to 165°F. The skin should be darkened.
Continue to smoke, if necessary, checking every 15 minutes.
While the chicken is smoking prepare the balance of the meal.
Suggestions for side dishes follow.
Remove the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board and tent with foil for approximately 10 minutes.
Slice the rested breasts with a sharp knife to remove the meat from the bone.
Then, cut the whole breast meat into 1/4” thick pieces.
Place on a platter and serve with suggested side dishes.