When it comes to cooking on Cedar grilling planks, we tend to think seafood (particularly salmon). There are many other options that take on the delicious flavor of Cedar; chicken is one of them.
So, what is the best way of cooking chicken on a Cedar grilling plank?
Dry rubs, marinades and classic salt and pepper are all effective methods of seasoning chicken before cooking. There are some factors to consider, however.
The layering of flavors is how we develop complexity in tasting, for example, marinating some chicken thighs in garlic, olive and lemon is one layer. Placing the chicken on a cedar grilling plank and seasoning with salt and black pepper adds the next layer. As the chicken cooks, it absorbs the fresh wood flavor adding yet another layer. When you eat the chicken, the 3 layers of flavor are not all tasted at once; they reach your pallet one at a time. Have you ever bitten into something spicy and not experienced the heat for few seconds? That’s layering.
Which parts of the chicken are best suited to Cedar plank cooking?
Chicken breasts are much leaner than the rest of the bird and can often be overcooked. The best way to use a Cedar grilling plank is to allow it to soak in warm water for 15 minutes. As the moisture leaves the plank during cooking, it allows for a gentle cooking process that helps the chicken breast retain its juices.
Chicken legs and thighs are a little more forgiving and easier to cook than the breasts while still producing the same delicious results.
Whole chickens cooked on planks are easy, affordable, and most of all, a very tasty option. Just make sure you have a plank that is large enough to accommodate a whole chicken, like this Extra Large Cedar Plank.
Chicken is such a common ingredient and we all eat it multiple times a week, but it can get boring. Try something different, add some cedar and make a winner out of this week’s chicken dinner!
Here are some of my favorite Cedar plank chicken recipes: Dry Rubbed and Cedar Smoked Party Wings, Cedar Planked Buffalo Chicken Bites and Cedar Planked Chicken Caesar Salad.
Matt worked his first kitchen job in the country of Malta at the age of 15. He has worked as a restaurant Chef in Arizona, Maine, Spain, the UK, Oregon and finally North Idaho. Now the Executive Chef at Wildwood Grilling, he thoroughly enjoys his day job.