Planked chicken? Yes, you read it right. Planked chicken. What is it? Surely it is not a chicken doing a plank position to get that six pack abs? 🙂 Ha ha.. I’m not sure a chicken can even do a plank… I can’t imagine how it will hold it’s upper body without the existence of two more limbs….in a plank position…..
Okay.. back to planked chicken.. What is it? It is basically chicken roasted using a wooden plank.. So, you cook your seasoned meat (be it chicken, fish, pork, or beef) on top of a wooden plank, and cook it with indirect heat. Why do you go with all this trouble? Well, for one thing, the flavor and the aroma of the wood will be infused into the meat, resulting in a different and wonderful flavored food.
Who started all this plank cooking method? According to Wikipedia, plank cooking was pioneered by the Native Americans. They used a wooden plank to cook their fish. So when we found out about plank cooking, we decided to give it a try. We first tried it on salmon using a cedar plank. It tasted really great and we decided to venture out to different types of meat.
Now, there are a variety of planks out there. Cedar, cherry, just to name a few. Cherry plank is really great with beef. Cedar works well with fish, chicken, and pork. You can find these planks in the grocery store, in the bbq aile section. Below is the picture of the cedar plank we used yesterday.
You started by soaking the plank in water for several hours before you cook. You want the board to be soaked thoroughly and full of moisture, so it will not catch fire when you put the board on the grill. If you are pressed with time, you can soak the board ahead of time, and then put the board in the freezer. The frozen board will hold the water in it and it will be ready to use (we never tried this before and I figure that you need to at least soak it to bring it to room temperature, prior cooking).
Now, the picture below is just ears of corn being soaked in water too. This picture was taken when my husband put his secret ingredients into the water, which I am not at the liberty to tell you what was his secret ingredient… Email me if you really want to know.. maybe I can coax my hubby to tell you his secret… This corns would be roasted together with the chicken later on…
So, while the board was soaking, go do other stuff you want to do…
At five, we…er.. I took out the chicken from the refrigerator. I bought whole chickens from Sam’s Club, just because I happened to be there past Friday. Usually Sam’s Club sells their items at lower price than regular grocery store, in this case, the chicken cost about $0.88 per pound. They were pretty big fat chickens… Two of these babies weighed almost 10 lbs!
Now then, after I rinsed the chicken, I cut them up using my big ol’ cleaver. You need a cleaver to do this job. Cleaver is the proper tool when you are encountering bones.
First I cut the breast part, since that was the easiest.
Then, once you got the breast part cut, then start cutting the back bones.
Then for the planked chicken purposes, I just cut them diagonally where the breast and thigh split. You can trim away the extra fat at the belly there..
Now then, I only used half of a chicken. I let these two pieces sit at room temperature so they would not be so cold when we put them on the grill. What did I do with the rest of the chicken? I just freeze them and they will be ready for use next time.
Now, we got all the seasonings we want for the chicken, sans the paprika powder. Lawry’s season salt, white pepper, black pepper and paprika. That was a last minute addition by my request (my hubby was the chef here, I was just acting as an elf, sans the green hat and pointy ears).
When you’re ready to tackle the chicken, first you sprayed it with olive oil. The purpose of the oil was to add the olive oil flavor to the chicken, brown the skin, in addition to help the seasonings stick to the chicken better. Then sprinkle the season salt, white and black peppers, and paprika. Let this sit for a while and let the spices work their wonders.
Then my hubby turned the grill on to about 500F. That’s pretty hot huh? You let the grill get hot for about 10-15 minutes, and then, when you’re ready to cook your meat, make sure you heat up the soaked plank/board for about 5 – 7 minutes. You want the board to be hot when you put the meat on it.
So while the grill was heating up, the Chef wrapped up the corns in foil. The cat in the background was Ace. Ace loves to hover around in the kitchen when there are people in the kitchen. In his mind, kitchen means food! Was he smart or what?
After the board got hot, then Chef put the corn on grill and the chicken on the plank. Cook the chicken for 45 minutes or until the chicken’s internal temperature reach 160F.
Half-way through cooking time, turn the corns so they would be roasted evenly.
Look at this planked chicken! Don’t you just want to take a bite into it?
The chicken was moist, while the skin was very crispy. Yes, I ate the skin last night. After all, I am not in the Buffalo Club anymore 😉 The roasted corn was brushed with butter and sprinkled with Zatarain creole seasoning. A wonderful complement to the chicken, together with the house salad. Thank you hubby for a wonderful dinner last night!