|Spatchcocked Orange-Smoked Cajun Chicken||
Recipe Type: Main
Cook time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours
“Spatchcocking” can be thought of as a method to butterfly a chicken although, correctly used, “butterfly” is usually reserved to a single cut almost all the way through a piece of meat to allow the meat to be opened much like a book. To spatchcock a chicken (or any poultry), place the bird breast side down on a cutting board and, using kitchen shears, remove the backbone by cutting along both sides of it (reserve the breastbone for stock). Using a large chef’s knife, score partially through the breastbone. Turn the chicken breast side up and press down on the breastbone, flattening the bird. (If desired, cut a slit near each breast and tuck the legs into the pockets.) In addition to creating a unique presentation and making the bird simpler to carve, spatchcocked poultry requires less time on the grill. That means that the breast meat won’t be dry when the legs and thighs are completely cooked. Chef’s note: If you’d prefer crisper skin on the chicken, spatchcock and season the chicken. Place it on a baking rack over a sheet pan, skin side up, and leave it in the refrigerator, uncovered, for several hours before cooking.
- 1 (6 3/4-pound) whole roasting chicken
- ¼ Cup olive oil
- ¼ Cup Cajun Spice (Link) (or your favorite poultry rub)
- 1 batch Rosemary & Giblet Gravy (Link)
- 2 Orange Wood chunks
- ½ Cup BBQr’s Delight Orange pellets
- Prepare Grill Dome:
- Fill the Grill Dome firebox with Cowboy hardwood lump charcoal (a combination of pure oak, hickory and maple). Using an electric igniter or three small pieces of SuperCedar fire starter, light the charcoal. Allow the temperature to stabilize at 360° F. to 375° F. (This will take about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of your Grill Dome and the amount of fuel. For my Grill Dome ET, the bottom vent should be open about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch and the top vent about 10% to maintain the desired temperature.) Add two chunks of orange wood and 1/2 cup of BBQr’s Delight orange pellets (in an aluminum foil pouch or smoker tray) to the charcoal.
- Chef’s note: I recently installed a BBQ Guru Competitor power draft on the Grill Dome to regulate the fire although the Grill Dome, once stabilized, will hold its temperature without regulator for quite some time. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. For my power draft unit, I clipped the grate probe onto the cooking grate next to the chicken. Insert the “meat set point” probe in the chicken’s thigh, being careful not to touch any bone. Set the “meat set point” temperature alarm to 175° F. and the “pit set point” regulator to 360° F.
- Prepare chicken:
- Lightly rub the chicken with olive oil and season with Cajun spice (or your favorite poultry seasoning). Once the Grill Dome temperature is stabilized, place the chicken, skin side up, on the cooking grate and smoke-cook, with the Grill Dome cover down, for 50 to 60 minutes or until the thigh has an internal temperature of 175° F. and the breast has an internal temperature of 155° F. (If desired, the chicken may be brushed with your favorite barbecue sauce during the last ten minutes of cooking.) Use an instant-read or rapid-response digital thermometer to be sure the chicken has reached the correct internal temperature. Remove the chicken from the Grill Dome, tent with aluminum foil and allow the bird to rest for ten minutes before carving (the thigh and breast temperatures will continue to rise another five to ten degrees during the resting period). Carve into individual portions (leg, thigh and breast).
- Plate Presentation:
- Bias-slice the breast meat into 1/3-inch medallions trying to keep the crispy skin with the chicken. Drizzle gravy over the chicken. Present the legs and thighs as individual portions. Serve with grilled asparagus and baked potatoes. Garnished potatoes with sour cream and sweet paprika.
Recipe Submitted by: Mike Stines www.CapeCodBBQ.com
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